WITH both teams smarting from relegation last season, Phoenix B held their nerve to seal a cracking 5-4 win over Holmfirth F in the Huddersfield Badminton League.
The Division VI clash was close and competitive throughout and went right to the final rubber – Malcolm Scott and Composite League debutant Bethany Wedge producing the goods for Phoenix.
In three nail-biting games, they managed to recover from behind to overcome Dave Calverley and Doreen Dewhurst 21-23, 21-17, 21-11.
Phoenix men started well with Roy Coldwell and Martin Tidbury beating Arthur Whitworth and Mark Hague in three close games 21-17, 18-21, 21-19.
The Holmfirth pairing of Whitworth and Calverley then proved their superiority by beating Scott and Tidbury in just two games 18-21, 17-21.
Mark Hague and Calverley also showed their strength by beating Coldwell and Scott in two games (14-21, 16-21).
Meanwhile, among the Phoenix ladies, Angela Horner and Julie Scott were beaten in three hard-fought games by Holmfirth’s Lucy Douglas and Maggie Lowe 21-16, 20-22, 18-21.
However, in a reversal of the men’s fortunes, the Phoenix ladies then went on to win the rest of the rubbers with Horner and Wedge beating Douglas and Dewhurst in two games (21-13, 21-12), while third pair Scott and Wedge beat Lowe and Dewhurst 21-17, 21-19.
With the scores level on three going into the Mixed, there was everthing to play for.
In competitive rubbers, Tidbury and Horner beat Whitworth and Douglas 21-15, 21-18, but Holmfirth hit back as Coldwell and Scott lost to Hague and Lowe in three games, 21-16, 18-21, 11-21 to set up that thrilling finale.
In Division IV, Fartown B travelled to Shepley and won 9-0 – although four of the matches went beyond 21 to illustrate how hard the home team battled.
The most see-saw encounter of all involved Shepley’s Chris Hooton – who won one point with a spectacular dive – and Jack Dyson eventually losing out to John Holmes and Joe Crossfield 28-26 in their final game.
Shepley were disappointed to lose a couple of regular players due to injury but are hoping to be back up to full strength for their next match against St Cuthbert’s Racqueteers in early November.
Results (Shepley names first) – Men: Chris Hooton and Howard Brook lost to John Holmes and Mike Hall 24-26, 8-21, Hooton and Jack Dyson lost to Holmes and Joe Crossfield 13-21, 26-28, Brook and Dyson lost to Hall and Crossfield 21-11, 15-21, 13-21.
Ladies: Sarah Hewitt and Kimm Brook lost to Nicola Donnelly and Val Smith 21-19, 24-26, 19-21, Kim Summers and Brook lost to Mel Hartley and Smith 17-21, 18-21, Summers and Brook lost to Hartley and Smith 11-21, 14-21.
Mixed: Hewitt and Hooton lost to Donnelly and Holmes 12-21, 17-21, Summers and Dyson lost to Hall and Smith 18-21, 14-21, Brook and Brook lost to Crossfield and Hartley 20-22, 17-21.
Royds Hall E have withdrawn from Division VI, so fixtures have been altered.
Flying Feathers, who have dropped two teams this season, are playing all their home matches at Milnsbridge UCHM on Monday nights.
Brighouse C team will now play on Tuesday nights at The Ridings Sports Centre, Ovenden, while their A and B teams will continue to play at Hipperholme Grammar School on Wednesday nights.
Kirklees Independant Badminton Club are new and have entered teams in the Composite, Men’s and Ladies leagues, playing their home matches on Sundays at Royds Hall Sports Centre.