The battle for top spot in Doric Insurance Division 1 looks set to go the distance as the two sides vying for the title both recorded 8-2 victories this week. Frontrunners Lions A defeated Whistlers C with Paul Hainsworth continuing his impressive form by beating Lawrence Stacey, Ryan Gilson and Charlotte Casey, with Stacey providing the sternest test in a 5-set match. Stacey did however pick up wins against Lions’ Dan Collenette and Ben Foss, although he had to come back from 2-0 down against Foss. This also closed up the gap in the individual averages as there are 4 players within just 2% of each other in the race for 2nd place behind Garry Dodd.
Meanwhile 2nd placed Whistlers A defeated bottom-placed Lions C, with Garry Dodd maintaining his 100% individual record although he was pushed all the way against Jamie Ferbrache before prevailing 11-5, 11-4, 10-12, 8-11, 12-10. Dodd was backed up by teammates Mark Pipet and Martin Sarre who both beat Ian Le Page, but Pipet was beaten by the in-form Ferbrache and Sarre was beaten by Andy Gill in four ends.
In the other match in Division 1, Lions came out top in the battle of the 'B’ sides as they overcame Whistlers B 6-4. Josh Stacey gave his all for Whistlers as he beat the Lions trio of Phil Ogier, Ryan Bichard and reserve Jez Powell. Matt Casey chipped in with a narrow win over Bichard but it was not to be enough as the Lions team won all the remaining games, including a crucial 5-game doubles win by Bichard and Ogier against Stacey and Casey.
It was a clash of the two title contenders in Division 2 and it is Whistlers D who will be most pleased with the outcome, a 5-5 draw against Lions E. Jez Powell starred for the Lions side as he beat Kay Chivers, Keith Opie and Ellis Tomlin. His match against Chivers was also a battle of the top 2 in the individual averages and he edged it 11-9 in the 5th end. Corey Brouard chipped in with a 4-game win over Opie, while Powell and Brouard defeated Chivers and Opie in the doubles. The result keeps Whistlers D 6 points clear at the top of Division 2, though the Lions team have a game in hand.
St Pauls A sealed the Division 3 title with 5 matches to play with an emphatic 10-0 win over Lions I. John Wills, Derek Carter and Craig Dunning each defeated Lions’ Jonah Ingrouille, Romesh and Amy Ston, though it was young Ingrouille who came closest for Lions with a narrow defeat to Dunning.
Division 4 remains hotly contested and Lions L continued their good form with a 7-3 win over Whistlers L. The experienced Rosemary Powell was instrumental for the Lions team with 3 individual wins against the trio of juniors, Tia Timms, Jayden Tucknott and Nicole Le Noury. She also teamed up with Jan Priest to win the doubles. Evan Lesbirel overcame Le Noury in a tight 5-setter, but the surprise result of the night was Tucknott’s excellent 5-game win over Priest, only her 5th defeat of the season. On the adjacent table Lions K kept in contention with a 7-3 victory over Whistlers M. James Le Tissier and Diane Le Page and Erin Bisson each won 2 games, but all were beaten by Sammy Tostevin who showed his potential and he will surely be playing in higher division next season.