Whistlers B came within touching distance of securing the 1st Division crown of the Doric Insurance sponsored senior leagues this week.
With 2 matches left to play, the league leaders hold a commanding 3 point advantage at the top, but were agonisingly close to finishing the job this week. The results of the final 2 matches in their fixture against Lions A and the final 2 games of the match between title rivals Lions B and Whistlers C ensured the title remains alive.
The Whistlers outfit ended up drawing their match with 3rd placed side Lions A after the final 2 matches were shared, each over 5 sets. Ben Foss was the player to deny the Whistlers side the victory after he avenged his Island Championship Men's Singles final loss by overcoming Lawrence Stacey 13-11 in the deciding end. Foss had earlier dispatched Matthew Casey and Ryan Gilson in singles action in straight sets. The other 5 set encounter saw Casey pick up an important win over Ryan Bichard, 13-11 in the 5th. This crucial game also saw him save match points in the process. Bichard had earned a 4 set win over Gilson earlier in the fixture, whilst the other rubber won by the Lions side came from Jamie Ferbrache who stormed back from 2-1 down to beat Casey. Stacey was the best performer for his side due to his wins over Bichard in straight sets and Ferbrache in 4 sets. Gilson picked up an important 4 set win over Ferbrache, whilst the doubles tie was equally important for the Whistlers side due to Stacey and Casey's 4 set win over Foss and Bichard.
Lions B kept the fight alive in impressive fashion with a battling 6-4 win over 5th placed side Whistlers C. This result was earned despite the absence of leading player Phil Ogier. Dan Collenette continues to show his good form and his unbeaten evening was a key factor in the result. In addition to singles wins over Mark Pipet and Charlotte Casey, he saved his best for his encounter with Joshua Stacey, where he battled back from 2-1 down to beat the Green Trophy player over 5 sets, with both the 4th and 5th ends being edged 15-13. To finish off the night, he also teamed well with Andre De Carteret to overcome Stacey and Casey in straight sets in the doubles rubber. De Carteret was the player to clinch victory the final match of the night comfortably over Casey in straight sets, whilst Lions reserve Steve Ozanne proved a key contributor due to his 5 set win over Casey, despite trailing 2-1. For the Whistlers side Stacey and Pipet each overcame De Carteret and Ozanne in singles action.
4th placed side Lions C earned their 5th win of the season after they defeated the side at the foot of the table, Whistlers A 6-4. Paul Hainsworth led the way strongly for the victorious side due to his straight set wins over Dawn Morgan, Ellis Tomlin and reserve Paula Le Ber. He also combined strongly with Andy Gill in a straight sets doubles win against Morgan and Tomlin. Gill also played well on the night and earned an impressive straight sets win over Tomlin and a 4 set win over Le Ber. Each of the Whistlers players overcame Corey Brouard in singles action, whilst Morgan avenged her recent Over 50's Open Singles Island Championships final loss to Gill when she came through a hard fought straight sets win.
Lions D are back at the summit of the 2nd Division with just 2 games remaining following a strong victory and a surprise defeat for title rivals Whistlers D.
The Lions side were ruthless 9-1 winners over their F side this week. Carl Le Tissier and Steve Ozanne each beat Andrew Ferbrache and reserves Brian Ferbrache and Terry Trustum in singles action. Tim Le Page defeated Brian and Trustum, but he was edged out over 5 sets in the final game of the night. Le Page and Le Tissier won the doubles rubber against the Ferbrache's in straight sets.
The Whistlers D side were edged out 6-4 by 3rd placed side Lions E this week. Jez Powell did the majority of the damage to his unbeaten evening. This included 4 set singles wins against Kay Chivers and Ben Sharp and a straight sets win over Keith Opie. Powell also combined with Caden Brouard to defeat Chivers and Sharp crucially over 5 sets in the doubles match. Brouard himself also had a stellar evening which commenced with a narrow 5 set win over Opie. He lost a close 4 set encounter with Chivers, but bounced back superbly with the doubles win and then a highly impressive straight sets win against Sharp, the same player that he had lost to in the recent final of the U15 Boy's Island Championship final. All of the Whistlers players earned wins against Jonah Ingrouille, however Sharp edged this 17-15 in the deciding game of their epic encounter.
The league leaders are playing Lions E next week in a fixture which could see them crowned as champions. If the leaders draw the match or better, they will be crowned champions irrespective of what happens in their match against Whistlers D in the top of the table clash in the final match of the season.
St Pauls B have earned the first divisional title of the season following their 7-3 win over Lions J. Craig Dunning looks set to finish the season with a 100% singles record and he beat Mike Brehaut, Lynn Finn and Graham Mallett in singles action this week, all by the score of 3-0. He also won the doubles alongside Derek Carter against Brehaut and Mallet in straight sets. Carter added wins over Finn and Mallet, whilst John Wills also picked up a win over Mallett. Finn overcame Wills in 5 sets, whilst Brehaut defeated both Carter and Wills.
The St Pauls side are 4 points clear with 2 matches left, however their hefty games ratio advantage over Ravenscroft Panthers D makes it mathematically impossible for the Panthers side to win the Division.