In their opening fixture of the 2018-19 campaign, when they visited reigning champions Shottery A, JLM Hussars threw down the gauntlet after securing the final three games to finish worthy 6-4 winners. Play commenced with the doubles where Shottery, without Gary Stewart, paired Stephen Foster and Rob Poole together for the first time but it proved a baptism of fire as they lost out over four sets. Foster regained parity with victory over league debutant James Glazzard before Graham Poole gave the hosts the early advantage. However Glazzard put his initial setback behind him to record a valuable brace, while the impressive Kevin Taylor went one better with a match-winning treble. However, in the only contest of the evening to go the full distance, Taylor was made to work hard by Graham Poole before clinching the decider. Stephen Foster was the pick of the villagers chalking up two wins, with Graham and Rob Poole each earning a point.
Honours were even when JLM Cavaliers entertained Shottery B with the hosts’ captain Steve Cull delivering an unbeaten performance. However, after gaining narrow wins in the first two sets against Gareth Hepworth his opponent launched a comeback to force a fifth where Cull secured the honours 11-9. Dave Bevington also got on the card for the Cavaliers, and was unlucky not to add a second success when taking Tim Fell to a decider. Hepworth and Fell each went home with braces for Shottery, with Tony Remes adding their crucial fifth point. The result of the match went down to the final game where Cull was successfully partnered by Luke Moffat in the doubles.
JLM are fielding three teams in the Stratford League this season and their Troopers enjoyed an opening 8-2 victory at Veterans after an unbeaten performance from Jim Clarke, and braces from both his son Henry and Piotr Penczkowski. Brian Marston earned both Veterans points in five set encounters.
Colebridge Pasties began their campaign with an 7-3 victory when entertaining new stable mates Colebridge Bulldogs. Tom Shortley conceded just a single set in completing his treble, although his doubles success with Mike Evetts was a much closer contest as the pair had to overturn an early deficit to win over the full distance. Mike Credland added a brace with Evetts contributing Pasties’ other score. Mahroof Hussain notched a pair for Bulldogs, while Dean Hicks displayed some vintage flat hitting to get on the card with all three of their team’s wins being achieved over the full distance.
Snitterfield are certain to be among the chasing pack after gaining a 7-3 win at Henley B. Alison Stewart and Alan Cotton were in fine form earning trebles, as well as combining to secure the doubles. Don McAdam was unlucky not to add to their tally after being involved in both contests to go to the wire. He took an early two game lead against Henley captain Robert McCluskey only for his opponent to launch a comeback and subsequently lost another epic to Mark Chase.