Alfie and Liam show the way
There was some top class and exciting badminton to be seen at the recent North East Wales Badminton Association’s annual championship held at Deeside Leisure Centre.
In the men’s doubles final youngsters Liam Hird and Alfie Moorcroft (+5) faced the father and son partnership of Stuart and Jack Mears (-10) in what proved to be a match in which the handicap committee got it right. Hird and Moorcroft were not overawed by the occasion and went on to win their group and the title with the father and son partnership of Stuart and Jack Mears in second place.
In the ladies doubles, Lily Hird teamed up with Carys Jones (-8) and with consistent attacking play won the group, with Debbie Walker and Emma Hilton (-8) a close second.
In the final event of the championships Stuart Mears and Kerry Roberts (-12) held out against the less experienced pairing of Lily Hird and Tom Sudder (-12) winning the mixed doubles by 21/14 and 21/20.
This season has seen NEWBA entering the Badminton England League and at their first fixture at Worcester the team consisted of Tom Sudder, Mike Pritchard, Ben Travers, Jamie Noble, James Hulley, Lily Hird, Jude Hughes, Carla White, Hannah Stephenson and team manager Heather Astley.
Up against Bedfordshire 2 the team lost a close encounter by 6 – 5; however in their second match versus Shropshire 3 they recorded a fine 7 – 4 win.
In League Division 1 the mid-table clash between Deeside and visitors Rossett A ended in a 4 – 4 draw. At first men’s Deeside’s Henry Carrington and partner Ashley Oxborough took the eye when they dug in and battled to a three game win over Simon Lane and Matt Orchard by 20/22, 22/20 and 22/20.
It was a tight match at Ruthin between Llanferres A and Mold A with Mold coming out winners by 5 – 3. The match result hinged on the final event of the evening when at second men’s the experienced Duncan Church and Peter Williams took on the young Mold pairing of Tom Sudder and James Spendlove. Whilst Church and Williams won the first game 21/18, Sudder and Spendlove stepped up a gear and with fast cross court play and strong overhead smashing they held their nerve during long rallies to clinch the second and the match by 26/24.
Mold C entertained Llangollen in their Division 2 fixture and were somewhat overwhelmed by the more experienced visitors, going down 7 – 1. Mold’s only winners were at first mixed when Lili Thomas and Joe Lewis played superb mixed tactics to beat Nik Evans and Jane Jones by 16/21, 21/19 and 21/17.
Llangollen then went on to play a more testing fixture at home to Buckley and honours were shared 4 – 4. Match of the evening was at second men’s and featured Buckley’s Nathan Barron and Greg Jones taking on Dave Edwards and Karl Young. This match was a cliff-hanger over the two games, but eventually the error free play of Barron and Jones prevailed with a rewarding 25/23 and 25/23 win.
In the Challenge Cup first round, home team Holywell B (+6) drew 8 -8 with Llanferres B (Scr) with Holywell edging the match on points. Jane Clough and Lis Cullen gave a vintage display of level doubles when they accounted for Elsie Gregory and Hilary Roberts 21/19 and 21/16.