Week 5 Westholme B v St Nicholas 1st November, 2016
Could they have peaked too early?
If you’re wondering where Week 4’s report went – I was all set to cover the Goodshaw home match against Edenfield when two dogs (one of them mine!) knocked me over on a walk after work. Needless to say, this did not leave me in a fit state to do my usual roving report. Never fear, Goodshaw and Edenfield, I will make sure I catch up with both of you before the end of the season.
On a very chilly evening, I was privileged to watch an extremely friendly yet competitive match between St Nicholas and Westholme B. Currently at the top of the second division, rumours were already circulating in the Westholme camp of the standard of the first division if they were to maintain their excellent start to the season. The St Nicholas ladies, Captain Louise Hustler playing at 3, and the experienced Lynne Barnard and Carol Eldon, quickly set their mark on the match. With some quick anticipation at the net and excellent body smashes, Louise led the way in both ladies’ matches, winning all four games for the home side. Despite valiant retrieval skills from the Westholme Captain, Helen Wharton, herself playing at 3, as she partnered first Sarah Avent, wearing a very fetching head band, and then Wendy Matthews, resplendent in pink, the strength of the home team ladies quickly proved too much.
On the adjacent courts, however, the Westholme B men were writing another story. Fresh from a Preston 5 a-side football match, and with his son waiting in the wings (for his tea!) the number 3 man for the away team, namely Simon Townsend, was quick to prove his prowess on court. As the nippy left hander, Ian Grimshaw, for St Nicholas battled away, first with Jordan Howarth and then with Mohammed Aslam, the Westholme men met them stride for stride. Excellent footwork from Jordan, along with accurate serving, forced the slight figure of the man in black, aka Josh Lee, to perfect his jump smashes and literally run his socks off! In the second men’s game, the very confident partnership of Simon and the website man himself, Alex Pimperton, gave the number 2 St Nicholas’ pairing, Ian and Mohammed Aslam, a run for their money in another good humoured yet competitive match.
Coming in to the mixed doubles, then, it was neck and neck and still all to play for.
First up, at top mixed, Lynne and Jordan faced Josh and Sarah for Westholme. Despite some excellent flat serving from the St Nicholas man and well balanced court coverage, the exuberance of Josh and the steady net play of Sarah saw the away team winning both games. On the adjacent court, the new partnership of Wendy and Alex for Westholme, came up against the long reach of Mohammed and his partner, Carol. With both couples working hard to cover each other, this match ended, quite rightly, one game a-piece. Flushed by their success, the second Westholme pair then went on to beat Jordan and Lynne, once someone had reminded Wendy she couldn’t go home yet as she had one more game to play! The St Nicholas’ second pairing, however, Mohammed and Carol, turned the tables on Josh and Sarah, as they faced some very high serving from Carol and several bruising rallies from the St Nicholas’ duo – most of which seemed to end up peppering Sarah Avent!
Arguably the most important game on the night was the meeting of the number 3 pairings, Ian and Louise for the home team and Helen and Simon for Westholme. Simon cleverly exploited the back hand area of the court and Helen delivered some punishing tramline services as the away team battled hard to win both games.
All in all, then, a very enjoyable and friendly game of badminton to watch. I know Westholme B are looking forward to welcoming back their Captain, Cathy Hunt, at their home game next week: and, if she hasn’t been reading little sister’s report, they will, I am sure, tell her all about their victory against St Nicholas.