Jenny Wallwork: Bolton ace eyes AJ Bell National Badminton League title

Bolton’s Jenny Wallwork says her Loughborough Sport team have their eyes on the AJ Bell National Badminton League title after picking up their third-consecutive victory away at Surrey Smashers.

On match-night four Loughborough Sport retained top spot in the league with Wallwork putting the icing on the cake with the final victory of the night in the women’s doubles.

Along with partner Lauren Smith the duo came through a back-and-forth contest with Sophie Brown and Abigail Holden, eventually winning 5-9, 9-8, 2-9, 9-8, 0-3.

And Wallwork says the winning mentality in the team is growing as they look to seal their play-off status and come out on top this season – though she admits the festive season has taken its toll.

“I’ve got constant cobwebs now,” said Wallwork, who has retired from international badminton. “It’s the same every time for me. But I still love playing and it’s nice to get on court and challenge everyone.

“It’s still something I really enjoy. It was nice to play with Lauren, the team has done really well.

“After a slow start last season, we’ve learnt from it and grown from it and as a team we want to go and win now.”

Elsewhere in the league fellow Bolton player Gary Fox was also in action for Birmingham Lions and his side keep the pressure on at the top after a 3-2 victory away at Team Derby, the University of Derby’s AJ Bell NBL franchise.

Fox was in action in the men’s doubles and lost out with partner Koen Ridder to the experienced pairing of Andy Ellis and Chris Coles.

But Fontaine Chapman got his side on the board with singles victory over Grace King before Gail Emms and Kate Robertshaw put Team Derby back in the lead with a triumph over Heather Olver and Sarah Walker.

However singles victory for Toby Penty followed by a mixed doubles win for Nico Ruponen and Alida Chen got the University of Birmingham over the line.

“It was a bit frustrating,” said Fox. “We started quite slow and we were lucky to win the first game with a couple of lucky net cords and then in the second and third games we were doubting ourselves a bit and not playing the right game – sitting too far back on the court.

“We only started playing the right style in the fourth when we were coming from behind so we need to try to get that from the start.”

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Image courtesy of Badminton England via YouTube, with thanks.

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