IT WAS a one-sided affair when top met bottom as reigning Premier Division champions Stratford defeated basement boys Inkberrow 4-0 in week three of the Wildmoor Spa Tennis League.
Leaders Stratford have 12 points, whilst Ardencote and Claverdon trail in joint second five points behind after they both drew 2-2 – Ardencote with fifth placed Evesham and Claverdon away to sixth placed Henley A.
Alcester stay in fourth equal on six points despite their match at home to Littleton being rained off. They share this place with Evesham and Henley-in-Arden. Littleton and Inkberrow stay bottom, still both without a point so far this season.
Stratford strolled to a comfortable victory over Inkberrow, who are yet to get off the mark. Top Stratford pair Callum Bailey and Ralf Neilsen won in straight sets, beating Matt Saunders and Jim Richardson 6-1, 6-3 and Gordon Keir and Nick Brookes 6-0, 6-1.
Team captain Tim Page with partner Simon West beat Keir and Brookes 6-1, 6-3 and Saunders and Richardson 6-2, 6-2.
Ardencote’s first pair Ben Summers and Jack Smith were able to pick up points from both their rubbers as they beat Chris Francis and John Clark (Evesham) 6-3, 6-3 and then defeated Andy Crowther and Simon Wall 6-3, 6-1.
Unfortunately for Ardencote their captain Myles Wilcox-Smith and Christian Hardy were unable to emulate this feat, going down in both their rubbers 1-6, 2-6 to Crowther and Wall and 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (4-7) after two tight tie-breaks in a valiant fight against Summers and Smith.
Claverdon travelled to Henley-in-Arden but were held to a draw. Dave Taylor and Emmanuel Vaxier (Henley) lost to Pete Thomas and James Courier 2-6, 0-6 and lost to Claverdon captain Richard Butler and Andy Ashley 2-6, 1-6.
However, Henley’s Brett Mackay and Sam Turner saved the day for their team by winning both their rubbers after immense struggles – 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (10-5) against Butler and Ashley and 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) against Taylor and Vaxier following two close Championship Tie-Break finishes.
In Division One a clash between the previous week’s top two teams Studley A and Chipping Campden may prove crucial at the end of the season as the result saw Studley A beat Campden 4-0 and in doing so go clear at the top of the division on eight points, dropping Campden down to fourth place on six.
Pershore now sit second on sets difference only behind Studley A, but have played two games more, after picking up two points in a 2-2 draw with Aston Cantlow.
Meanwhile, Studley B took third spot on seven points following a good 3-1 away win over Snitterfield. Shipston-on-Stour had no fixture.
Division Two saw Moreton-in-Marsh A break away at the top to lead with 13 points following a great 4-0 win at HDA A of Redditch.
Stratford B moved up to second spot some six points behind Moreton after they enjoyed a 4-0 home win over Claverdon B, whilst Whitnash dropped to second despite their 3-1 victory at Alcester B.
Bidford-on-Avon sit fourth with five points but had no match.
A battle at the top between FISSC and Ilmington resulted in a resounding 4-0 win for FISSC and saw them go top of Division Three on six points, whilst Ilmington dropped to third place.
Wildmoor Spa A overtook Ilmington to go second with five points thanks to their 3-1 win at the expense of Inkberrow B who prop up the table. Just above them Chipping Campden B and Ardencote shared the points in a 2-2 draw.
In Division Four Studley C stay top on seven points after a 3-1 win over sixth placed Snitterfield B. Henley B are second on sets difference despite losing 3-1 to fourth placed Claverdon C.
Alcester C moved up to third place with six points following their emphatic 4-0 win over bottom placed Chipping Campden C. Mid-table Littleton B had no match.
In Division Five Inkberrow C stay joint top with eight points despite having no match, but Pershore B moved above them on sets difference after they beat bottom club Inkberrow D 4-0.
HDA B Redditch moved up to third place with seven points thanks to their 4-0 thumping of Wildmoor Spa B. Moreton-in-Marsh B dropped down to fourth after being held to a 2-2 draw by Bidford B.