The Doric Insurance sponsored senior leagues have now commenced the 2020/21 season and this campaign is being contested by 28 teams across 4 Divisions.
2018/19 champions Whistlers A finished runners-up to Whistlers B last season, however they have made the best start to the new campaign after recording a ruthless 9-1 win over Lions D. Lawrence Stacey and Matt Casey each started well with singles wins recorded over Liam Robilliard, Steve Ozanne and Charlotte Casey. Ryan Gilson had a tougher evening and battled past Casey in 4 sets before overcoming Ozanne in a hard fought straight sets win. He was unable to remain undefeated like his teammates as he went down in 4 sets to Robilliard. Casey and Gilson teamed up to win the doubles rubber over Ozanne and Casey in 5 sets.
The defending champions, Whistlers B, has changed since last year as junior Ben Sharp has made the step-up to the first Division for his debut season, replacing Mark Pipet. They came up against a strong looking Lions A side that had too much firepower in the end and won 7-3, however the result could have been different and hinged on a few lengthy 5 set encounters. Ben Foss starred for the victors due to singles wins over Josh Stacey, Ellis Tomlin and Sharp, however this does not tell the full story as he needed to battle back from 2-0 down to Stacey before cruising through the deciding 5th end 11-1. Ryan Bichard added a further 2 singles wins over Tomlin and Sharp, but he also needed to come through a 5 set encounter over Sharp in the final match of the evening. Jamie Ferbrache picked up the 6th singles win for the Lions outfit over Sharp and this too went the distance, with Ferbrache mirroring Foss' efforts of coming back from a 2-0 deficit. Foss and Bichard won the doubles over Stacey and Tomlin in straight sets to extend the margin of victory. Stacey beat Bichard in 4 sets and Ferbrache in straight sets, whilst Tomlin beat Ferbrache in straight sets.
Lions B were the final winners in the opening week of fixtures after they came through 7-3 over Lions C. Phil Ogier, Dawn Morgan and Andre De Carteret all earned singles wins over Sam Clark and reserve Brian Ferbrache, with De Carteret fighting back from 2-1 down to beat Clark in the final match of the night. Ogier and De Carteret won the doubles clash over Paul Hainsworth and Clark in straight sets. Despite the defeat for his side, Hainsworth made a good start to the season and earned strong 4 set wins over Ogier and Morgan as well as a straight sets win over De Carteret.
The second Division started a week earlier and completion of just 2 fixtures has already left just 2 sides with 100% records. Whistlers D head the way from Lions E due to having a marginally better games ratio.
The Whistlers side had a crunch match against their C side this week and did excellently to edge the tie 6-4 in what was a real team effort. Martin Sarre, Paula Le Ber and Craig Dunning all earned singles wins over Keith Opie and Ian Fitchet to make sure of the victory. The tightest of these matches was Dunning's 5 set win over Opie. Kay Chivers played well despite the defeat for her team as she won all of her singles matches over Sarre in 5 sets and both Dunning and Le Ber in 4 sets. She also teamed with Opie to win the doubles match over Sarre and Dunning in 4 sets.
Lions E had a tough clash of their own, but edged past Ravenscroft Panthers B 6-4 this week. Jez Powell led the way for his side with straight sets singles wins over Amy Wesley, Juliette Yeaman and Oscar Pearson. Caden Brouard added wins over Pearson and Wesley, but lost in 4 sets to Yeaman. Powell and James Crocker won the crucial doubles encounter over Wesley and Pearson in straight sets.
The third Division has also completed 2 weeks of action and the 3 sides leading the way with 2 victories each are Ravenscroft Panthers D, Whistlers F and Whistlers G. The Panthers side have the best games ratio and they battled past Lions I 7-3 this week.
Mark Windsor was the strongest performer on the night due to his singles wins over Carly Tucknott, Jayden Tucknott and Erin Vaudin. Shaun Mosley added wins over Vaudin in 5 sets and Carly in straight sets, but lost to Jayden in straight sets. Steve Martin completed the victory with wins over Jayden in 5 sets and Vaudin in straight sets, however he was defeated by Carly in 5 sets in the opening match of the night. Carly and Jayden combined well to win the doubles match over Mosley and Martin in 4 sets.
Lions M, Ravenscroft Panthers E and Lions J were all winners during the opening matches of the season this week.
The Lions M side of Jan Priest, Jenny Powell and Cameron Powell defeated Whistlers H 9-1, whilst the same result was earned by the Panthers side of Shelby Timms, Tia Timms and Huxley Le Conte over Lions L.