The Doric Insurance sponsored senior leagues are moving into their final few weeks, however the fight for the top flight crown will continue until the very end.
The reason for this is due to the final encounter between the leading sides, namely Lions A and Whistlers A ending as a 5-5 stalemate this week.
The fixtures between the teams have been extremely tightly contested throughout the season, with Lions winning 2, Whistlers 1 and the remaining 2 ties finishing as 5-5 draws, with each encounter seeing different results in the individual matches.
On this occasion it looked like Whistlers would run away with a victory whilst leading 4-2, but Lions turned the match on it's head with a run of three consecutive wins to ensure that at least a draw would be obtained. Garry Dodd is now extremely close to impressively finishing a second consecutive season of unbeaten singles action due to his trio of wins over Ben Foss, Paul Hainsworth and Dan Collenette, Hainsworth being the player to clinch the single leg amongst Dodd's dominance. He also combined strongly with Mark Pipet in the doubles, where they overcame Foss and Hainsworth over 4 sets. Pipet himself added a comprehensive straight sets win over Collenette, however the Whistlers side could not quite find the elusive 6th rubber on the night. Pipet came the closest to achieving this feat, but was defeated by both Foss and Hainsworth over 4 sets. Martin Sarre lost out to Foss and Hainsworth in straight sets, but had a close encounter with Collenette before the youngster came through 11-9 in the 4th end.
This result sees the sides still locked together on points at the top of the Division. The Lions side ultimately lead the way due to having a superior games difference and also have a game in hand, which is being contested against 4th placed side Whistlers B on Monday evening.
Lions B are now looking very likely to secure 3rd position after they romped to a 9-1 win over the bottom placed side Lions C. Phil Ogier and Ryan Bichard each showed strong form on the evening with each overcoming Andy Gill, Jamie Ferbrache and Ian Le Page in singles action. Andre De Carteret earned straight sets wins over Gill and Le Page, but he couldn't quite finish the perfect evening due to losing out to Ferbrache over 4 sets. Ogier and De Carteret combined effectively to see off Ferbrache and Le Page in straight sets in the doubles clash.
4th placed side Whistlers B defeated 5th placed side Whistlers C 6-4 to retain the small possibility of finishing in 3rd spot. Joshua Stacey, Matt Casey and Sam Clark all defeated Ryan Gilson and Charlotte Casey in singles action to make sure of the win. None of them were a match for Lawrence Stacey on the night, however as he came through against all of the B side, which included a strong 4 set win over twin Josh. The implications of the win is that Lawrence is now directly 2nd in the Division 1 averages. Lawrence added some further polish to his evening courtesy of a 4 set doubles win over Clark and Josh alongside Gilson.
Whistlers D have officially been crowned as 2nd Division champions with 2 matches left to play. They hold a 4 point advantage over Lions E, but their games ratio is superior enough for the title to be decided at this stage. They certainly won the title in style too as their 7th 10-0 whitewash of the season was obtained over Whistlers E to seal the deal and underline their dominance on the Division. Kay Chivers, Keith Opie and Ellis Tomlin all overcame Ian Fitchet, Shane Cotter and reserve Derek Webb in singles action. The doubles was claimed by Opie and Tomlin over Fitchet and Cotter in straight sets. Incredibly, the champions did not drop a single end over the course of the 10 individual matches.
Champions St Pauls B defeated Whistlers H 7-3 this week to continue their unbeaten season.