Abbeydale are the biggest club in Yorkshire, over 400 members. Their first team is top of Division One and they have a fantastic badminton centre to play at.
Bridlington, with three regular players unavailable, were stretched but in most of the matches put up a great effort.
Club stalwarts Paul Robinson and Nigel Fell were agonisingly unlucky to win a men’s match, losing 21-18 11-21 21-19. Then, in their next men’s against Matt Stacey, a Nottinghamshire county second team player and Yorkshire player Oliver Cohen, the Bridlington pair lost 21-19 21-14.
Helen Brice was the star player for Bridlington, At 42 years old she played really well in her singles only to lose 21-17 21-19 to V Smith, who is a regular singles player.
Brice and T Elliott–Hobson lost their first match but won their second game 21-15 21-12 against V Smith and J Smith.
Elliot-Hobson, like Brice, is a former Yorkshire player in her youth but hasn’t played competively for many years. However, she was was outstanding in her debut and will only strengthen Brid’s team.
Another debutant Hannah Longman partnered Jo Robinson they put up a good effort in their second match, losing to Smith and Smith 24-22 21-12.
Longman enjoyed the experience even though she couldn’t believe the difference in standard at Yorkshire League compared to the local league. She realises she will have to raise her game and her fitness if she wants to compete at this level in the future.
Paul Robinson and Brice have not played mixed together for many a year, as Robinson usually plays with Claire Park who was unavailable for this match.
They won their first match against Stacey and V Smith. Robinson said: “It has to go down as one of my best mixed victories ever, especially as me and Helen have not played together for many years.
“Helen was brilliant in the match. Stacey was a class act, young, with a lot of natural ability and quick and Smith was brilliant at the net and had a really good defence.
“We beat them because we had a better attitude on court and desire to win. Stacey, especially, needs to work on his attitude.”
In the second mixed, Fell and Elliott- Hobson were so unlucky to lose 21-16 21-18 23-21 as they were outstanding and played their hearts out.
Fell was unlucky to break strings during the match which did affect his match for three or four points until he got use to his new racket.
In the third mixed, Fox and Robinson put up a good effort losing 21-19 21-17 but hey gave their opponents a three-point start in both sets which at Yorkshire League level you cannot do.
Captain Robinson said: “We are going to find it hard to stay up this year because clubs like Acklam and Middlesbrough, when playing away struggle to raise a team so give matches away and sometimes forfeit the whole match.
“When they play at home they are very strong. This can make a mockery of the league and some results.
“We play them both away so we are expecting very tough matches.
“I am just extremely proud of our team. We are a small town with a team struggling with injuries to key players but we always will raise a team and never default and give a club a freebie match because we cannot raise a team.
“We love the challenge to play massive clubs like Abbeydale and York and Hull who have badminton centres and a lot more players to choose from than us.”