NBF Report 31 May 2010


The stars of the Newmarket Badminton Federation Leagues this season are undoubtedly Cambridge Crossways.


Runners-up last year, they went one better in only their second season in the Men’s First Division by taking the title convincingly, undefeated.  St. Phillips, trying for five titles in a row, were the only side to trouble the new champions, drawing at home and then going down in a very tight match at Crossways, but they uncharacteristically stuttered dropping points against Ely Victoria and Haverhill, so had to settle for second place.  Ely, as last year, finished third, but they have gained some strong players so this division should be very competitive next season.  Linton had a poor season to finish bottom and, due to league restructuring, Newmarket are also again in a potential relegation spot, although three teams finished on 9 points, so this may make it tough to split this group.


Crossways, promoted last season, convincingly won the Mixed First Division at their first attempt.  Again St. Phillips were the only team to take points off them with a 5-4 win, although they were on the receiving end of some close 5-4 losses so finished lower than usual, just one above bottom place.  This went to Ely Victoria who’s previous all conquering league winning side switched to the Cambs league, so the new team struggled with the pace and are likely to go down.  Haverhill again finished runners-up, but only just above well-placed Newmarket on games difference.


Crossway Ladies were looking to make it a magnificent league treble and did the hard work by beating Haverhill 5-1 away, but then dropped points to Linton, St. Phillips and newcomers Impington, so couldn’t quite bring it home.  Better luck then for Haverhill who were pipped on games difference last season by Ely Victoria who, like their Mixed team, took a slide down the table. The league interestingly split into three groups – four teams close at the top, four on 7 points…and Soham, null points (only 2 games won out of 48).


Con Club were back up to strength this season, winning all their matches in the Mixed Second Division so will rightfully return to the First Division next season. There is (some) hope for Soham yet as, in this division, they finished above Litteport and also their men finished above Brandon B in Men’s Division Two.


So, in the remaining lower Men’s Divisions, Littleport cruised to the top of the Second division and new entrants Brandon A swept all before them, not dropping a single game in the Third, with newcomers Impington making a decent show in second place.  With the league restructuring it is difficult to say who will actually go up or down in these two divisions for next season – this will be decided at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 25th August 2010 – details are on the NBF website at www.newmarketbadmintonfederation.org.uk .


Two new teams contested the Rushworth Knockout trophy final this year, which was especially poignant this year because of the sad loss of a Federation founder, Roy Rushworth, earlier in the season and for St Edmunds who were hoping to take the trophy for team captain Chris Cory who was also taken from us recently.  On the night it was Impington, in their first season back in the Federation, who were victorious.