Goodshaw v Edenfield – Neck and neck all the way
Lots of healthy discussion about who was entering what and with who in the Blackburn and District tournament week, as the match start time was slightly delayed by the late arrival of Goodshaw’s 3rd lady who had inadvertently been sent to the wrong venue. Edenfield very sportingly played out of order, however, and with three courts available there was non-stop badminton all night.
First up, the ever smiling Nigel Holt partnering, David, his son; they faced the Edenfield men, Rob Brocklehurst and Paul McGrath. This game was the first of the many battles I was to witness on court. Nigel’s favourite cross court drop and young David’s excellent court coverage ensured two close games and one well and truly battered shuttle! Paul’s left handed long serve to the middle worked to good effect and all men impressed by their competitive friendliness on court. Fittingly, these were the first games to be split on the night. In the ladies’ game, Kath Gillam and Lisa Archer played the Edenfield partnership of Maggie Wong and Vicki Last. Despite some delicate net shots from Kath and aggressive smashing from her partner, Lisa, the Edenfield ladies quickly took control of the game. Maggie’s intelligent net play, coupled with Vicki’s determination and work ethic meant both games were won by the away team.
In the mixed game on court three, Alex Hinton and his partner, Val Bertenshaw, for Goodshaw, played against Keith Last and Jayne Enright for Edenfield. Another close game, both couples battled hard with Alex’s push return of the serve complementing his left hander, Val’s, excellent anticipation at the net. The Edenfield couple were quick to respond, however, with some exhausting court coverage by Keith and lovely net attack play by his partner, Jayne. Again, this was another game which resulted in a fitting draw for both couples.
Back to the level doubles, the Goodshaw ladies, Val and Lisa, faced Jayne and Vicki for Edenfield. Still warm from her mixed game, Val’s mobility and energy at the net were most impressive. The Goodshaw ladies played to their strengths, covering the court tactically. Both games were hard fought, however, going down to the wire. Strong overhead clears from Vicki and effective anticipation at the net were not quite enough to break the Goodshaw couple, however, who won both games.
In the last doubles match, Alex and David for Goodshaw faced Keith and Paul for Edenfield. Alex’s never say die attitude to every shot meant another well fought battle. With some quick net attack play by both Goodshaw men, Keith and Paul were kept literally on their toes. A careful, well balanced service stance by Keith and Paul’s strength at the back of the court produced the third split game on the night. I didn’t head this report ‘neck and neck’ for nothing!
In the remaining mixed games, the ever smiling Nigel partnered Kath against Rob and Maggie for Edenfield. What can only be described as full coverage of the court, rolls and all, by the Goodshaw captain, were not quite enough to beat the Edenfield pairing. Maggie’s excellent net coverage and clever well angled diagonal smashes were complemented well by Keith’s aggression at the back of the court. Next up, Alex and Val faced Rob and Maggie. Again, the Edenfield lady took control of the net where she was both strong and confident. Despite some excellent positional play by Val, the Goodshaw couple were unable to break down their opposition who, again, won both games. Nigel and Kath then played against Keith and Jayne. Yet another neck and neck match, Nigel’s favourite shot was brought out for all to see, along with a few more court rolls. Kath’s solid length long serve forced the Edenfield couple to work hard. Keith’s deep forehand push shots and Jayne’s consistent serving resulted in yet another split game.
In the final game of mixed, Lisa and young David faced the tall left hander, Paul, and Vicki. Reading the game well, Lisa positioned herself effectively when facing the mighty attack of the opponents’ smashes. David’s carefully placed backhand drops stretched their Edenfield opposition to the limit. Again, the game was rightly split between the two teams.
At the end of the night, Edenfield took an 11,7 victory, but all appreciated the closeness of so many of the games. The memory I will take away with me, however, is the overheard comment by Alex to David, after their victory against the Edenfield men: selflessly giving all credit for the win to his young partner will, I am sure, give David the confidence to stick with his badminton well beyond Sixth form.