DAN Mounsey has helped Saddleworth ‘A’ arrest their slide in the second division of the Oldham and Rochdale Badminton League.
Without a win in 2019, the ‘A’ team needed reinforcements and fringe player Mounsey answered the call.
Mounsey, who had been in and out of both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams this season, is known as a reliable and steady performer and with him in the side the ‘A’ team’s fortunes were reversed.
After three straight wins, the promotion push may still be on for Saddleworth ‘A’ who beat an inexperienced Shawclough 17-1, Kingsway Phoenix 15-3 and Failsworth Falcons 11-7.
Falcons had inflicted Saddleworth’s first defeat of the season in November, but they avenged that loss.
The score was finely poised at 8-7 to Saddleworth with three games to play. They needed one game to push victory over the line but took all three.
The ‘B’ team also visited Failsworth Falcons in February but in a different competition, the quarter final of the handicap cup.
The handicap was always going to be in Saddleworth ‘B’s favour but there would still be a real fight needed to secure a semi-final spot.
Failsworth began well, winning nine of the first 10 games. However, it is points per game that matter overall and, with a resurgence in taking four of the next five, the game was back on.
Saddleworth needed an average of 13 points from their last three games. Averaging only 12 points per game in the next two games, Saddleworth were playing a dangerous game and teetering on the edge of being knocked out.
They lost the next two, the first to eight and the second to 16. This left the final partnership of Russell Stellman and Ray Novotny with 15 needed from the final game, but they fell disappointingly short with just nine.
Saddleworth, by a very narrow margin of six points, exited the cup in their debut season. A serve or two in the net with a few more unforced errors was the difference between glory and defeat.
February also brought a tough home league match for Saddleworth ‘B’ against Tottington. Earlier this season Tottington had beaten the ‘B’ team 13-5 in the reverse fixture.
The opening exchanges were cagy and Saddleworth failed to make the most of home advantage.
However, the familiar partnership of Nick Roe and Caroline Roodhouse provided the consistency and finishing needed to secure a 12-6 win.
A special mention for Caroline who took the sports person nomination in both of the ‘B’ team games. In the Roodhouse family it is usually Caroline’s daughters who get the sporting plaudits for their swimming, but Caroline is keeping up with them on the sporting achievement front.
Saddleworth have some crunch fixtures coming up in March. Both teams are making a push for the top of their respective leagues, Saddleworth ‘A’ with a real chance of promotion to the first division.