Badminton: Net gains of Badminton action

PUBLISHED: 13:05 02 March 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010

PREPARING TO SERVE: Competitors wait for the start of another rally.

PREPARING TO SERVE: Competitors wait for the start of another rally.

A FEAST of top-notch badminton was played at Littleport last month. Newmarket Badminton Federation s thirteenth International Badminton tournament was held for the third year at Littleport Leisure Centre with local players competing with players from Birm

A FEAST of top-notch badminton was played at Littleport last month.

Newmarket Badminton Federation's thirteenth International Badminton tournament was held for the third year at Littleport Leisure Centre with local players competing with players from Birmingham, the Wirral (Cheshire) and a welcome return of competitors from Belgium.

Twelve teams played in two groups of six, each group playing in a round robin. The groups followed the Belgian playing categories, the top group being B, county standard and the second group being C, First Division standard and downwards.

In a very strong B group, the 'Posh Scousers' (Steve Aylott, Lucy Hunter, Nikki Ridges plus last-minute substitute, St Ives' Stephen Pickering) were in commanding form, scoring two of the three maximum points, against Melbourn All Sorts and Mix 'n' Match.

The Scousers' 573 points were well clear of second place Peterborough Pearlers' (including Liz Wainwright and Sheila Thiam) on 519 points with their men's pair of Kevin Barron and James Salmon unbeaten.

The All Rounders (including Ely Victoria's Gareth Gibbs and Newmarket's Ollie Simms) were a painfully close four points behind them, having lost against the Scousers and by those very crucial four points against the Pearlers.

All the teams in the C group had different strengths and weaknesses which lead to no maximum points scores. Last year's champions, Harvey's Howlers, kept everyone's scores down with the strength of the men's pairing of Colin Brown and John Harvey but their ladies, Charlotte Willing and Julia Harvey (playing her first ever competitive badminton) found the going tougher and the team finished fifth on 400 points, although they did register the highest score against the eventual winners.

Sandwiched around them were Littleport B (Debbie Walters, Jane Lilleywhite, Tim Neaves and Danny Clarke) on 361 points and in fourth place Littleport A (Karen Sabell, Sue Monigatti, Norman Ferguson and Alastair King) on 425 points.

Although between them they suffered the lowest scores of 49 and 50 points, at least the Littleport A men's pairing of Ferguson and King had the satisfaction of being the only pair to take a game (15-14) off Brown and Harvey.

Birmingham-based Colley Lane BC's almost unbeaten mixed pairing of Andy Hall and Audrey Totness (who just dropped one game against Willing's mob) helped them to third place (together with team members Colin Edwards and Karen Thorpe) on 452 points. The top two contenders going into the last round were Willing's Mob and last year's runners up Brothie's Gang ( Martin Little assisted Simon Martin, Angela Anderson and Lisa Brotherton). Unfortunately the gang, as in last year's final round, were beaten, this time by just four points so they finished six points adrift on 544 points and Willing's Mob (St. Phillips Dean Richardson, Dennis Willing and Swavesey's Carol Pelling and Sue Hoyland) took the title with 550 points, including the group's top score of 116.

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