In the Newmarket Badminton Federation leagues a topsey turvey season saw some top teams slide whereas the seasonís best performances were mainly from new entries.† Last yearís Ladies champions Ely slid to third, behind Impington who headed five teams within 2 points of each other but Abbeygate, re-entering the leagues after several years, were dominant.† Sohamís experience was rather different winning only 1 game out of 48 played.† Ely Menís A also slid to sixth in the First Division but their new menís entry blew away the opposition in the Menís Third Division with the leagueís only 100% winning record, conceding just 6 games and Elyís new Mixed B entry similarly won the second division, although Littleport gave them a run for their money.† Newly promoted Brandon were so close to winning the menís First division at their first attempt but St Edmunds went one better than last year regaining the title after some years with a superior games advantage over Brandon.† Crossways A face the drop from this Division.
LittleportĎs Menís team, relegated last season,† went one better than their Mixed winning the Second Division 2 points ahead of Newmarket A so should return to the First Division.† Burwell B managed to escape relegation from this Division last year but again find themselves in relegation spot.† In the Mixed First Division Con Club were the only team to retain their title, although St Phillips A were very close behind and both were well ahead of the rest.† The surprise is that Newmarket A, who struggled to field a regular first division strength team, find themselves in relegation spot so with the Menís A team narrowly failing to get promotion will start next season with only their ladies team playing First Division.
But a more major concern for Newmarket and indeed St Phillips, who both play club and matches at Scaltback Middle School, is that the venue is due to close before the next season so it is hoped that Suffolk County Council will be doing their upmost to avoid losing such a valuable community facility.
Littleport rounded off a generally successful season with a Rushworth cup final appearance but would probably accept that they didnít do themselves justice, particularly in the mixed, so even with the handicap were unable to snatch the trophy from Impington, who win for the second time in three years.
Two interesting snippets:
Last season St Phillips managed to field their B team at two locations on the same night using different squad members, but this season they had the opposite problem and had only 6 players to field B and C teams at home so, within league rules, two players played in both (with the courtesy of Borders A and B) and won both matches 4-2 on the last rubbers.
Despite the new rally point scoring system being used by the league for five years (well over a thousand matches), none had yet gone the distance to 30-29 points, so a milestone this season when St Phillipsís Phil May and Sally Peyton pushed Newmarketís Alistair Davidson and Helen Snowden who reached the maximum score.
Other to followÖ