OAKGATE got their first point on the board when they denied Markland Hill A a fourth straight win in the Bolton Badminton League Section A.

Visitors Oakgate, who are seventh out of nine clubs in the section, were mostly chasing the game but refused to let Markland Hill take it away from them.

The hosts, who went into the match with three wins out of three games, made a flying start when their first couple, Ruth Flatman and Liam Walsh, comfortably beat Neelam Khan and Nyan Min 21-5, 21-8.

The second pair of games was shared with Oakgate’s Katrina McKinley and Ali Choudary taking the first 21-12 and Tracy Walker and David Saunders claiming the second 22-20.

When the third couples met Oakgate’s Laura Woodburn and Josh Yeung won two close games 22-20, 21-19 against Wendy Higgin and Paul Hope.

In the first couples’ clash the games were shared, Oakgate’s McKinley and Choudary taking the first 22-20 and Flatman and Walsh winning the second 21-18.

Markland Hill’s Walker and Saunders claimed both games when the second couples met – 21-8, 21-7 against Khan and Min.

Going into the level doubles Markland Hill were just in front 6-4.

Oakgate’s Woodburn and McKinley then claimed the first pair of ladies’ games 21-10, 21-14 against Higgin and Flatman to level the score.

Oakgate then took the lead for the first time when Yeung and Choudary won the first pair of men’s games 21-14, 21-15 against Hope and Walsh.

In the second pair of ladies’ games Higgin and Walker fought back to claim both 21-7, 21-8, against Woodburn and Khan.

In the final men’s games, Hope and Saunders claimed the first 21-19 for Markland Hill but the determined pair of Yeung and Min took the final decisive game 21-14 to claim a draw.

In the match between Westhoughton C, currently third in Section B with two wins, two draws and a defeat from their opening five games, and GMT, who have won one and drawn two of their first three matches of the season, proved to be another thrilling draw with the result in doubt up to the final game.

Westhoughton C won the opening games convincingly when first couple Danni Higman and Adam Carney claimed both games 21-13, 21-16 against Wendy Jones and Andy Birch.

Fourth-placed GMT’s response was to take the next four games, first couple Sharon Mulholland and Alex Smith winning their games 21-16, 21-13 against Mandy Gow and John Cole, followed by Karen Hodgin and Zayn Shah taking both games 21-16, 21-19 against Lauren Muddiman and Sean Clegg when the third couples met.

The first couples’ games were shared when GMT’s Mulholland and Alex Smith took the first 21-16 and Higman and Carney claimed the second 21-10.

In the second couples’ clash Westhoughton’s Gow and Cole won 21-17, 21-10 against Jones and Birch.

Going into the level doubles the match was all square at 5-5. The first pair of ladies’ games was shared, Westhoughton’s Muddiman and Higman taking the first 21-18, and Hodgin and Mulholland claiming the second 21-17.

The first pair of men’s games proved to be close before GMT took the honours, Shah and Smith beating Clegg and Carney 21-19, 21-19.

Westhoughton’s Muddiman and Gow then levelled the match, winning the second pair of ladies’ games 21-18, 21-16 against Hodgin and Jones.

GMT’s Shah and Birch won the first of the final men’s games but, in a battle of nerves, Clegg and Cole dug deep to claim the final game 27-25 and earn a deserved draw.