Report From Paul Eastham:
As fixture started again in 2019 the first match of the year in division 1 was MGS A v MGS C and things weren’t any easier in the New Year for the bottom of the division C team who got bear 16-2. Jared Matthew & Becky Ashton won all of their 6 games.
Hawks A got beat 7-11 at home by the leaders, Cross Feathers, who now share the top slot due to the result below. Overall, a good result for the home side who pushed the Champs to within a whisper of an upset looking at some of the close games & a 15-3 loss last time the 2 teams met. The star on the night was again Rach Graham who took all her 6 games to be the POTM.
MGS B’s match against Carlton A turned out to be a very colourful match indeed, with the building being intruded by local kids who set the fire alarm off and everyone had to clear the building while the fire brigade attended and gave the all clear. Anyway, the match started with 3 split levels sets & Carlton winning both games in the opening Ladies set to take a 3-5 early lead. The visitors then built on this in the 1st mixed set as Andy Davies & Cath Bagley won both games before a split 6th set to leave the score at 4-8. Stuart Holden & Jenny Stothard then won a pair in the 7th for MGS to claw the match back to 6-8, but Andy & Cath wrapped up the match in the 8th set by taking both games to 9 & 1. Tom Lowe & Lynn Hosegood won the final consolation games to finish the final match score at 8-10. Cath was the star on the evening; she won all her 6 to be the POTM.
Seconded place in the division, St. Andrews A had a crunch match with 3rd place team David Lloyd, but I can tell you now when I looked at the card….. I thought it was a wind up (April fools!) The final score was 18-0………. Yep, EIGHTEEN-NIL!!! I presumed that Andy’s had been on some kind of boot camp mission over Xmas, but they well & truly thrashed them to go top of the table. Karolyn Hustler was statistically the best player on the night, as still catch my breath on the result & how this opens up the race!
In 2, Hawks C lost 6-12 at home to Carlton B who move into a very healthy 3rd place on the table with the 3 points. Dave Boon was responsible for most of the damage by winning all of his 6 games to take home the POTM award.
MGS D’s match with St. Andrews B was mutually abandoned due to the fire alarm being triggered by pesky kids!
Bottom team, Evergreens A had a crucial clash with their fellow relegation strugglers, Clayton Crusaders B. With Evergreens recent form, they had to start the New Year on a positive note and got off to a cracking start by winning 7 of the 8 levels games! In the mixed, the first 3 mixed sets were split to give Evergreens a much needy win with a final score of 11-7. So, a very tight match indeed, consisting of 6 split sets for 2 teams scrambling at the foot to avoid the dreaded drop and are both on 6 points, just 2 off Garstang who have played a match extra. Simone Binnes was the best player as she pulled in 5 games on the night.
In division 3, St Andrews C shot up the table in their 1st fixture of the New Year with a 13-5 max point win over Clayton D. The 4 points catapults them into a mid-table position from teetering around the relegation zone a few weeks ago. Fergus & Sarah Munro and Zoe Watts took 5 games each to ensure the match was won and then went marching on to get all of the points.
Evergreens B arrived early for this seasons 1st meeting with Mythop A but had to travel without their 3rd man due to injury & local club player Simon Tebbutt kindly pitched in to play the 3rd man for the visitors. During the warm up it looked like a sketch from “Hi-di-Hi! & “Star Wars” with Tony Augustyniak sporting a pair of Psychedelic shorts & Andy Anderson looking like an “Imperial Walker” with his knee armoury! The men enjoyed a good workout while the 1st ladies felt “the Force” of Evergreens Emily Milner & Karen Holden who flew away with the first 2 games. Mythop’s 2nd pair of Ling Fang & Pauline Weafer found their “X wings” & had an epic battle taking the 2nd ladies games 17/15, 15/13 to take Mythop 6/2 up after the doubles. The mixed games turned out like a Holiday camp Tug of War ending with a 5/5 split of games! Mythop’s 1st new pairing for the night Colin Chisholm & Linda Settle were mesmerised by Tony’s shorts with Evergreens taking both games in set 5. Mythop’s 3rd pair needed more than “Yoda’s” help in set 7 losing both to Evergreens pair Phil Barlow & Susan Bullen. Game 8 saw another epic with a split set with Mythop taking the 1st game 17/14 & Evergreens the 2nd game 15/12-those pesky shorts draining the power packs on Andy’s knees. Mythop’s 1st pair rallied in the 9th game winning both to make the final score 11/7 to Mythop. Best “Stormtrooper” on the night was Emily Milner of Evergreens winning 5 games. Ta Pauline!
A five sided Hawks E lost 1-17 to Clitheroe B who maintain 2nd place on the table with the 4 point maximum win. Jinesh Mistry stood into the vacant slot to make up the numbers for Hawks to give Clitheroe a decent match. Dave Sherrington & Marian Bamber won the single game to stop the total whitewash, but I’m afraid they are now 4 points from the dreaded red line.
Garstang B had a tight 1st fixture of the year when they hosted MGS E and the home side were on the ropes after the levels when Rees Parry won all his 4 games to help the visitors go 3-5 ahead. Garstang then put their foot on the pedal by winning the next 4 games in a row to take them into a 7-5 lead. Trevor Brown & Lorna Hopper won a pair in the 7th for MGS to square the match up. Rob Cockerill & Fran Hellier then won both in set 8 to take Garstang into a 9-7 lead and set up a nail-biting final set. Simon Tebbutt & Steph Tsang won the opening game to ensure the win before Trevor & Lorna won the final game to set up a final score of 10-8 for Garstang. Steph won 5 for Garstang & Trevor Brown won 5 for MGS to be the best players on the night.
In 4, Preston College had a fine opening 2019 win over Brindle. The final score was 12-6, but Ste Hudson & Amanda Berry won the final game of the match 12-15 to rob the bonus point for Brindle. All 3 Ladies, Hazel Bradshaw, Carol Raby and Sarah Kay won 5 games each to be the best players on the night and ensure that the win went in the bag & still be in the promotion mix.
Whittle came across a very resilient Mythop B in their opening fixture of 19 with a 7-11 home loss. Daniel Cooper did the most of damage for Mythop by winning 5 games to give the visitors the edge & for me was the star on the night to help win the game
Project 12 had a fine 12-6 win over St. Andrews D, but lost the bonus pt in the 8th set to Matt Barton & Jane Godsland as they took both games to earn Andy’s the vital point. However, 12 keep in 2nd place on the table with a week off next week.
Evergreens C lost 7-11 to Penwortham B as Cath Jackson & Johanna Huber both won 5 games each to assist in the win. Paul.