Having beaten Durham in their opening match 9-6, North entered the fray against league leaders Cheshire 2nds with some confidence on Sunday but even they could not have foreseen a final winning scoreline of 12-3, especially as their opponents were previously unbeaten this season.
A typically straightforward 2-set win from Sarah Renton got North on the scoreboard. The men couldn’t emulate that but both took a set and were unfortunate to lose narrowly in the third, to 18 and 17, both having been competitive throughout. In the absence of Victoria Brewis, it was Emma Reastons’ turn to step up and she made no mistake to bring North back level at 2-all.
The men’s doubles looked a stern test featuring as it did the winners of the Northumberland Senior Silver, Andy Cooper and Dave Edgar. This didn’t faze Malcolm Lightbown and Rob Wetherell however and a combination of dominating the forecourt and retrieving well when needed, saw them edge the opening set to 19. With Mal particularly quick onto the net, the second set followed a similar course and they ran out winners to 17.With Andy McGill and Mark Murphy also beating their counterparts in two sets North led 4-2, a score that rapidly became 6-2 as both ladies pairs won with some ease.
A point already secured then but victory looking on the cards and North did not let up. It was Andy and Marks’ turn to take on the visitors top pair and they so nearly pulled off victory. Coming from well behind in their opening set, they saved several set points before catching up to 20-all only to lose narrowly 23-21. They went behind again in the second set but again rallied strongly and his time took it to 19. The decider was nip and tuck and only a couple of marginal errors at the death denied them victory as they went down 21-17.
7-3 to North and Sarah and Emma soon secured the victory, another straight set win from Katherine McGill and Jenny Ward taking North to 9-3. Only one mixed needed for a 3-0 points win!
Mal and Sarah set off like a house on fire, taking their opener to single figures and soon clinching the vital tenth rubber. The remaining two mixed were also secured with some comfort taking North to a final score of 12-3, an excellent team effort which bodes well for their next outing, away to Cumbria on 16th December. Before that, North’s seconds travel to Ribby Hall to play Lancashire 4ths this coming Sunday with a 12 noon start.
Full Result (Northumberland players first):-
Mark Murphy lost to Dave Edgar 19-21,21-16,18-21; Rob Wetherell lost to Steve Dawson 21-18,18-21,17-21; Sarah Renton beat Anna Wilson 21-6,21-16; Emma Reaston beat Ruth Flatman 21-11,21-15;
Malcolm Lightbown & Wetherell beat Edgar & Andy Cooper 21-17,21-19; beat Dawson & Keith Cuncarr 21-10,21-17; Andrew McGill & Murphy beat Dawson & Cuncarr 21-17,21-15; lost to Edgar & Cooper 21-23,21-19,17-21;
Sarah Renton & Emma Reaston beat Kay Vickers & Anna Wilson 21-11,21-13; beat Ruth Flatman & Claire Symonnedes 21-16,21-13; Katherine McGill & Jenny Ward beat Flatman & Symonnedes 21-11,21-15; beat Vickers & Wilson 21-15,21-17;
Lightbown & Renton beat Dawson & Vickers 21-7,21-13; Murphy & McGill beat Edgar & Wilson 21-11,21-14; McGill & Ward beat Cooper & Symonnedes 21-19,21-15.