Roving Report – three matches back to back (Never assume)
Westholme A v Accy Flyers A
With Westholme A playing away against Accy Flyers A on Monday, the C team at home against Goodshaw on Tuesday and then the B team away to Blackburn Seniors A on Wednesday, I knew I had to be organised this week: and I really thought I was…
First, two of the A team men suddenly found themselves unable to play – this was solved by a hasty re-arrange of the C and B team players – and I could breathe easy again. Then, at 7pm on the night of the A team game, a text from one of my A team ladies: ‘Are you sure we’re playing at Accy Academy tonight? The website says Darwen Leisure Centre!’ sent me back in to a panic. Five hasty phone calls later, and the disaster was averted by the skin of my teeth.
Captained by an under the weather Alex Bullock (hope you’re feeling better by now) the top pair for the home team, Alex and Karen Lamb, faced the two ex-Westholme students, Jenny Brookfield and Emma Dean. On the adjacent court, Rob Brocklehurst and Andy Wood played Aiden Siu and a newcomer to the Blackburn league, Joe Livesey. The men had a great battle, which was rightly split between the two teams, whilst the away ladies won both the opening games. Next up, Maxine Watson and Jenny for Westholme played Alex and Rachel Hillary. Rob and Anser Yaseen, however, met the away team youngsters, in Aiden and Tom James (sorry Tom!) What a mammoth match that was! After a good 40 minutes play, the home team finally won the first game 29,27, followed by a 16,21 for Aiden and Tom. The experienced away team ladies proved too strong for the Accy Flyers’ second ladies, and both games went to Westholme.
Despite the ultra-marathon (for those not in the know, this is any run further than a marathon!) they’d both run at the weekend, Emma and Joe at top mixed took all of their games and clearly enjoyed the opportunity to partner each other. The top pairing for Accy Flyers of Karen and Andy could not have had closer games against Westholme’s second pairing of Maxine and Tom, with the games fairly split 22,20; 20,22. Aiden got his own back on Rob, who had split both men’s games with him, by winning both games of mixed with Jenny, resulting in a 15,3 victory to the away side.
On to match number 2: Westholme C v Goodshaw
Fortunately, this match was at home so there was no panic and frantic ringing round prior to the game.
The newly formed Westholme C faced their friendly rivals of Goodshaw and there was much munching of homemade chocolate chip cookies to keep both teams going through the evening.
First up, Fee Tremblett and Rachel Robertson for Westholme faced Becky Foreman and Lauren Wareing. After a shaky first game, the home side rallied in the second game, scoring a creditable 16 points against strong opposition. In the men’s game, Westholme welcomed Mark Buji in to their ranks, partnering the ‘leave everything on the court’ Andrew Benson at number 3. They were up against the experienced pairing of Alex Hinton and Michael Ormerod at number 3. All the gents battled hard, but Goodshaw took both games, narrowly winning the second 23,21.
In the second ladies’, Rachel partnered Jane Grant, another recent signing from the MidLancs league; they were up against Lauren and Kath ‘yes-she’s-out-of-retirement-already’ Riley. The ladies played an entertaining two games, which were fairly split at one game all. On the adjacent court, Andrew played with Chris Ball against Michael and Brian Bradshaw, the latter making a welcome return to the sport after a break through injury. Like the ladies, the games were enjoyable to watch with all four men playing well. This time, however, the home side took both games, which meant there was a 5,3 lead for Goodshaw going in to the mixed.
The top and second mixed games were split between the teams, making for an exciting second hour of play. Lauren and Michael at number 3, however, proved too strong for the newly formed partnership of Westholme’s Rachel and Andrew, and the match ended up a 7,11 win to Goodshaw.
And finally, match number 3: Westholme B v Blackburn Seniors A
We’d had a team pep talk before the game started, which basically consisted of: “try to get in double figures and don’t let Mighty McManus put you off at the back of the court.” Yes, we knew we were in for a battering.
For Blackburn Seniors A, Mr Peter Pan himself, Captain Rick Smith with Andy McManus and Nathan Whitehead – asleep or not asleep, but more on that later; the Seniors’ ladies were Claire Edmundson, Joanna Holt and Nicole Dodd. For Westholme, there was yours truly, Jenn Camilleri and Rebecca Bailey, with our very own pocket rocket, the silver medalist, Graham Robinson, Alex Pimperton and Nigel Holt – if you ever need an ice pop at the end of your game, by the way, Nigel’s your man.
Although there was talk on the night of was Nathan awake yet or not, and where oh where does Claire Edmundson get her fancy grip from, we stuck doggedly to our task of trying to get double figures in every game and did so in over half of them (just!) The distraction tactics of the Mighty at the back of the court, however, proved too difficult to ignore – it was his feet that did it – which is why he features on one of the photos in the report, vying in tattoos with Jenn as she serves to him.
It was good to see Norden busy with social badminton last night on the remaining courts, a sign that Blackburn Seniors Club is continuing in their commitment to encourage all ages and abilities to play the sport.