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Two wins but North settle for third spot; COUNTY BADMINTON.

NORTHUMBERLAND'S senior side ended their Senior County Championship Division Two North campaign in third place.

They claimed a 7-4 win against Lancashire Two, 9-2 loss to Ulster and a 7-4 success over Lothian.

North started well against Lancashire, Philip Pahatouridis coming from a set down at top string to win in three sets and Garrylee McMullan and Richie Eaton both triumphing in two for North to lead 3-0. Despite a three-set effort from Aphrodite Christodoulou, the ladies could not follow suit, however, so North's lead was cut to 3-2. The men's doubles were shared to keep North in front at 4-3 and good wins from Sarah Renton and Emily Harrison, and Lucy Dixon and Rachel Frobisher from a set down carried North over the line at 6-3. The mixed were shared with Eaton and Dixon scraping home by the narrowest of margins - 21-18, 20-22, 22-20.

Ulster had fared even better, beating Lothian 9-2 to draw level with North at the top of the table.

North started well enough against Ulster with good wins from Pahatouridis and Eaton.

However, despite five threeenders overall, it was not to be and they went down to a team containing at least four full internationals - extinguishing hopes they had of promotion and leaving them equal third with Lancashire Two, behind the Irish and Yorkshire Four.

North were then up against Lothian, who boasted ex-Scottish international Paul van Rietvelde in their ranks.

McMullen, Eaton and Harrison all secured straight-set wins to edge North ahead 3-2 after the singles and Ryan Jelley and Burgess played well at second string to stretch the lead to two.

Pahatouridis and McMullen were pegged back to a set all by van Rietvelde and Michael Campbell but fought back well in the decider to take it to 13 and extend the advantage to 5-2. Just one was needed for victory and Renton and Harrison duly obliged, closely followed by Dixon and Frobisher who also won in two sets.

The Scots were to perform better in the mixed to pull the score back to 7-4 - but it was nevertheless enough for North to clinch third spot.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2017
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