Sidmouth are crowned Division 1 champions, with an unassailable lead after notching up their 9th win of the season.
The Sidmouth team of John Carter, Chris Bird, Martin Schmidt, Dan Corby, Harry Williams and Paul Owens all contributed to their 5-4 win, despite having to concede the final rubber due to injury. Once again the Saints No1 pair of Zac Phillips and Charles Wardale showed their teammates how to play the game with 3 wins, but Sidmouth’s greater staying power saw them through.
Captain John Carter speaking of his teams first Division 1 title for 14 years said “It’s been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise, we considered it a challenge we didn’t want to lose”
Queens have had a mixed season, a long away from their performance last season, and this is reflected in their last 2 matches. A 2 pair Queens team succumbed to a 7-2 reverse at the hands of Ringswell A, with the Ringswell pair of Anthony Clark and Adrian Freeman playing some great badminton that was made in heaven and being rewarded with 3 wins.
Queens bounced back to show they can still be a “Killer Queens” team, with a full team of Nathan Scase, Ben Jordan, Nick Masson, Ben Herbert, Ian Kirby and Jim Teale beating Exeter A 8-1.
3rd placed Ringswell A could only field 2 pairs for their match against bottom placed Exeter B, but the pairs of Adrian Freeman/Barry Harriss and Nigel Osborne/Andy Taylor came away with an exceptional 6-3 win. This loss left the hammer to fall on Exeter’s B tenure in Division 1.
Speaking after the match, Ringswell’s Nigel said “We have a seaside rendezvous coming up against Sidmouth. We are doing all right but want to break 3, and finish in second place – in fact I want it all”
In Division 2 Chulmleigh A have only one vision – to win the Division and are now red hot favourites to win the Division after a further 3 wins to extend their unbeaten run to 8 matches.
Chulmleigh’s Matt Harvey and Ben “The Hitman” Hamill are having a breakthrough season with a 100% win record and once again didn’t misfire as they guided their team to a 6-3 win over title rivals St Leonards B.
Otter Vale A are in good company with Saints B as they also lost to Chulmleigh 6-3. The first game of the night between Otter Vale’s Nick Williamson/Rob Jackson and Chulmleigh’s Matt and Ben went the full distance 30-29 to Chulmleigh. Afterwards the Otter pair were left to question whether it was all worth it but decided the match must go on.
The Chulmleigh team of Ben, Matt, George Suliaskes, Mat Older, Jake Lomax and Martin Griffiths had a tough match against Exeter C, and were under pressure with 6 of the rubbers going to a 3rd game, but came away with a miracle 8-1 win.
Non playing Captain Adrian Bourner was full of praise of his team said after the match “ Badminton is the love of my life, but as for playing in Division1 next season, I do ask myself - Is this the real life, is this just fantasy? ”
Ringswell B are rushing headlong to relegation from Division 2, with signs being that there is no going back for them, after a resounding 9-0 loss to St Leonards B. The match was over in a flash. They then lost 6-3 to a resurgent 2 pair St Leonards C. St Leonards C have now gone past ‘39 points for the season – enough to save them from relegation.
Chulmleigh B have finished their season with 66 points and jumped to top spot in Division 3a after 3 8-1 wins on the trot, but found it was a hard life to keep the unbeaten run going when they lost their final match of the season 6-3 to St Leonards D.
Matt Adcock, Ashley Marshall, Joe Court, Harry Elson, Rob Warren and Paul Smith overcame 3rd placed Otter Vale B 8-1, with Andy Horsnell replacing Rob for their 8-1 win over Honiton. John Down came in for Andy but it was the same story- another ones bites the dust – as Chulmleigh D beat 2 pair Exeter D 8-1
St Leonards D remain the only team that can stop Chulmleigh B winning the Division, but will need a kind of magic to topple them. The Saints team of Lee Clatworthy, Barry Smethurst, Raschel Hussain, Barrie Sharman, Jason Gubbins and Martin Matthews came away with an 8-1 win over Otter Vale B.
They then went on to beat Chulmleigh D 6-3 to make sure that with one match to go their title bid is in their hands and not in the lap of the Gods. The match was effectively decided when Chulmleigh’s Matt Adcock found out that pain is so close to pleasure after a nasty fall forced him to retire badly injured, conceding 2 rubbers to Saints.
Exeter D completed their season with their second win of the season – 8-1 – over bottom placed Honiton. Captain Ian Halliday and his partner Scott Ashcroft put in a bijou of a performance to win all 3, with the Torres brother s bagging a brace of wins.