The gulf within the Stratford league was highlighted by the latest action which saw three of the leading teams impose the whitewash upon lower placed opposition.
Robert Poole, Graham Poole and Stephen Foster boosted Shottery A's hopes of retaining the title by overcoming Ashorne with just the one set earned by visitors’ captain Roger Pye marring a perfect performance.
Colebridge Pasties were almost as emphatic when they travelled to FISSC where Jason Rainey, Mike Evetts and Mike Klein each conceded a single set in an otherwise straightforward contest.
However, just as it was looking to be a two-horse championship race between Shottery A and Snitterfield, JLM Falcons made a clear declaration of intent with a 10-0 win over Shottery B. Their team of Luke Moffat, Jack Davis and Doug Payne achieved the surprising result, with only Payne’s game against Ron Shakesheff going beyond the minimum distance. Shakesheff was unlucky not to force a decider after losing their fourth set 16-14 but the remainder of the fixture was relatively plain sailing for the Falcons. They now top the table on 127 points, but have played more matches than their closest rivals, and the destination of the title increasingly looks to be dependent on the outstanding head-to-head clashes between the three leading contenders.
Remarkably, in their inaugural season, Falcons still retain the chance of achieving a league and cup double. They also demonstrated the depth of their squad by fielding a completely different line-up when they took on Henley B in the knockout competition. Kevin Taylor and the father and son partnership of Steve and Joe Cull finished just one point ahead of Henley B at the conclusion of play but a favourable handicap adjustment of 41 saw them comfortably through to the final.