THERE appears to be no stopping Alcester A who maintained their four-point lead at the top of the Wildmoor Summer Tennis League with a 4-0 win over the club’s B team in week eight.
The leaders moved on to 28 points after Barney Williams and Sam Thruston-Nend beat Duncan Robinson and Matt Fielding 6-1, 6-3 and defeated Gareth Price and Pete Watson 6-3, 7-5.
Charlie Watson and Marcus Powell beat Price and Watson 6-2, 6-4 and beat Robinson and Fielding 6-1, 6-3.
Pershore (24) retained second spot after their 4-0 win over bottom side Henley (2), for whom Craig Mander had to retire in the second set of their final rubber while leading 4-3.
George Southall and Jack Hingley beat Tom Griffiths and Mander 6-2, 6-0 and defeated Max Retallack and Alex Didlick 6-1, 6-1.
Jon Guppy and Antony Fordham beat Retallack and Didlick 6-1, 6-1 and beat Griffiths and Mander after the latter’s injury 6-1, 6-4.
For the first time in 16 years, champions Stratford are seeing their title chances slipping away after dropping two more points in a draw at Chipping Campden. The hosts’ pair Martyn Ledbury and Ali Johnson beat Stratford captain Will Morley-Cotterell and Jeremy Simmons 7-6, 7-6, but then lost on a tie-break 6-7, 7-5, 0-1 to Stratford’s other pairing Ryan Bolton and George Adams.
Campden captain George Richards and Tom Partridge also won their first rubber against Bolton and Adams 7-5, 6-2, but lost their second rubber to Morley-Cotterell and Simmons 6-7, 4-6.
Mid-table Littleton (17) defeated second-bottom Evesham (7) 4-0. The opening rubber proved the closest before Sean and Ali Witheford overcame Simon Wall and Paul Everatt 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 and then overpowered Ray Foster-Morison and Matt Roberts 6-0, 6-1.
On the other court Craig Witheford and Richard Herborn beat Foster-Morison and Roberts 6-0, 6-1 and then edged out Wall and Everatt 6-4, 7-5.
In Division One, the match between the top two was ruined when Ardencote Manor (19) could only field two players and had to forfeit two of their rubbers to leaders Redditch.
This meant Redditch (24) took the match 3-1. Even then, the one point gained by Ardencote was lost, when the league docked them one point for not fielding a full team.
Third-placed Stratford B (15) hosted fourth-placed Moreton-in-Marsh (14) and shared a 2-2 draw. Mid-table Claverdon (11) travelled to Shipston (4) and were shocked to go down 3-1 to a determined home side.
Division Two leaders are still Inkberrow A (23), but Pershore B (21) are now a point closer. This is because Pershore B managed to beat hosts Warwick (15) 3-1, whilst Inkberrow A could only draw 2-2 away to previously fourth Ardencote B.
The result moved Ardencote B up to equal third with Snitterfield, with both teams on 18 points. Snitterfield were surprisingly well beaten 4-0 by fifth-placed Chipping Campden B (16).
The battle of the bottom two between Claverdon B (11) and Henley B (6) resulted in a 4-0 victory for Claverdon B and keeps alive their hopes of avoiding relegation.
Depleted Bidford A lost their first match of the season, but retained top spot in Division Three. Bidford (25) travelled to Studley B and found themselves competing against some of the hosts’ A players who had earlier in the season dropped out of Division One.
As a result, Studley B (19) emerged 3-1 victors and moved up to joint second with Shipston B (19). The latter kept second spot by beating Redditch B (18) 3-1, causing Redditch B to drop to fourth.
Evesham B (12) pulled clear of the relegation zone with a valuable 4-0 defeat of Chipping Campden C (10) and mid-table Inkberrow B (15) beat sister side Inkberrow C 3-1 in a close match which featured two tie-breaks, but the result left their C team club-mates bottom on nine points.
Division Four leaders Stratford C (32) played bottom team Tysoe (6) and it resulted in a predictable 4-0 win for Stratford who maintained a nine-point lead.
This is after Wildmoor A (23) also enjoyed a great 4-0 victory over third-placed Redditch C (20). Aston Cantlow (15) were held to a 2-2 draw by Bidford B (7) and as a result are joined in fourth place by Moreton-in-Marsh B (15) who beat Warwickshire County Council (10) 3-1.
In Division Five the top team increased their lead to five points when Pershore C (32) beat bottom side Shipston C (3) 4-0.
Second-placed Wildmoor B (23) were held to a 2-2 draw by sister side Wildmoor C (16) who moved to fourth.
The closest match of the season in the whole league was played between third-placed Claverdon C (19) and Henley C (12), who sit third from bottom. Henley did themselves a power of good by claiming the tightest of 3-1 victories. Meanwhile, Claverdon seem to be losing ground rapidly on the leaders. Every single rubber went to a tie-break before a result was reached.
Fifth-placed Littleton B (15) enjoyed a 4-0 win over Moreton-in-Marsh C (8).