Action from the top flight of the Doric Insurance sponsored leagues resumed this week and Whistlers B struck what looks to be a decisive blow in the race for the title.
The league leaders were competing against one of their major title rivals in the form of defending champions Whistlers A and managed to earn a key 6-4 triumph, opening up a hefty 5 point advantage at the top. Joshua Stacey and Mark Pipet each performed well on the night as they earned singles wins over Matthew Casey and Ryan Gilson. They also teamed up to win the important doubles rubber over Lawrence Stacey and Casey in straight sets. The leaders were missing Ellis Tomlin, however 2nd Division reserve Martin Sarre stepped up to the plate impressively and battled past Casey in 5 sets to complete the win. Lawrence played well for his side with a trio of wins which included an impressive straight sets win over twin Joshua. Gilson was the other victor on the night, but he needed to battle back from the brink of defeat, overturning a 2-1 deficit before edging past Sarre over the distance.
Lions A missed the opportunity to move into outright 2nd position and are level on points with Whistlers A after being held to a 5-5 draw by 4th placed side Lions B. Ben Foss led the way with an unbeaten evening of singles action, however he needed 4 sets to get past Dan Collenette and the full 5 sets against both Phil Ogier and Andre De Carteret. De Carteret played particularly well and had led 2-0 before Foss battled through. Foss teamed with Jamie Ferbrache to win the doubles rubber over Ogier and De Carteret in 5 sets, whilst Ryan Bichard overcame De Carteret in 4 sets. Ogier and Collenette each defeated Bichard and Ferbrache in singles action, whilst De Carteret played well during a 4 set triumph over Ferbrache.
5th placed side Lions C came out on top in the bottom of the table clash against Lions D and won 8-2. Paul Hainsworth and Andy Gill were both unbeaten on the night as each picked up singles wins over Liam Robilliard, Corey Brouard and Sam Clark. The duo also combined to win the doubles over Brouard and Clark in straight sets. Charlotte Casey added a further win for the victors after coming back superbly from 2-0 down to beat Brouard. Robilliard and Clark each picked up 4 set wins over Casey to prevent the whitewash.
Whistlers C and Lions F continue to be locked together at the top ahead of their massive top of the table clash next week.
The Whistlers side did well to come through a potentially tricky clash against 3rd placed side Lions E 7-3. Kay Chivers and Ben Sharp were both in good form and each beat Steve Ozanne, Tim Le Page and Carl Le Tissier in singles action. Chivers and Opie won the doubles encounter against Le Page and Le Tissier in straight sets. Each of the Lions players picked up consolation wins over Opie on the night.
The Lions side had a tough encounter against St Pauls A but edged through 6-4. Jez Powell led his team strongly with straight sets wins over Maurice James, Chas Elliott and Trevor Bourgaize. Caden Brouard had a good evening and he defeated Bourgaize in 4 sets and James in 5 sets. Andy Ferbrache picked up the final win for the Lions side courtesy of a 4 set win over James. Elliott and Bourgaize each edged past Ferbrache in 5 sets, whilst Elliott also overcame Brouard in straight sets. Elliott and Bourgaize also won the doubles rubber over Ferbrache and Brouard in 5 sets.
The top of the table clash saw leaders Lions H overcome Whistlers E 7-3 and has seen them open up a whopping 11 point advantage at the top. The leaders could incredibly seal the title next week even with a huge 6 games remaining after those matches.
Brian Ferbrache and Steve Potter were both in strong form as each picked up singles wins over Becks O'Keefe, Callum Gilson and Max Burrows. They also won the doubles over Gilson and Burrows in 4 sets. Each of the Whistlers players picked up wins over Jonah Ingrouille.