The off-season proved to be one of ups and downs for Mapperley Park Badminton club, writes Andy Shaw.
The downs: losing 10 ladies players across the board, meaning a reshuffle of the ladies and mixed teams and the removal of two teams.
The ups: acquiring a second venue, Arnold Hill Academy, for extra club nights and matches. This has enabled us to use the traditional Monday evenings as a training night.
Despite the heavy losses on the ladies side, the club did pick up seven new male players, allowing us to field a 4th men’s team.
The opening month of the season has been a mixed bag, as is usually the case with new players being integrated into teams.
In the men’s, the 1st team were without captain Andy Shaw due to illness. They lost 7-2 in the Premier League to defending champions Bingham. Craig Day and Steve Smith taking the two rubbers in a result that flattered the visitors. The 2nd men’s, back in division 1 for the first time in three years, started their campaign with a comfortable 9-0 victory over Southwell. The team had two debutants in Simon Cattermole and Zayd Sheikh.
The 3rd men’s, also promoted last season, have been right into the thick of the action. They opened with a tough loss to Rolls Royce, but followed up with back to back wins V Boots and Chilwell.
Another promoted team, 2nd ladies, faced Mansfield Oaktree in their division 1 opener. The 7-2 loss slightly undeserved after several close games.
In the mixed, the 1st team and 2nd team faced each other in division 1. The 1st team recording a hard fought 9-0 victory. The 1st team then went on to beat last season’s division 2 champions, Bingham, 7-2. The 3rd mixed, after storming to the title last season, faced a strong Carlton 2nd team at Arnold Academy. The highlight in an 8-1 loss was Rhia Simmonds making her 3rd team debut. Harry and Kath taking the solitary rubber.