Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Lightbown Takes His Tally to 17 Titles in Benfield 'Uppers' Badminton

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Lightbown Takes His Tally to 17 Titles in Benfield 'Uppers' Badminton

Article excerpt

THE annual "Uppers" Tournament took place at the Benfield Centre last weekend and, as ever, produced some excellent play.

Malcolm Lightbown and Sarah Renton both won two doubles, and there were wins for Ira Banerjee and Kate McGill. Andrew Pollard took the men's singles and the doubles with Lightbown. His double took Malcolm's overall total of "Uppers" titles to 17 since his first win in the singles in 1993.

The men's singles on Friday saw a busy evening for Carl Gibbons, who had three, three-setters in a row, finally succumbing to Kristian Stuart in the quarter-final, Kristian subsequently losing out to Andy Pollard, playing singles for the first time since he won the title in 2008.

In the other half of the draw, top seed Rob Wetherell had to retire in the first round with a calf injury and Mark Murphy took full advantage to advance to the final on Sunday. In the absence of North's leading lights in the ladies singles, Ira Banerjee took the title defeating Victoria Brewis in the final in two sets.

The mixed doubles on Sunday morning saw Malcolm Lightbown and Sarah Renton make the final with a minimum of fuss, but the other semi-final featured an excellent contest between Matthew Andrews and Claire Lapworth and second seeds Andy Pollard and Gill Hay which the former just edged 22-20 in the third set.

Like all others before them, they could make little headway in the final and went down to Malcolm and Sarah in two sets.

The ladies doubles ran true to form and saw Sarah complete her double, partnered by Katherine McGill although the final couldn't have been much closer.

The lead changed hands no fewer than seven times before they won the opening set from 17-19 down.

They just about kept their noses in front throughout the second set before being caught at 16-all and then going 19-16 down. …

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