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Badminton: County puts on a show of force.

Byline: By Nick Pullen

WARWICKSHIRE'S big guns were out in force this week for the opening round of the Inter County Championships.

The first string produced a clean sweep of wins when they defeated Leicestershire 8-2, Worcestershire 7-3 and Dorset 6-4.

Equally encouraging was the performance of Warwickshire's second string, who have been promoted to Premier B this term.

They lost 7-3 to Middlesex and 8-2 against Hertfordshire, both sides having been surprisingly relegated from the top flight last term.

But Warwickshire recovered to win their final match, beating Dorset's second string 6-4.

England international Jill Pittard was in supreme form for the first team, winning six matches.

In the singles she beat Caroline Smith 20-22, 21-11, 21-9, Elena Johnson 21-11, 21-6 and Jo Dix 21-10, 21-11.

Pittard then produced a clean sweep in the ladies doubles with partner Catherine Grant.

It was also a good day for Grant after she teamed up with England's Chris Tonks to secure three more wins in the mixed doubles.

Solihull's Tonks, together with Coventry pair Chris Roe and Claire Millward, all played key roles in Warwickshire's winning start.

There was no doubt about the star turn for Warwickshire's second string as Coventry's Rajeev Bagga won all his games.

He stormed to a hat-trick of singles success, beating Alan DiCruz 21-7, 21-11, Andy Walden 21-16, 21-9 and Tom Mansbridge 21-16, 21-19.

Bagga also forged an excellent partnership with Birmingham University player Lewis Halsey to win his three mixed doubles matches.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 13, 2007
Words:246
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