After 39 steps over the winning line, Ian Whiteside’s season long unbeaten run finally came to an end in match 40. Tollgate C were the opposition and Steve New contributed to the process by taking Whiteside close in a gruelling 5 set opener that was eventually won by the Pegasus A number one . Fresh (although that probably isn’t the right word) from winning the Division 1 singles titles just days earlier, Whiteside next came up against a determined Neil Freeman. The first 4 sets were shared but Freeman started the 5th strongly and raced to a 10-6 lead. With his customary defensive skills to the fore, Whiteside closed to 9-10 before the latest in a succession of strong, but well planned attacking strokes saw Freeman home. The match ended in a narrow 6-4 win for the Marks Tey based team.
Essex University A beat Gt. Horkesley C by the same margin in a match notable for the 2 victories marked up by Steve Holland against the promotion chasing team. Playing up from his normal Division 2 berth, he followed up his 2 earlier wins in the Premier Division by giving a stiff examination of the students’ credentials, emerging with wins over Lilo Roesch and Oliver Pink, each in 4 sets. Meanwhile Walton A regained top spot with an 8-2 win over a spirited Lawford B, who won the first 2 matches of the night but then succumbed to a strong turnaround with John Rice again leading the way. Lawford’s A team shared a draw with 2 man and 2 Pauls (Woolnough and Newbould) Walton B, results that leaves both village teams and Walton B with relegation worries.