FIRST division badminton players were busy last week catching up with fixtures before the league splits. Two of the teams with designs on the title met at Sandwick when the Westside Bulls were the visitors.
Sandwick A 4, Westside Bulls 5 Anne Wood and Colin Grant were in control of the first mixed rubber against Sarah Grogan and Kevin Smith and they won 21-18, 21-15.
Sandwick redressed the balance when Joan Smith and Norman Sineath defeated Suzanne Inkster and Erik Henry, winning in two sets after surviving a very close first set.
Two top juniors were involved in the third mixed match. May Wiseman partnered Shane Jamieson to defeat Jane Morton and Stuart Sineath 23-21, 21-10 to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead.
Some of the most exciting play came in the level doubles as with both teams desperate for victory the rallies became longer and the games tighter.
Norman and Kevin beat Erik and Colin comprehensively and the father and son combination of Norman and Stuart saw off Erik and Shane, also in two sets.
The last men’s match of the night saw a mixture of youth and experience on both sides of the court with the Bulls’ pairing of Shane and Colin taking on Stuart and Kevin. A relaxed but consistent performance for young Shane helped the Bulls to a two-set win.
The Westside Bulls’ women played their part by winning two of the three women’s matches, although Joan and Jane had given the home side a boost coming from a set down to win against Suzanne and May 10-21, 21-17, 21-16.
Anne and Suzanne against Sarah and Joan was another fast-paced three-set match. The Bulls took the first set 21-10 and Sandwick took the second set 21-17. Well placed shots from Anne and good net kills from Suzanne in the third gave the Bulls a 21-14 win.
Westside Bulls 2, Yell A 7 This was never going to be an easy one for the Bulls against the strength of Yell A. However, the convincing win was hugely influenced by an injury to Bulls’ David Thomson.
The first mixed saw Anne Wood and David take on Audrey Leask and Graham Keith. The Bulls’ pair had taken the first set and were leading in the second when David injured himself. However, the brave Bulls’ pair decided to try to finish the match with David taking position at the net. Their determination was rewarded by winning the game 21-18.
Annette Gear and Maurice Haining made short work of Suzanne Inkster and Erik Henry, winning 21-8, 21-13, and in a closer match Tammie Shields and Arnold Brown beat May Wiseman and Shane Jamieson 21-17, 21-15. David’s injury really put the match beyond the Bulls’ reach and although they picked up one of the men’s level doubles the other two had to be conceded. Yell A’s women totally dominated their level doubles, taking all three rubbers with Annette’s contribution crucial. Whalsay A 2, Yell A 7 Audrey Leask and Graham Keith won comfortably in two sets against Louise Hutchison and John Lowrie Irvine, as did Annette Gear and Maurice Haining against Loraine Anderson and Magnie Irvine.
However, the third mixed match provided one of the closest matches of the day. Mother and son Vaila and Sandy Kay recovered from losing a close first set, eventually winning a thrilling third set against the young Yell pair Stephanie Keith and Daryl Guthrie 19-21, 21-18, 24-22.
Vaila was involved in the home team’s other win when in another three-set match she partnered Loraine to victory over Annette and Stephanie 19-21, 21-19, 21-19.
Yell A took all the remaining women’s doubles in straight sets while the visitors also dominated the men’s doubles, winning all three. Whalsay’s Sandy and Magnie managed to take Maurice and Daryl to three sets but overall this was a comfortable victory for Yell A.
JOHN LEASK & SON DIVISION ONE P W L Pts Westside Bulls 4 3 1 10 Sandwick A 4 3 1 10 Yell A 4 2 2 8 Aith A 3 2 1 7 Whalsay A 3 0 3 3 Yell B 2 0 2 2 DIVISION TWO P W L Pts Unst A 4 4 0 12 Whalsay B 4 2 2 8 Unst B 4 2 2 8 Yell C 3 2 1 7 St Clement’s 2 2 0 6 Sandwick B 3 1 2 5 Aith B 3 0 3 3 Burra 2 1 0 3 Gulberwick 3 0 3 3