The penultimate week of action from the leading Division of the Doric Insurance sponsored leagues prior to the Christmas break saw the top 2 sides defeated.
Defending champions Whistlers A still lead the Division by a single point, but they slipped to their 2nd loss in 3 matches, as 3rd placed side Lions A overcame them 6-4. Ben Foss has been in excellent form for his side so far this season and here again he showed his class with an unbeaten evening of action. This included singles wins over Lawrence Stacey, Ryan Gilson and 2nd Division reserve Ben Sharp over the course of 5, 4 and straight sets respectively. He also teamed with Ryan Bichard where they earned an pivotal 4 set doubles win against Stacey and Gilson. Bichard was also in strong form during his singles matches as he defeated Sharp in 4 sets before holding his nerve to edge out Gilson 12-10 in the deciding end of their clash in the final match of the evening. In defeat Stacey picked up 4 set singles wins over Bichard and Jamie Ferbrache, whilst Gilson and Sharp also overcame Ferbrache in 4 and 5 sets respectively.
2nd placed side Whistlers B could not take advantage of the slip and they still trail the leaders by a single point and are level with Lions A after they were surprisingly beaten 6-4 by 4th placed side Lions C. Paul Hainsworth was in strong form for his side due to being unbeaten across the 4 matches he contested in the fixture. He defeated Ellis Tomlin in straight sets and Mark Pipet in 4 sets before defeating Josh Stacey in 5 sets in the final match of the night. He also combined with Charlotte Casey to win the doubles rubber against Stacey and Tomlin in straight sets. Casey earned herself an excellent singles win of her own against Tomlin in 4 sets. Josh Butler stood in as reserve for the Lions side and picked up the 6th win of the night when he beat Pipet in straight sets. For the Whistlers side Stacey was a strong straight sets winner over Butler and Casey, whilst Pipet edged past Casey in 5 sets. Tomlin played some of his best table tennis against Butler and won in straight sets.
5th placed side Lions B won their clash against bottom placed side Lions D 6-4 this week. Phil Ogier and Andre De Carteret were directly responsible for the win on the night as each was unbeaten in singles action. Ogier beat Liam Robilliard, Sam Clark and reserve Steve Ozanne for the loss of just a single end to Ozanne. De Carteret defeated Clark in 4 sets and Ozanne in 5 sets, but he saved his best performance until the end when he defeated Robilliard in straight sets. All of the D side players earned singles wins over Dan Collenette, whilst Robilliard and Clark also earned themselves a solid 4 set doubles win over Ogier and De Carteret.
Lions F continue to hold their slender single point advantage at the top and were dominant 9-1 winners over Ravenscroft Panthers B this week. Jez Powell and Andy Ferbrache each earned wins over Peter Vivian, Rob Vile and reserve Mark Windsor. Caden Brouard picked up wins over Vivian and Windsor, but he was defeated in 4 sets by Vile, which prevented the whitewash. The doubles rubber was won by Ferbrache and Brouard over Vivian and Vile in straight sets.
The lead held by Lions H remains to be 3 points following the top of the table clash against Lions J ending as a 5-5 stalemate. Brian Ferbrache led the way strongly for the league leaders due to his wins over Edward Rowe, James Crocker and Jayden Tucknott. Jonah Ingrouille defeated Tucknott in 4 sets, but his 5 set win over Crocker was more crucial and the final end was edged 14-12. Each of the J side earned wins over the H side's reserve Lionel Jones, whilst Rowe also beat Ingrouille in straight sets. The doubles was won in 5 sets by Rowe and Crocker against Ferbrache and Ingrouille.