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Nov 2013

Sept 2013

Oldbury Vs. Ashton Ladies 1

Ashton Ladies 1 vs Oldbury


After an exciting win last week versus Oldbury away, just 8 days later saw Ashton ladies first team host the return match. The same four ladies representing Ashton’s, captain had high hopes for a similar result, remaining undefeated for the first half of the season.

However not all went to plan. Oldbury arrived with a stronger team that the previous match. They were there to win. After a few initial complaints – net too low, floor too slippy – the match got on its way.

Unfortunately not the way we wanted it to. Sarah and Stacey, in normal fashion took their game to three, using it as more of a warm up that a chance to get a head start. Losing 17-21,21-15,16-21. Amy and Chloe had a similar start. With a number of controversial line calls and scoring issues, they lost 21-18,10-21, 19-21. Ultimately a very close game in the third, but the girls too quiet to argue the calls.

2-0 to Oldbury, not the start Ashton’s had in mind.

Next matches saw Sarah and Amy partner, and Stacey and Chloe. Two very close games for Sarah and Amy, but Oldbury clenching the win 21-19,21-18. Whilst that game was going on, Stacey and Chloe had started positively; at 9-1 up Oldbury’s fourth lady – Linda Rowe – hobbled off the back of the court. Taking a seat she explained she felt a pop in her Achilles, not something we wanted to hear! With a doctor on her side Linda was advised to retire from the game. Oldbury called in a sub to play the final game.

3-1 to Oldbury, Ashton’s needed 2 wins out of 2 to get a draw.

Whilst awaiting the sub, play jumped out of order. Stacey and Amy went ahead, easily gaining points, winning 21-10. Second game both lost concentration, but woke up in the final points winning 21-19.

On arrival of Oldbury’s sub the final game got on its way. Brilliant play from Sarah and Chloe to win 21-15. A nail-biting second game, it was clear both teams wanted to win. But with Sarah and Chloe on top form, they won 21-19.

Ladies Badminton - Oldbury3-3. Ashton’s ladies first team remain undefeated and at the top of the league. Next game not until after Christmas.

Information from Linda the following day said the Achilles is still intact with no tear, but unfortunately she is out until next season.

Team Captain – Stacey Horne

Oldbury has a new venue but no new shuttles

Oldbury vs Ashton Ladies 1


Our first away game of the season took ladies 1 to the brand new venue Dudley Evolve against Oldbury. Oldbury are known as one of the few clubs that still play with plastic shuttles. There was hope that with the new venue came a change shuttle preference. No such luck – plastics it was.

Warm up took a little longer than expected, due to the late arrival of Miss Collins. So second pair went on. Amy Steventon and Chloe Horne spent the first few rallies getting used to the plastic shuttles, and after a slow start took the first game 22-20, 22-12. Sarah Collins and Stacey Horne took even longer to get used to the shuttles and lost the first rubber 11-21. However they came back fighting, winning the second 21-17. They were 3-11 down on the turn in the third, they needed to come back strong to win this. Fortunately tonight was their night, they came back to win 21-19.  Top effort.Oldbury - Ladies Badminton

Next games on were Sarah and Amy, and Stacey and Chloe. Stacey and Chloe had a comfortable win, easily finding the weakness in the opposition (mother and daughter pairings rarely work!!) 21-12, 21-17. Sarah and Amy had a less successful start losing 21-12. A clear difference on sides were starting to show. When facing the hall partition curtain play was much more difficult, so after switching sides Sarah and Amy won 21-18. Neck in neck throughout the third, where Oldbury came out the victor, 19-21.

Score so far 3-1. Ashton’s had already secured the draw, only needing one more game to win the match. Bearing in mind Oldbury were currently second in the league, also undefeated, making the match one to win at all costs.

Sarah and Chloe took on ladies 1 and 4 comfortably winning 21-14. However no-one is quite sure what happened in the second where they lost 9-21! A quick chat to get them back on form and they produced a confident 21-18 win. Lots of happy faces walking off court.

Stacey and Amy started off with a very close game, winning 21-19. After switching ends, Oldbury came out on to win 12-21. Having already won the match, all pressure was off. Hard work paid off with Stacey and Amy winning 21-15.

With a total of 10 points between the two teams, Ashton’s came out on top winning 306-296 overall. A 4-2 win against second in the league is a fantastic result. Meaning Ashton’s ladies first team remain undefeated (see league table HERE). Watch this space for when they play the return match at home next Thursday.

Team Captain – Stacey Horne

Ladies1 second home game of the season

Ashton Ladies1 V. Lye – Away – 7 November 2013

Thursday 7 November bought the Ashton ladies1 their second home match of the season. After a delayed start (due a mishap from the captain) the match got on its way. With youth on their side the girls had high hopes. Katie Parsons and Stacey Horne had a tough first match, but coming up trumps –winning 18-21, 21-17, 21-19.

Top effort. Chloe Horne and Amy Steventon took their first match comfortably, winning 21-12, 21-18. Next game on saw Katie partnering Amy, fighting through from an initial 17-21 loss, to securing a 21-13, 21-14 win. Horne sisters paired up to make hard work of their game, winning 22-20, 21-19. After the first four games, Ashton Ladies1 were up 4-0, already guaranteed the win. First of the final games on were Katie and Chloe, taking a 21-18, 21-16 win. All that was needed now was for Stacey and Amy to win the final game for the girls to win 6-0. First game, Lye had the better game winning 16-21. Yet Stacey and Amy came back victorious winning 21-14 in the second and third end. Triumphant game, 6-0 win. Very good game from Lye, but excellent play from Ladies1 mean 2 wins from 2 – top of the league tables (See HERE).

Next game sees Ashton ladies1, first away game of the season vs Oldbury on November 27, can they remain undefeated?


Ladies1 Captain – Stacey Horne



Birthday Boy plays winning badminton

Ashton.s Birthday boy plays Mens1 v HCK – November 19

It was with a heavy heart but a point to prove that Ashtons mens 1st team travelled to HCK recently.  Having lost to our own mens 2nd team 10-8 and with HCK recently having beaten our mens 2nd team, beating HCK was the only real way to redeem ourselves (and give us some piss taking ammo over mens 2)!

Ironically we also had Alan and Phil H from the mens 2nd team standing in for us as neither the men’s 1 captain Steve or Tim could make the match due to injury and work.  With that in mind we had decided that between the other two pairs (Dev & Lee, Dukes & Rob) we needed to win enough games to clinch the match! 

Birthday BadmintonIt was also Dev’s birthday and he had his better half Lauren with him cheering us on and filling in the score sheet, cheers Lauren J, so the pressure was on.

We had three courts all night due to a quiet home club night for HCK and after the first set of rubbers it was looking good  with the score 4-2 in our favour.  It’s a nice, well lit hall with a good floor and the same Yonex AS30 shuttles we use, so we quickly settled into the match and after the second set of rubbers the score had increased to 10-2 to Ashtons.  With the match win secured we set about trying to make sure the final score was as convincing as possible.  Dukesey broke a string and had to resort to using one of Rob’s spare rackets but it didn’t affect the score and only Alan and Phil dropped one game in the last set of rubbers (maybe they did it on purpose? J) to make the final score 15-3.  Dev & Lee won 6, Dukes & Rob won 5 and Alan and Phil won 4.  A good friendly match with no disputed calls that I know of, we just need to make sure we play as well for the return match at home.

To celebrate the win Dev produced a tub full of birthday cake from his bag which was quickly polished off before some of us headed to the pub for a birthday beer.

Biscuit review:- Excellent selection with penguin biscuits and Cadburys chocolate fingers!  Their tactic’s were obviously trying to slow us down with good biscuits, luckily we resisted till the end of the match, then made a good dent in them! 

Acting Team Captain – Rob Andrews

Plastic shuttles – away advantage too much for Mens 2

Home advantage for Leasowes with plastic shuttles

Ashton Mens 2 V. Leasowes – Friday 22 November

Mens 2 lost 11-7, in a bad hall, poor nets, crappy blue sucky plastic shuttles that sucked, reflective yellow floor and yellow lines intermixed with dozens of other multi-coloured lines and what seemed like smaller courts (certainly to HCK…surely?). Sucked like 5 dollar ho!
Not a bad result given circumstances – with 336 points against and 322 you swap less than 12 points around and we won convincingly…but we didnt – we lost!   more like pinball or ping pong than badminton it was more about power, speed and reaction than skill or tactics.  forget slicing, spin and tactical play it was whack, wallop, zoom, zip and other batman expressions (kazaam! blap!).
If plastic shuttles and venue gave them 3-5 points a game advantage then at home we win 11-7 so lets see if science works 🙂
We didnt adjust well enough and they won, nice bunch in general very few disputed calls if any, good range of biscuits and a friendly and polite bunch win or lose they had good humour and no teddies left a pram.  Plastic shuttles sucked, I may have mentioned that!
Chris and Ian were arguably best team with 3/6 with 113 points and 107 against, phil H/Alan won 3/6 and were 113 for and 117 against, Tom and Phil got 1/6 96 for 112 against but won by biggest margin (21-7 against 3rd pair)
Plastic shuttles - that suckMens 1 and Mixed 2 have to play there still…be wary of those goddamn plastic shuttles!  they suck!
We have played 4 hardest games, \Mens 1 twice (only 2 points so far!), HCK away and Leasowes with shuttles that…sucked.
With several home games to go and strong teams the next 6 are achievable and I think we will and should at least get 5 of them…badminton bears and QBEC away probably trickiest.  So we can only lose because of ourselves – time to step up and play like we can and tan some hides/kick some arse/rap some posterior/mutilate some seats/spank some chair warmers and other bum related metaphors.

Team Captian – Alan Postan

Ashton Ladies 2 – Victory

Ladies 2 home v. QBEC

With the captain of Ashton Ladies 2 absent for the start of the game, the one thing she had made sure there was plenty of was shuttles. She had neglected to supply the team with a key to the box so access to the nets was impossible. Kingswinford school proved a great ally and lent the captain less team two nets to start the match. Team in bating order Angie, Tricia, Amie (red – for obvious reasons) and Emma. At the end of round one it was level pegging, one game all, with only one ace in it. Round two and Ashton’s Ladies 2 least experienced player (Emma) played with shear determination and conviction. With the odd point ‘trying to see how far she could reach without moving her feet’ (her own words). Red (Amie Spencer) was not quite as volatile as her mixed game last Tuesday, she managed to refrain from using the bathroom in between games. A small dispute regarding the score between the 1 and 3 pairing was quickly resolved and saw Ashton’s chalk up the two games for the home team. Match score standing at 3 – 1 the visiting team when in to the last and final round needing both games to draw.
Tricia and Red were first off court securing the win for Ladies 2. Whilst Angie and Emma battle it out with the only 3gamer of the evening. Winning the first game narrowly 21-19. Of course (as it is best of three) they lost the second 15-21. Both Angie and Emma fought hard and tried every trick in the book but nothing was going to faze Delia and Freda (QBEC). Using their experience ran Ashtons ladies from corner to corner and won the away pair victory 14-21.
The large Maryland cookies were a reward for all players, leaving the Jaffa barely touched.
A great game all round with Emma chuffed at winning her first League game.Ladies 2 Victory

Well done girls and here’s to the next one that hopefully your Captain will participate in. LOL

Team Captain – Stephanie Cartwright-Randle


Ashton members

Ashton members in the Albert Beasley Memorial Cup Draw 2013

A team of Luke Peters, Amy Steventon, Angie McNay & Col Fisher (all Ashton members) were runners up in the South Staffs 2013 Albert Beasley Memorial Cup this Sunday at Our Lady of St Chads Community Sports College, Fallings Park.

We (the Ashton members) were drawn against Novus 2 in the semi final and the mens pairing came through comfortably against their rather erratic opponents 21-14 on both games, however our ladies won only one of their games.  Onto mixed Col & Amy won both their games however Luke & Angie won one, then we swapped Col & Angie won their first but lost the second, Amy & Luke won both theirs so overall we won 8-4.
Albert Beasley Memorial CupIn the final is was Novus 1 who had prevailed over Novus 3 & Hampstead Manor in the other side of the draw.  This time is was our ladies who lead the way winning both their games comfortably, we lost both Mens games in fairly tight affairs against very consistent solid pairing.
Onto mixed and despite Luke winning one game with both Angie & Amy we lost 6-2 giving overall scores 8-4.
Congrats to Novus 1 who’s mixed experience shone through in the end, deserved winners.

Mixed 2 – Lost away game

Ashton Mixed 2 – Lost their away match against HCK 12-6

Captains Blog Stardate 12.11.2013

Mixed 2 suffer first loss 🙁 It had to happen at some point and unfortunately it was away at HCK 1. Without the services of Katie & Trish, the squad was juggled, sadly ineffectively. So I, as captain, have to figure out what is our strongest team for the return match and the away match at Frankly Bats. Hopefully with the return of Katie, Trish & Alan for our next match away at Waseley when I pass on captain duties and suffer at the hand of the dreaded squad rotation system our strongest 6 will become apparent.

Lost MatchThe night didn’t get off to a great start, as our first pair Phil Buckley & Amie Spencer went down 21-15, 21-9 to the home pairs first pair, watching from the sidelines there were allot of ‘Gassed Ferretts’ and jumping stomp cries of ‘Ooohgh Amie’ from our pair. On the adjacent court Tim Hale & Amy Steventon took the first 21-15, but lost the second in a tight encounter 26-24. Col Fisher & Chloe Horne began with a 21-17 loss against the home teams strongest pair, who despite their #3 listing were very experienced and canny. However the Ashtons pair rallied mid game when behind in the second rubber to win 26-24. This despite Col putting about three easy smashes in the net on the numerous game points Chloe’s intelligent play had earned. Sadly Phil & Amie’s night wasn’t getting any better as they went down 21-10, 21-15 to the home teams 2nd pair.. Tim & Amy went down to the hosts third pair 21-14 twice. Hope sprang eternal for another albeit unlikely win as Col & Chloe despatched the home teams first pair 21-15, 21-18. However it was not to be as Phil & Amie’s misfortune continued losing 21-13 twice to the home teams third pair who were in fine form dropping only one rubber all night. To conclude the night Tim & Amy lost 21-17, then won 21-14 against the home teams first pair, Col & Chloe took the first game against the home teams 2nd duo 21-18, despite Chloe’s inability to hit a serve over the net but the flunked disappointingly to a 21-17 loss in the final rubber of the night. Our next match is away at Waseley a week on Monday, lets hope the team can get us back on track. Overall scores were Phil & Amie 126/75. Tim & Amy 118/111. Col & Chloe 117/123.

Team Captain – Colin Fisher

Ashton Mens 1st V. 2nd – Return match (with out the grudge)

Mental Mens 2 V. Ashton Mens 1

Mental – can’t quite believe it but the Mens 2 took the grudge match (without the grudge) 10 – 8 on 04.11.13.  Fireworks came early for our first points of the season from 3 matches with more to come I hope.

As captain I wish I could say it was inspired team choice, desert rat style tactics and a pep talk to make Ferguson look like a red nosed buffoon – it wasn’t so I can’t and just let people get on with it.

Phil H was 1/2 hour late and came in 2 mins before first match ended as we knew he would…long drive from Leamington and not often a suit is hung in the changing room!

At this time Ian/Jon had taken 2 and Phil B/Colin F lost two – good start for the underdogs! Lots of patent pending shouting from Col and standing staring looking aghast Phil made me think it had not gone well…Ian and Jon looked suspiciously like a team in similar clothes, colours and played well using veteran whiles in just returning nearly everything and playing some massively long rallies in a war of contrition known only to ex-partners (you know what you did and if you don’t I wont tell you…ARGH)

Dev was on better form and Lees ‘20% less rubbish’ racket clearly helped (as did morale support from his good lady) and they rolled to 6/6 and although there were no walkovers I could see, they weren’t that troubled in the final third where it mattered, a good sign for games to come.

As the night progressed it was still strangely tensioned as we all know and play each other often but, the competitive streak dug in all round and the games were close, well played, fair and well tempered… Rob/Ste unusually didn’t play as well as usual (they told me!!) and for such a consistent team was odd, but being on the receiving end more than once of them playing well I knew we had ‘got away with it’ a bit.  Phil and I didn’t play as well as last time and we couldn’t work out why but as we all know each others traits I think a bit of cancelling out happened.

Middle of night…score was 6-6, great for us we had a laugh about it 6-all – no pressure lads…and then suddenly three games were playing and I lost track and then match was over – and we had won somehow!!  I was genuinely chuffed and surprised and first instinct was to apologise to Ste, not sure why – non-specific deity forbid in promotion it makes a difference – oh and sorry for taking club night court but games were so long it took ages!!    It was what we played for and worked at – Phil Bs victory song and dance made me laugh and it sunk in and I felt chuffed for team and glad no-one told Phil H and I, that the last game was for victory my head may have imploded.Mens - Grudge Match

Rob/Lee took 1/6, Tim/Dukesy took 1/6…somehow we had sneaked past the finish line like a canary on a eagles head. Phil/Alan took 4/6, Ian/Jon took 3 as did Col/Phil as the first two games became memory – as Mens 2 won 10-8 on the night, the improbable and unlikely slammed down like every months bills.  Boom! Eh?? what you say??  Are you sure??  Madness – without the brass instruments and quirky lyrics .

I don’t remember much but at one point Phil dropped a shot which Dukesy hit the deck getting back-  both legs went under his body with a yell I coudln’t work out if pain or frustration, I as a gentleman, carried on the rally and Tim leapt for one and i saw his right leg go under his body as he slid down and still got shuttle over which Phil killed…but as both were on the ground I thought shit we have broke them!!  Would we get penalised??  Would Phil and I be paying hospital bills??   Being younger and obviously flexible they were fine – Dukeys is 20 for gods sake, I am nearly twice his age where did it all go??  on stomach unfortunately…

I didnt see much of Tim/Dukesy and our games were very rushed at end as we dragged past 10pm – so hard to say much but I have to praise their commitment as they weren’t scared of hitting the deck to get things over we really hoped they wouldnt!! Not many easy points and a few either way settled who won.  I bet that 2-4 points each way in a lot of games would have made difference between win/loss.

So over 2 matches where teams were same I think (without 2nd scorecard) Rob/Ste 7/12, Dev/Lee 9/12, Tim/Dukesy 4/12 for Ashton Mens 1’s and for Mens 2’s Al/Phil 8/12 and then we played a few variations – Col/Phil 3/6, Jon/Ian 3/6, Jon/Phil 1/6, Adam/Col 1/6.

So based on that…19 – 16, shit I prefer 1 – 1!! Forget I mentioned that…

Thanks to all that played and made it an experience, and for Ian in his debut for mens 2!

Thanks to Whisky – Jim Bean Honey, diet caffeine free Tesco cola, golden virginia green from USA, and a laptop that needs replacing

Ciao for now.

Ashton Mens 2 – Team Captain – Alan Postans

Bitter taste – Ashton Mixed 2

Ashton Mixed 2 V Frankley Bats – Victory but bitter taste

Captains Blog 10.10.2013

Bitter tasteWinning is always fun, right?  Not tonight, despite an impressive 15-3 victory tonight’s match leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, as all Ashton’s 2 members with the exception of Angie McNay were accused of cheating at some point.  Be it a dodgy shot, disputed score, a line call, whatever…….bitter taste
Hats of to Alan Postans & Katie Parsons on coming through the match unscathed 6-0, Luke Peters & Amy Steventon dropped only one rubber while Col Fisher & Angie McNay lost on both games to the visiting teams 2nd pair.
Our next fixture is 12th November away at HCK 1, hopefully this will be a more enjoyable affair.

Team Captain – Colin Fisher