Uphill stretch their lead

BADMINTON - UPHILL Badminton Club had another excellent result for the A team, but the D and E teams results were disappointing.

UPHILL Badminton Club had another excellent result for the A team, but the D and E teams results were disappointing.

The A team, playing at home, had a top of the league match against Clevedon Feathers A, which they won by 7 rubbers to 2. This was a match that produced some excellent badminton for the spectators with four of the rubbers going to three games.

The first two mixed were won in straight games for Uphill, with Becky Matthews and Paul Edwards winning the first 21-17, 21-13 and this was followed by captain Nicky Mills and Mark Edwards winning the second 21-15, 22-20. The third was more closely contended as Becky Halfpenny and Matt Cole were taken to three games by Maria Lewis and Mike Brett before losing 21-12, 20-22, 17-21.

The first two ladies' doubles were hard fought three game rubbers. In the first, Becky Matthews and Nicky Mills came out on top, beating Viv Edwards and Heather Priestley 21-18, 19-21, 21-16. The second saw Becky Matthews and Becky Halfpenny win 19-21, 21-11, 21-17 with the final point producing an animated reaction from Becky Matthews. Heather Priestley and Maria Lewis then won the third rubber in straight games.

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The first men's rubber was close and had both sets of supporters on tenterhooks. This was a situation with the able youthful exuberance of Rob Armstrong and Will Hollis, of Clevedon, on one side of the net, and the more experienced Paul and Mark Edwards on the other side. The first game was won by Paul and Mark 21-18, but in a thrilling second game Rob and Will won 21-23. The final game of the rubber looked to be going Rob and Wills way, as they twice opened up four-point leads, only for Paul and Mark to fight their way back and then at the death win 22-20.

If Rob and Will learn to control their temperament they will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years. The final two men's rubbers were won comfortably by Uphill in straight games, first by Paul and Matt 21-15, 21-15 and the second by Mark and Matt 21-19, 21-13.

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This leaves the A team 15 points clear on level matches at the top of the table, having dropped only five rubbers from four matches, winning 11 rubbers out of 12 mixed, eight out of 12 ladies' and 12 out of 12 men's.

The D team of Fiona Singleton, Robin Curry, captain Sue Garrett, Grant Kelly, Rachel Harding and Dave Barnes were away to Nailsea and Yatton B whom they had recently beaten at home 7-2. On this occasion the tables were reversed as Nailsea and Yatton B won 7-2.

N and Y won the first mixed but Sue and Grant won the second 20-22, 16-21.

The third was taken to three games by Fiona and Dave before losing 14-21, 21-15, 21-15,

The first two ladies' rubbers were won by N and Y in straight games but Sue and Fiona fought hard against Dee Nicol and Ann Horsefield before losing a close encounter 21-13, 21-23, 22-20.

In the first men's, Robin and Grant lost anther three game rubber 16-21, 21-15, 21-17. The second rubber saw Robin and Dave win in straight games 18-21,18-21.

Despite a disappointing final scoreline, the overall match was competitive with three rubbers going to three games which, as with the first match, could have resulted with a 5-4 score going either way. This time Nailsea and Yatton won all the three rubbers.

The E team juniors were at home to Chew Valley B and lost 9-0. Kate Robinson, Andrew Potts, Emily Look, Billy Fear, Emily Walker and Sonny Topham played well at this stage in their development, against a much more experienced team which included one of their A team men.

In the first mixed the Uphill pair lost in straight games but the second pair of Emily Look and Billy started well, winning their first game 21-12, but then lost the next two 21-19, 21-12. The third was also lost in straight games.

The first ladies' rubber produced some good badminton by Kate and Emily Look before going down 17-21, 21-19, 12-21. The other two rubbers were both won by Chew Valley in straight games.

In the first men's, Andrew and Billy lost in straight games against Alex Dadley and Stuart Metcalf 18-21, 17-21. In the second, Andrew and Sonny, playing his first senior league match this season, did well to only lose 19-21, 15-21 against Alex Dadley and Stuart Metcalf. The last rubber was also won in straight sets by Chew Valley.

This is the juniors first loss and will have been a useful learning experience for them.

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