THE Bolton Badminton League season began this week with a new format of three sections instead of four.

In A Section, Westhoughton A, who finished sixth last season, hosted Hawkshaw A who were runners-up, and the match was decided by just a couple of games.

Westhoughton established a lead when first couple Sarah Jameson and John Davenport beat Sarah Gradwell and Ollie Gregory, Hawkshaw’s second couple, 21-11, 21-16.

Hawkshaw hit back when Debbie Taylor and Matt Green, Hawkshaw’s number one pairing, won their game 21-12. The result was reversed in the second game which ended 21-18 to Ann Hurst and James Lowe.

When the third couples met their games were also shared, Becca Shurvington and Richard Williams won the first 24-22, and Jeanette Norris and Paul Baker took the second 21-13.

The teams continued to share games and in the opening couples’ clash Jameson and Davenport won the first for Westhoughton 21-16 and Taylor and Green reciprocated by taking the second 21-16.

In the second couples’ games, Hawkshaw’s Gradwell and Gregory claimed the first 21-15, and Hurst and Lowe took the second 21-10.

Going into the level doubles, the score was 6-4 in Westhoughton’s favour but the games were again shared, Hawkshaw’s Norris and Taylor winning the first 21-16 and Shurvington and Jameson claiming the second 21-19, keeping Westhoughton ahead.

Another shared set came in the first pair of men’s games with Hawkshaw’s Baker and Green taking the first 21-16 and Westhoughton’s Williams and Davenport claiming the second 21-17.

Westhoughton then established their advantage in the second pair of ladies’ games, Shurvington and Hurst winning 21-10, 21-16, against Norris and Gradwell, a result which proved to be decisive, securing the win for their team.

The match returned to form in the final pair of men’s games, Hawkshaw’s Baker and Gregory claiming the first 21-17, and Williams and Lowe taking the second 21-14, meaning an overall win of 11-7 for Westhoughton.

In a C Section match that went to wire, Westhoughton E, who finished eighth last term played Sharples C who finished top of the old D Section last season.

The opening games were shared when Sharples’ Linzi Casey and Steve Duckworth claimed the first 22-20, and Louise Vernon and Geoff Everitt took the second 21-9 for Westhoughton.

Sharples’ first couple, Eileen Beeney and Nick Hitchen, won both games comfortably 21-12, 21-5, against Julie Bennett and Daniel Clayson.

When the third couples met, Westhoughton’s Karen Hodgin and Paul Soppelsa won convincingly, 21-10, 21-8, against Allar Afshari and David Fairclough.

Sharples’ then claimed the following four games. In the first couples’ clash, Beeney and Hitchen took both games 21-8, 21-16, against Vernon and Everitt and Sharples’ Casey and Duckworth dug in to take both games 21-19, 21-17, against Bennett and Clayson.

Sharples’ were up 7-3 going into the level doubles and Afshari and Beeney shared the first pair of ladies’ games, winning the first 21-13 before Hodgin and Vernon took the second 21-18.

The first pair of men’s games was won by Westhoughton’s Soppelsa and Everitt 21-12, 23-21, against Fairclough and Hitchen.

Westhoughton’s Hodgin and Bennett claimed the second pair of ladies’ games 21-8, 21-4 against Afshari and Casey.

It looked like Westhoughton would go on to claim the match as they had fought back to a score of 8-8 with only the final men’s games to play.

But the determined Sharples’ pair of Fairclough and Duckworth won both games 21-7, 21-15, against Soppelsa and Clayson, to claim a 10-8 win for their team.