Shottery A made a clear statement of intent after opening their 2011 - 12 campaign with the 10 - 0 demolition of Littleton who have made a welcome return to the Stratford league. The senior Shottery side are obviously keen to regain the title following the demise of Stratford Town, and have boosted their squad with the acquisition of John Price who previously turned out for their former rivals. Both he and his captain Gary Stewart notched trebles without the loss of a game. The only truly competitive encounter of the evening was between Stephen Foster and Alex Gretton. The two have been playing each other since the latter first appeared for Stratford Juniors and Gretton was clearly determined to give the 'old boy' a run for his money launching himself around the table in a determined attempt to return everything his opponent threw at him. Ultimately, however, it was the more experienced Foster who clinched the set in the decider although, such were the vagaries of their clash, it was Gretton who won the most points over the five games.
Henley B marked their league debut by taking on Shottery C. Unfortunately it was not to prove a fairy tale start as they were also on the receiving end of a whitewash. Rob Poole, Chris Bowles and veteran Gordon Round all recorded trebles without being fully stretched.
Included in the Henley B side was Jo Coulter who, in the absence of Geoff Shephard, also played for their seniors two days later when they entertained Ashorne. Mike Evetts was, according to the matchcard, in imperious form (dictionary definition 'arrogantly domineering or overpowering'!) for the hosts notching a straightforward treble. He was well supported by stand-in captain and scribe Peter Quince who was also unbeaten after overturning early deficits against both John Hunt and Brian Marston. Evetts and Quince then successfully combined in the doubles, putting aside loss of the first two games to win over the distance, thereby ensuring their team went home 7 - 3 to the good.
West Warwicks gave a rare outing to Jim Ferguson in their clash with Royal Mail in what proved to be very much a match of two halves. They took an early 4 - 1 lead after Andy Rowland was victorious over both Richard Dalrymple and Wilf Chan and Ferguson clinched successes over Chan and Malcolm Heritage. However Heritage then overturned a two game disadvantage to defeat Peter Rodwell before going on to get the better of Rowland. Not to be outdone Dalrymple edged home against Rodwell and then gained an impressive straight games win against Ferguson. Chan closed out the singles by overcoming the luckless Rodwell to put the Postmen 4 - 5 up before West Warwicks ensured honours were even with victory in the doubles.
The Solihull side were able to recall Alison Stewart when they played host to FISSC and she once again proved the thorn in their opponent's side winning all three singles without loss of a game. Rowland also chalked up a treble although he was taken the distance by Peter Florence. Rodwell was involved in three closely contested encounters overturning an early deficit against Peter Bruce-Moore to eventually clinch the decider, but narrowly losing out to both Florence and Malcolm Smith.
With the match standing at 7 - 2, and having each defeated both Smith and Bruce-Moore in the singles, the West Warwicks pair of Stewart and Rowland would have felt confident when taking them on in the doubles. However the Farmers combination were determined to harvest something from the evening and, despite being at an early disadvantage, ploughed on to take the set to the wire where they reaped a hard earned consolation victory.