With a few matches to go it looked like Newmarket could have been on for a clean sweep of all the league and cup competitions in the Newmarket Badminton Federation, but in the end they had to share the honours with Linton and Newmarket-based rivals St. Phillips. The tables show the final league positions.
Newmarket’s Ladies A, as usual, dominated the First Division although they are slipping – last year they only dropped one game but this year they dropped two (out of 48) – one against second placed Haverhill and the other game being the only crumb of comfort for St. Phillips who finished in relegation place for the first time in recent memory. Newmarket’s strength in depth was evident with their B side making a Haverhill Sandwich.
Newmarket’s Mixed A also retained their League title losing just one match, finding St. Phillips A a tougher proposition this year. Although the Saints lost to Ely Victoria at the end of the season, they pipped them on games difference to finish second, their highest mixed league position for some years.
Then it started going wrong - although Newmarket’s Men’s A made a much better showing this year in a very competitive First Division, they could not overcome last year’s runners-up St. Phillips A who beat their weaker side and drew against Newmarket’s full might in an end of season show-down. Had Newmarket not been hit by injury and been able to field their top squad more often then the league may have been tighter, but they had to settle for runners-up, just ahead of Burwell who, in their first season in the first division, impressed as the only side to beat the Saints.
Although Newmarket, who usually have to play off stiff handicaps, did well to make the final of the Rushworth knockout tournament, they could not overcome a resurgent Linton on the night. This rounded of a memorable season for Linton – their Ladies topped the Second Division and their Mixed side, only just promoted into the Mixed Second Division, just missed further promotion to the First on games difference, behind Haverhill. Newmarket B, relegated from the First Division last year, continue to slide, finishing a sad bottom place in the Second.
Season’s formalities were Borders Men remaining unbeaten as they cast all aside to return to the First Division and St. Phillips Mixed B doing likewise except for one unplayed match being conceded. Soham A had a good season, behind the Saints in second place.