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Babolat partnership, shuttles and rackets

Play-offs triumph for Middlesex and Leicestershire

Middlesex bounced back into badminton’s top flight at the first attempt last weekend after being promoted into the Senior County Championships Premier Division through the Play-Offs.

And they will be joined in the elite group for next season by Leicestershire who harnessed the heartbreak of missing out in last season’s Play-Offs to finally snare a place in the top 10.

They replace Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire who were relegated from the Premier Division back in April.

In the four-way play off at the National Badminton Centre, Middlesex ensured a swift return to the top division with a pair of 8-3 wins over Leinster and Hertfordshire before a singles-inspired 7-4 victory over Leicestershire secured top sport.

For Leicestershire, who finished third in the Play-Off race from Division One last season, they matched Middlesex’s 8-3 wins over Leinster and Hertfordshire but their promotion was confirmed before missing out to Middlesex.

Leicestershire’s place in the Premier Division sets a remarkable rise for the county who had fallen outside the top two league tiers as recently as 2013.

Their rise was in part bolstered by two-time World Championship finalist Anthony Clark who enjoyed a 100% win rate during the Play-Off charge.

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