ROYAL MAIL RINSED
Royal Mail suffered their first ever whitewash when they entertained reigning champions Shottery A at their shared Alderminster venue. Even the normally reliable Nello Mauri was unable to get on the card despite an epic encounter with Graham Poole. The Postman got off to a bad start acquiring just a single point in the first game. However he quickly recovered to take the second with ease, while the next two were shared taking the clash to a decider which Poole claimed 16 -14 after an excellent defensive display.Poole had to overcome an initial setback before taking the spoils against Wilf Chan, while Stephen Foster dropped just a single game to Malcolm Heritage. However that was all the Postmen could muster and, with Gary Stewart claiming his usual treble, Shottery A look odds on to retain their title.
Shottery B maintained their good start to the season with a close victory at West Wawicks. Gareth Hepworth was the star of the show after recovering from a game down to Andy Rowland and Alison Stewart before winning both matches in the decider.
Most dramatic performance of the evening came from the visitors' captain Tim Fell who lost the first two games to Rowland, and then found himself match point down in the third, only to stage a remarkable recovery and go on to register an unlikely victory. However Fell wasn't able to repeat that finish against Stewart who narrowly squeezed home in their closely fought decider. Nevertheless with Hepworth notching a treble, Fell a brace and Tony Remes their other score it was enough to ensure Shottery B went home 6 - 4 to the good.
Henley A have not enjoyed the best start to the season and were concerned about slipping up against their own second string but, in the event, they won 7 - 3 after gaining the upper hand in four of the five really closely contested matches of the fixture. The key encounter was between the two captains where Geoff Shepherd took the honours against Rob McCluskey after winning three games at deuce. Shepherd went on to record a perfect performance, including the doubles in partnership with newcomer Don McAdam who also achieved his first solo success for Henley with a five game victory over Gordon Trinder. However Trinder didn't go home empty handed after experiencing a reversal of fortune against Peter Quince to secure their clash over the distance.
Honours were even when Ashorne hosted FISSC. John Hunt led the way for the village team with a treble, although he was taken to the wire by Peter Bruce-Moore. Two other matches were also settled in the decider and both involved Brian Marston. First he lost out, for the first time ever, to Richard Bennett before twice coming back from behind to beat Peter Florence. In the final match of the evening Hunt and Marston combined to secure the crucial doubles. For the Farmers Bruce-Moore and Bennett each notched braces with Florence adding their fifth.