Burton Uxbridge are celebrating a title hat-trick after an action-packed Women’s British League finale in Sheffield, while there were two titles for Drumchapel Glasgow.
The club’s first team line-up of Kate Hughes, Charlotte Bardsley and Mollie Patterson claimed the Premier Division title, while the second and third teams also won Divisions 2 and 4 respectively.
Drumchapel were the victors in Division 3 and Division 5B, while the other champions were Fusion, who won Division 1 to secure promotion to the top flight, and Joola Plymouth, who took Division 5A.
Team of the Weekend went to Chippenham Ladies from Division 4, whiel the Player of the Weekend was Hannah Winfield of Cliffedale Chandlers.
Arthur Brett of Ulster Irish Ladies was awarded the Solihull Cup, for a coach, official or player who has most enhanced the WBL this season, after receiving the most nominations from clubs.
Pictures by Melvyn Lovegrove – click here to view a full album on Flickr
Bardsley was the key performer in the Premier Division, enjoying a 100% record over the weekend as Burton held off XLNT Draycott and defending champions YHL.
The top three all won their opening matches but YHL, in third place going into the weekend, fell further behind when they drew 3-3 against Knighton Park in Round 7 – a first point on the board for the bottom-placed club.
Any outside hopes YHL harboured were ended in Round 8, when Draycott beat them 4-2, and Burton inflicted a repeat of that scoreline on the title-holders in Round 9.
Meanwhile, Knighton Park notched their first victory in Round 8, defeating Halton 4-2.
All of which meant the final round saw important issues decided at the top and the bottom – Burton facing Draycott for the title and Knighton Park facing Formby, who along with Halton were one point ahead of KP going into the last set of fixtures.
Draycott, still unbeaten but having drawn one more than Burton, needed a win to get above their opponents, but Patterson and Bardsley won the opening two matches against Abbie Milwain and Inta Zdanovska respectively to leave Burton one win from the title.
They had to wait as 11-year-old Anna Hursey, fresh from selection to the Wales Commonwealth Games squad, defeated Hughes, but Bardsley’s victory over Milwain meant Burton could not be caught.
Draycott did at least have the satisfaction of remaining unbeaten also as Hursey and Zdanovska won the final two rubbers to leave the final result as 3-3.
It was also 3-3 in the Knighton Park-Formby clash, leaving KP in bottom place behind Halton on set difference.
Bardsley’s unbeaten weekend saw her take the lead in the averages – winning 18 of her 20 matches for a 90% record. Hursey, playing up from Draycott II for the final three fixtures, won all six of her Premier Division matches.
In fact, Hursey moving up proved costly for the seconds, who had been unbeaten through seven rounds in Division 1, but lost all three fixtures after Hursey’s elevation.
It left Fusion in the box seat and although they lost their own unbeaten record at the hands of Ulster Irish Ladies in Round 9, they confirmed their title with a 6-0 margin over Draycott in the last round.
Draycott actually ended in fourth, with Byng Hall A in second and Ulster third.
In Division 2, the top two going in were Burton Uxbridge II and Culcheth, with the latter leading by a point after weekend 1. That changed in Round 9 when the leaders were held 3-3 by Thorntons, leaving the top two level ahead of their meeting in the last round.
Burton twice led, only for Rachel Baker’s two victories to pull Culcheth level and leave all to play for. Chloe Lingard restored Burton’s advantage and this time they were not pegged back as Katie Holt beat Anna Nowroozi to seal it 4-2 for Burton.
Drumchapel boasted a 100% team record in Division 3 after the first weekend in October, with both Rebecca Plaistow and Lucy Elliott also on 100% personal records.
It remained that way after the ninth round of matches, but second-placed St Andrew’s had hung on to the leaders’ coat-tails all the way and victory when the two sides met would have taken the title down to set difference.
When Rachel Pilgrim defeated Elliott in the first match and Chelsea Furnival saw off Plaistow in the second, both in five, the two individual records had gone. Stacey Furnival then made it 3-0 to St Andrews by beating Alisa Khalid and the team record had also tumbled.
To Drumchapel’s credit, they fought back to level at 3-3, with Elliott and Khalid both coming from 2-1 down against Stacey and Chelsea Furnival respectively in matches five and six.
Burton Uxbridge’s other victory was in Division 4, and again it was at the expense of XLNT Draycott as Burton IIIs beat Draycott IVs by a point.
Burton had led after weekend 1, but defeat to Cliffedale Chandlers in Round 7 handed the initiative to Draycott.
Both teams won their next two fixtures to leave it all hanging on the final round, and it was Burton who took it 4-2. They were always ahead, winning matches 1, 2, 4 and 5, with Ruby Chan and Lisa Rinnhofer both taking doubles.
Division 5, with eight teams, split into two halves after Round 7, and it was the teams which finished top of their respective halves who went on to win – Joola Plymouth in 5A and Drumchapel Glasgow II in 5B.
Plymouth remained unbeaten, with nine wins and a draw, to deny Burton Uxbridge a clean sweep, finishing three points clear of Burton fourths.