WITH Westmorland league games resuming after the tournament break, the big match was between reigning champions Branthwaite and one of the title contenders and still undefeated St Lukes.

St Lukes started well with their top mixed pair Ivison and Chester taking the first two games against their opponents second pair Andrew and Walsh 21-17, 21-14.

With St Lukes second pairing of Rouse and Kirkby splitting their games with Branthwaite’s top pair of Bowker and Armer the match score was 3-1.

The score moved on to 4-2 when the third pairings Reynolds and Williams and Farrer and Mellon split their games.

On the change-over mixed doubles Bowker and Armer comfortably beat Ivison and Chester to level the match at 4-4. Rouse and Kirkby and Andrew and Walsh could not be separated and the mixed finished level at 5-5.

With both the first ladies doubles being halved the score moved onto 6-6 as the teams continued their titanic battle.

The mens doubles were again split but only just as Ivison and Reynolds scrapped home in the second game 22-20.

At 7-7 the match took a turn in Branthwaite’s favour when their second ladies pairing of Walsh and Mellon won both games, sneaking home 24-22 to put their team 9-7 ahead with only the second mens doubles to play.

When Reynolds and Rouse took the first game comfortably 21-14 the match looked like being a draw, but Andrew and Farrer were not to be denied and with the game poised at 20-20 they took the next two points not only to win the game but to win the match for Branthwaite 10-8.

Even though St Lukes lost the match they still took over top spot from Arnside, but Branthwaite still have a match in hand.

Kirkby Stephen did themselves no harm at all by only losing 10-8 at Kendal as the latter remained one of two unbeaten teams.

In Division Two Branthwaite continued their great start to the season against Strickland A with an 18-0 crushing.

Bowness A still lead the way in Division Three but dropped valuable points against Kendal B 13-5 and their B team 14-4.

The big movers were Sedbergh, who beat their A team twice 18-0 and Heversham A to move to one point behind the leaders.