After two victories in their opening two matches Ulster’s senior inter-county badminton team, sponsored by Lisburn-based firm Walsin, got their weekend off to a good start.
They began with a 7-4 victory over Lancashire 3 at the Huddersfield University Sports Centre but should not be too disconsolate in suffering their first defeat 8-3 at the hands of Lancashire 2.
Ulster pushed the current league leaders to three sets in three other matches and the defeat still gives some degree of optimism when the two sides meet later in the season.
Tony Murphy had to call on all his experience in both an Irish and Ulster shirt to win the second mens singles clash against Luke Donegan 21-16 21-16.
He would have been disappointed in not being able to partner Stuart Lightbody to victory in the first mens doubles, particularly having fought back to level at one set all against Mark Tuttle and Alan Clarkson 27-25 after losing the opener 21-15.
The Ulster pair, however, went down 21-15 while their team-mates Ciaran Chambers and Ryan Stewart, who had taken the opening set against Darren Whitley and Steven Andrews 21-18, went on to lose the second 21-16 and were eased out 21-17 in the final set.
Ryan Stewart and Rebecca Getty were another partnership who were to take their opponents to three sets only to come out on the wrong end of a three set match, having fought back to take the second set 21-17 but lose in the final set 21-14.
Andrew McKee recorded a fine straight sets victory over his opponent Steven Andrews in the No3 mens singles 21-12 21-12.
Whilst Sinead Chambers had an equally fine victory in the top womens singles clash against Laura Woodburn 21-5 21-14.
Pam Peard could hardly have come closer to causing an upset in the No2 womens singles slot when she lost the opening set 22-20 against Fay Andrews.