League leaders Lions C dropped points for the first time this season after suffering a narrow 6-4 defeat to Lions A, a result that boosts the A side into 2nd place, just a single point adrift.
Joshua Butler was pivotal in the outcome of the fixture and he came away with 3 strong singles victories on the night. His first match was the toughest against Phil Ogier and a key stage of the match occurred in the 3rd end, whilst the scores were level at 1-1. Ogier held a 10-6 lead and was looking good to open a 2-1 advantage, however Butler fought back strongly to 10-10 before saving another game point at 10-11. He then made no mistake on his first game point, clinching it 13-11. The 4th was also a fairly tight affair, but Butler came through 11-8 to set the tone for the rest of the match. His other wins came against Paul Hainsworth and Andre De Carteret in straight games. Ben Foss lost out to Ogier in straight games, but he managed to secure wins over both Hainsworth and De Carteret on the night. His match against Hainsworth was hard fought, but he dug deep in the deciding 5th game of their encounter to come through. He overcame De Carteret in a well contested straight game victory. Junior Dan Collenette was the player to obtain the vital 6th rubber when he overturned a 1-0 deficit strongly to defeat De Carteret in 4 games. He played well in his other games but ultimately lost to Ogier in 4 and Hainsworth in straight games. Hainsworth and De Carteret performed well in the doubles clash where they beat Butler and Collenette in 4 games.
Lions B are also just a single point behind the league leaders after they earned a point during a 5-5 stalemate with Whistlers C. They were once more missing their influential player Olly Langlois, but did well to salvage a draw. Brothers Luke and Ryan Bichard each earned singles wins over Matthew Casey and Albert Unden and came very close to winning the doubles match, just falling short during a 5 game defeat to Lawrence Stacey and Casey. 2nd Division reserve Jamie Ferbrache overcame Unden in straight games to assist towards the draw. For the Whistlers side, Lawrence Stacey starred with 3 singles win to add to his doubles success alongside Casey.
Whistlers A moved off the bottom and into 3rd placed after earning their first win of the season over their B side, condemning them to the bottom of the league in the process. Garry Dodd was untroubled throughout the 7-3 win and cruised to singles wins over Joshua Stacey, Joseph Bourgaize and Division 2 reserve Corey Brouard. Ryan Gilson performed well in achieving wins over Bourgaize and Brouard and also teamed with Dodd during a 4 game doubles win over Stacey and Bourgaize. The A side's reserve Sam Clark picked up the 7th and final rubber during a straight game win over Brouard.
Lions D are 2 points clear at the top, however Lions E have played a game less.
This week saw a double helping of fixtures, with matches contested on Monday evening in addition to the regular Thursday.
Their first victory came on Monday against Lions G, where they cruised through 9-1. Jamie Ferbrache and Andy Gill performed well and each beat Brian Ferbrache, Andy Ferbrache and Sue Ferbrache in singles action. They also combined to defeat Brian and Andy 3-0 in the doubles. Ian Le Page beat Brian and Sue, however he was defeated 17-15 in the 5th leg of his encounter with Andy, which prevented the whitewash.
Whilst the 7-3 victory against Ravenscroft Panthers A on Thursday looks routine on paper, it was far from it, with the beaten side getting off to a shock 3-0 lead. Shaun Mosley beat Le Page in 4 games before the biggest surprise of the night occurred with Ferbrache losing his 100% singles record to Peter Vivian who won in 4. Youngster Brandon Ferbrache followed this up with an equally surprising win, over Andy Gill in 4 games. That was to be as good as it got for the Panthers side though, as the Lions players regrouped to storm through the remaining 7 matches. The closest of the remaining matches came at the end where Le Page came back from 2-1 down to beat Vivian 13-11 in the decider.
St Pauls B remain top after they secured a tight 6-4 win over Lions I. Derek Carter was key for the leaders due to his strong showing of singles wins over Lionel Jones, Lynn Finn and reserve Jan Priest. His win against Finn was the narrowest and it came in the final match of the night in an empty hall. Finn led 2-1 and had 4 match points at 10-6, however Carter dug in very well and managed to pinch the 4th 14-12 before edging a nervy decider by the same score. John Wills and Brian Le Cras both beat Priest and it was Wills that obtained the 6th win when he beat Finn in straight games.
Lions K, Lions J and Whistlers K are all level at the top with 9 points. The Lions sides hold the advantage with a better games ratio and a match in hand on the Whistlers side.
Lions K were 9-1 winners over Whistlers M this week where Val Guilbert and Diane Le Page each beat Jack Garbutt, Tia Timms and Matt Hale in singles action. James Le Tissier beat Garbutt and Hale, however he was beaten by Timms 12-10 in the 5th. He teamed with Le Page to beat Timms and Garbutt in a straight game doubles win.