In Division 1 of the North East Wales Badminton League, Champions Flint Phoenix A are already stamping their authority on the league with a clear 6 – 2 win away to Llanferres A. Match of the evening was a thrilling three game classic that went in favour of Flint’s first ladies pairing of Carla White and Judith Hughes, who raised their game with shrewd tactics and fast court movement to outlast Carys Jones and Claire Halestrap and win by 21/6, 23/25 and 21/16.
Buckley based Eros travelled the short distance to Deeside and inflicted a 6 – 2 defeat on the home team. Unbeaten Heather Astley was player of the match for Eros and partnering Will Toomey at first mixed they played superbly to put Cerys Brackenbury and Henry Carrington to the sword, winning comfortably 21/13 and 21/17.
Newly promoted to Division 2, Prestatyn A had home advantage, but met their match when they came up against the more experienced Buckley team who handed out an 8 – 0 thrashing. At first men’s Glyn Watson and Terry Wynne came closest to taking an event for Prestatyn; despite losing their first game to Greg Jones and Rob Bishop by 9/21 they fought back in the second to take it by 21/17. However with Bishop providing impressive overhead smashes combined with Jones’ tight net play the Buckley duo wore down the opposition to wrap up the third and deciding game by 21/16.
Another team showing their strength in depth is Llanferres B, making light work of Rossett B, demolishing them 7 – 1. Rossett’s only winners were at first ladies where the wily Jane Liddle supported by Marie Jones played some dazzling doubles tactics, aided by sound defence, to outsmart Wendy Swash and Hazel Hyslop and triumph by 21/11 and 21/15.
Local club derbies are often a fraught affair with in-club scores to settle and challenges aimed at promotion to the higher team. In Division 3 Holywell’s A and B teams faced each other and whilst upsets were to be expected, on this occasion the result was not in doubt with the A team applying a convincing 8 – 0 whitewash to their B’s. Only Helen Ashworth and John Speed came near to challenging their more illustrious opponents, in the form of David and Anne Booth, before being outmanoeuvred in the decider, going down by 13/21, 21/17 and 12/21.
Prestatyn B entertained Holywell B in what turned out to be a very close contest indeed with the home team just running out 5 – 3 winners. After the mixed doubles outcomes were shared, the night’s result was decided following the last two doubles events. At first men’s, Brandon Smith and Adrian Jones outgunned player of the match for Holywell, George Hood, along with partner John Speed, by 22/20, 18/21 and 21/16. This was a match of monster rallies along with great defence from both pairs. The decisive fixture result came down to the last match at second ladies and with a large crowd watching and enjoying every shot, the home side’s Karen Brennan and Sheila Blackwell played impressively, to edge out their opponents, Hilary Roberts and Melinda Lyons winning 18/21, 21/16 and 21/15.
Flint Phoenix C visited Llanferres D with the disadvantage of being a lady short; and with two events immediately conceded, inspired Llanferres D went on to take the tie 6 – 2. Third mixed was enjoyed by all spectators as the home partnership of Welsh Junior Squad member, Matthew Swash, linked up with the promising Hannah Harrison to play outstanding badminton and holding their nerve in the third and final game went on to defeat Graham Donnelly and the Gwenda Moorcroft by 15/21, 21/18 and 24/22.