Queens’ four year grip on the Division One Mixed title could be slipping after they suffered a defeat to Exeter A to kick-off the new season.
The Crediton-based side were unbeaten last season, but were beaten 6-3 by Exeter A, who are the early pacesetters in the division. Sam Lees/Cindy Li were unbeaten for Exeter, while Shaun Roberts/Suzanne Owens and Pete Ford/Stacey Horne also got points on the board.
Exeter A followed up with a 6-3 win over Sidmouth A to give them an early four point lead atop the table, with Li again going unbeaten, this time partnering Rob Flack.
Queens rebounded from their defeat to record 6-3 win against St Leonards A with Lloyd Skinner/Leoni Bishop going unbeaten in a match that saw five of the nine rubbers go to a final set.
But St Leonards A currently sit second in the table after a 7-2 win over a two-paired Sidmouth team. John Carter/Grace Williams picked up the two points for Sidmouth, but Anthony Clark/Sue Banks picked up all three rubbers for St Leonards. Ringswell A are bottom of the league, but yet to play.
Relegation reprieved Chulmleigh are the early leaders in Division 2A with three wins from three. They only survived dropping down to the bottom tier due to additional teams entering the league, but have made the most of their fortune.
Their season began with an 8-1 win over Otter Vale B – Matt Hamill/Michelle Wylde and Ben Hamill/Lorna See going unbeaten – with Daniel Clark/Maddie Challinor securing the consolation point for the visitors, who for the first time, actually got to see the sights of North Devon as the drive to Chulmleigh was in the light.
Chulmleigh followed up with a 6-3 win away at Exeter B, with Hamill/Wylde and Hamill/Becka Hookway again avoiding defeat in all three matches, before edging past a two-pair Ringswell B side 5-4, in a match that saw Adrian Freeman/Liz Marker beat Adrian Bourner/Karen Parish by a bizarre 21-3, 19-21, 21-6 scoreline.
Despite the loss, Ringswell B are only a point behind Chulmleigh after they had two convincing wins over Otter Vale sides. A 9-0 win over the B team was followed by a 7-2 win over the A team, in which Freeman/Marker and Kieran Tsang/Marguriette Butt went unbeaten.
Otter Vale A won the big inter-club derby with Otter Vale B 5-4. Captain Nic Williamson and Mya Walker won all three matches for the A team, securing the win with a 23-21, 21-15 win over James Burgess/Hazel Tucker in the ninth rubber. St Leonards B are bottom of the league, but have yet to play
Otter Vale D currently sit atop the Division 2B table, although only three matches have been played. They started with a surprise 7-2 win over the Otter Vale C team, with Andy O’Brien/Anne Drury and Gordon Hutchings/Sue O’Brien going unbeaten and Peter Sweetman/Maxine Sweetman winning their first rubber in three seasons.
But Otter Vale D then suffered a narrow 5-4 loss to Honiton, which included a 30-29 final set defeat. Peter Bolt/Helen Williams won all three matches for Honiton, including a 16-21, 21-16, 30-29 win over Hutchings/O’Brien to claim the win.
St Leonards C beat Honiton 7-2 in the other fixture to have been played, in which Ian Jameson/Rachel Noakes and Andy Rowe/Anne Trevena were unbeaten. Sidmouth B have yet to play.
Entries are still open for the annual levels tournament.