SADDLEWORTH Badminton Club has had a challenging start to its 2019-20 season.
The club again has two teams in the Oldham and Rochdale Badminton League, the ‘A’ team is perennial stalwarts in the second division and a relatively new ‘B’, who debuted last season, in the third division.
However this year Saddleworth ‘B’ were in difficulty even before the season started at the end of September.
The club has had to ask the league for permission to postpone and rearrange its first two fixtures of the season as they were unable to field a team. This was a blow and not a great start for the fledgling team.
The extra two weeks will hopefully allow the team to gather more recruits, injuries to heal and some players to return from holiday. The situation is compounded by the fact that the ‘A’ team has two key players injured, Tom Jones and Waz Haq. The former with a three to four week lay-off, the latter a somewhat longer and conservative hope for a return before Christmas. With reinforcements drafted to the ‘A’ team from the ‘B’ team, the club overall is light on numbers at the start of the season.
With the ‘B’ team’s fixtures not now commencing until early October, the ‘A’ team was the only side in action in September.
Saddleworth ‘A’ played division two newcomers Bury Badminton Club. Sam Hodgkiss has returned to Saddleworth for the 2019-20 season, having taken last season out when he and his partner welcomed their first child, and he was straight into the starting line-up. The usual partnership of Andy and Neil Mills was broken up to try to accommodate the newer players to the ‘A’ team.
Saddleworth made life hard for themselves in the opening games, mistakes, miss shots and sloppy play meant that they lost three of the first four.
As the match progressed the change up in the pairings paid dividends and Saddleworth started to find their rhythm. Winning 10 of the next 11 games put Saddleworth in an unassailable lead.
Saddleworth would have wanted a bigger margin of victory against a newly promoted team and with fewer mistakes could maybe have taken those extra games. However, the Saddleworth based club’s first fixture ended with a pleasing 12-6 victory.
If you have played badminton before then Saddleworth Badminton Club is always looking for new players, socially as well as for the teams. The club plays on Wednesday evenings. Contact Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07949 346 347 for more information.