Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North Team Go Inter Count Battle - but Lose Their Opener

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North Team Go Inter Count Battle - but Lose Their Opener

Article excerpt

Northumberland Badminton Association's first team opened its Inter-County Championship season with a narrow 8-7 defeat against arguably the strongest team in the section.

The newly-promoted Lanarkshire side, who only re-entered the ICC four seasons ago but have been promoted every year, can call on several full Scottish internationals ( and did so with Keith Turnbull fresh from playing in the Hungarian Open.

Northumberland were able to call upon Sarah Renton for her county debut in the match at Newcastle's Benfield Centre.

Adam Tingle continued his good form in stretching full-time player Jamie Neill to the limit before finally succumbing in the third after more than an hour of quality singles play.

With Katherine Gray and Sarah Renton recording victories, the scores were level at 2-2 going into the level doubles.

Alison Thompson and Katie Wright quickly won at first string, as did Kristian Stuart and Martin Fagan at second string and Malcolm Lightbown and Steve Swan did well to take their opening set from Turnbull and Neill before losing in three sets, the extremely tall Turnbull using his height to great effect.

Meanwhile, the closest game of the day was in progress and Kate Gray and Debbie Porter were unlucky to lose 17-14 in the third after the Scots saved a match point at 13-14.

It was 4-4 going into the reverse doubles and, with only Thompson and Wright winning, North were 7-5 down.

Stuart and Gray were first to do battle in the mixed but were edged out 15-13 in the third.

There was still a point to play for, however, North needing either of the remaining two mixed.

Lightbown and Wright, doing especially well straight from a night shift, duly clinched their game in two sets while a sterling effort from an under-the-weather Steve Swan, filling in for the injured Martin Fagan, and Alison Thompson clinched the last rubber in three sets. …

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