A remarkable week of top flight action from the Doric Insurance sponsored senior leagues saw all 3 fixtures finish as 5-5 stalemates.
The big clash occurred at the top of the table between leaders Whistlers B and defending champions Lions A. The Lions side were missing their influential number 1 player Ben Foss following his recent surgery, however Division 2 player Jez Powell proved to be a more than competent stand-in. Powell was the main player for the Lions outfit due to his singles wins over Ryan Gilson and Matthew Casey. Ryan Bichard dug deep to overcome Gilson over the full 5 sets and Jamie Ferbrache added a convincing straight sets win over the same player. The doubles tie also proved decisive and it was Bichard and Ferbrache that came out on top in 4 sets over Casey and Gilson. Despite dropping points, Lawrence Stacey was unbeaten for the leaders due to his 4 set wins over each of the Lions players. Casey also needed to be near his best to edge past Bichard in 5 sets having trailed 2-1 and the youngster also held his nerve in the final match of the night when he defeated Ferbrache in 4 sets.
Third placed side Lions B drew with fourth placed side Whistlers C in a fixture where Joshua Stacey was unbeaten in singles action for the Whistlers team. He defeated Phil Ogier, Dan Collenette and Andre De Carteret for the loss of just a single game to Ogier. Mark Pipet and Charlotte Casey each defeated De Carteret to ensure the draw was theirs. Ogier and Collenette each earned wins over Pipet and Casey and the duo also came through a tight tussle with Stacey and Pipet in the doubles, 11-9 the score in the deciding 5th end.
5th placed side Lions C narrowly avoid defeat at the hands of bottom placed side Whistlers A after they fought back from a 4-1 deficit to obtain a draw. Paul Hainsworth was a comfortable straight sets winner over Ellis Tomlin, Sam Clark and reserve Ian Fitchet, but the other 2 wins for the Lions players were a lot tougher. The most crucial win of the match for the Lions side came straight after the doubles clash and Andy Gill did very well to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Clark to win through over the full 5 sets. Corey Brouard was last up against Fitchet and the youngster held his nerve excellently to breeze through the deciding 5th leg of their encounter. The Whistlers side pairing of Tomlin and Clark secured a pivotal 5 set doubles win over Hainsworth and Brouard to ensure that the Whistlers side got the point, whilst Fitchet also upset the odds by beating Gill over 5 ends.
League leaders Whistlers D failed to follow up on their top of the table win last week due slipping to their first defeat of the season at the hands of Whistlers F. The leaders were missing their rising junior player Ben Sharp and the F side took full advantage of this. Martin Sarre did the majority of the damage due to an unbeaten evening of singles wins over Kay Chivers, Keith Opie and reserve Stuart Sarre. Paula Le Ber continues to show good form this season and this resulted in her obtaining an excellent 5 set win over Opie in addition to her straight sets win over Sarre. Callum Gilson surprisingly lost out to Sarre in straight sets, but that did not matter because he had started the evening with a superb comprehensive straight sets win over Opie.
The leaders hold a 2 point lead ahead of their nearest rivals Lions E, however the Lions D side in 3rd position are only 3 points behind with a game in hand on their title rivals.
St Pauls B are outright leaders of the 3rd Division following their 8-2 win over Lions J. Craig Dunning experienced another unbeaten evening following his wins over Mike Brehaut, Graham Mallett and Derek Cave. Derek Carter and John Wills each defeated Mallett and Cave, but neither was able to get the better of Brehaut. Dunning and Carter won the doubles over Brehaut and Mallett in straight sets.
The reason for the St Pauls sides outright lead is because the clash between second placed side Lions H and 3rd placed side Ravenscroft Panthers D ended as a 5-5 draw. Rob Vile was the difference maker for the Ravenscroft outfit due to his singles wins over Peter Powell, Edward Rowe and Oscar Pearson. Mark Windsor earned a straight sets win over Pearson, but his most important win came during his first encounter with Rowe. He trailed the Lions player 2-0, but fought back strongly to win over 5 sets.