Lions C led the way in the top flight of the Doric Insurance sponsored GTTA Senior Leagues heading into the New year and they continued where they left off during the opening fixtures of 2017 which were completed this week.
The fixture itself came just 4 days into the new year and no prisoners were taken during the 10-0 whitewash of Lions B. Phil Ogier and Paul Hainsworth each started the year with a perfect record as each went through the fixture without dropping a leg. They defeated Luke Bichard, Ryan Bichard and Division 2 reserve Jamie Ferbrache in singles matches as well as combining to win the doubles in straight games over the Bichard brothers. With Andre De Carteret missing, Liam Robilliard stood in as a strong reserve and also recorded 3 singles wins. He beat both Bichard brothers in straight games, but needed to battle back from a 2-1 deficit to overcome a spirited performance by Ferbrache to pick up the win over the distance.
Lions A continue to chase the league leaders and remain just a single point behind after they edged past Whistlers A 6-4. The result was also important in increasing the gap between themselves and their defeated opposition, who themselves currently occupy 3rd position in the Division. The gap prior to the fixture was just 2 points, but this win has seen it extended to 4. The win was obtained despite the absence of their captain and key player, Joshua Butler, who is missing the first few fixtures of 2017. Fortunately for Lions, there is a wealth of strong reserves to choose from and Alex Robinson was a strong candidate to stand in for Butler whilst being over in Guernsey for a Christmas break from University. Robinson and Ben Foss were the main contributors to the success and each defeated Mark Pipet and Ryan Gilson in singles action without dropping an end. More important was the crucial doubles clash which they clinched over the pairing of Pipet and Garry Dodd over 4 ends. The final rubber earned by the Lions side was when Dan Collenette edged out fellow junior Gilson over the course of 5 ends in the final nail biting match of the evening. Dodd did all he could for his side on the night and beat all of the Lions players, dropping just the single end to Foss during the 4 game win. Pipet was also a comfortable straight game winner over Collenette.
4th placed side Whistlers C earned a tight 6-4 win over Whistlers B, despite the B side only fielding 2 players. Lawrence Stacey and Albert Unden both defeated Joseph Bourgaize in singles matches, leaving just 1 more win to guarantee victory, due to the 3-0 start that they benefitted from. Stacey teamed with Matthew Casey to pick up this win in the doubles fixture over Joshua Stacey and Bourgaize. The win was far from straight forward and a 2-0 deficit was overturned, the final ends won 14-12, 12-10 by the victors. For the defeated side, Joshua won all of his singles games over Unden, Casey and twin Lawrence. His wins over Unden and Casey came without loss, but he needed 4 games to get past Lawrence in a tight affair, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 17-15. Bourgaize had an even tighter victory over Casey, the scores being 8-11, 14-12, 11-13, 21-19, 11-9.
Lions E and Lions D are once more locked together at the top of the 2nd Division after the D side won their game in hand over Lions F 6-4 before Christmas.
Both sides ran out winners again this week to ensure they remain together at the top of the table, a whopping 7 points ahead of the chasing pack.
The E side continue to lead the way by virtue of a stronger games difference ratio, however they were tested by Ravenscroft Panthers A during an edgy 6-4 win. Carl Le Tissier deputised with singles wins over Peter Vivian, Shaun Mosley and Brandon Ferbrache. Mike Lucas added wins over Vivian and Ferbrache, the former win being vitally achieved from 2-0 down. Le Tissier and Lucas teamed well to win the ever important doubles clash over Mosley and Ferbrache in straight games. Each of the Panthers players earned wins over the Lions reserve Glenn Le Tissier.
The D side took full advantage of the narrow win from their title rivals as they inflicted a punishing 10-0 drubbing on Ravenscroft Panthers B. Jamie Ferbrache, Andy Gill and reserve Terry Trustum all blasted past Ben Foote, Steve Martin and reserve Juliette Yeaman. Ferbrache and Gill also took the doubles match over Foote and Yeaman in straight games.
Whistlers G extended their lead at the top to 3 points despite missing Tom Hagerich. Ellis Tomlin's 100% record was never in danger and he cruised to wins over Jenny Powell, Lionel Jones and reserve Erin Bisson. This was a feat impressively matched by Division 4 reserve Shane Cotter. Tomlin and Cotter teamed up to win the doubles over Powell and Bisson in 4 games.