Lions B opened up a 2 point advantage at the top of the 1st division this week after their narrow 6-4 win over their C side. Phil Ogier, fresh from emerging victorious in the Lions Spot for Sport tournament just 48 hours reserved, continued where he left off with 3 important singles wins. His first match was a repeat of the final from the previously mentioned tournament and he was looking comfortable whilst leading by 2 games and 8-4 over Joshua Butler. Butler refused to give in and managed to take it all the way to the decider. Ogier stood firm and came through 11-8 in the decider. His encounter with Alex Robinson was another hard fought match and the turning point came whilst the match was locked at 1-1. Robinson looked likely to take a 2-1 advantage whilst leading 10-8, however there was an exceptional display of retrieval from Ogier at 8-10 in a point that Robinson looked nailed on to take. Numerous full blooded smashes were played by the junior but to his dismay they kept coming back culminating in a more forced forehand retrieval from Ogier which enabled him to salvage the point. This helped him on his way to take it 13-11 and he carried this momentum forward to the 4th which he also clinched. His final singles match ended as a straight game win over reserve Luke Le Tissier, standing in for Andre De Carteret. Paul Hainsworth has acted as solid back-up for Ogier this year and he added straight game wins over Butler and Le Tissier. He was unable to get the better of Robinson who won 13-11 in the 4th game of their match. In the crucial battle between the reserves, it was Martin Sarre for the B side that won against Le Tissier in 4 games to secure the points for the leaders. Despite the victory, the B side lost their first doubles match of the season as Butler and Robinson overturned a 9-7 deficit in the deciding 5th end to take it 11-9.
Whistlers B remain rooted to the bottom of the table, however they tasted success for the first time this season courtesy of a close 6-4 win over their A side. The A side will rue the absence of Lawrence Stacey due to illness as reserve Ryan Wesley was beaten by Mark Pipet, Phil Hunkin and Ben Foss. All 3 of the members of the winning side all helped contribute to the remaining 3 wins. Foss landed himself with his first notable scalp of the season when he defeated Joshua Stacey in 5 games, having needed to come back from 2-1 down in the process. Pipet teamed up with Hunkin to see off Stacey and Morgan in a 4 game doubles win and it was Pipet that sealed the deal in the final game of the match as he powered past Morgan in straight games with some high quality attacking strokes.
Whistlers D's lead at the top was cut by a point to 2 after they dropped points for the first time this season. Their surprise 5-5 stalemate with Ravenscroft Panthers B came despite an unbeaten performance from Jez Powell. Powell beat Ryan Wesley, Peter Vivian and Shaun Mosley in singles action in addition to teaming up with Albert Unden to win against Vivian and Mosley in a straight game doubles win. Unden beat Mosley in straight games to secure a point and he also came the closest to getting the all important 6th win on the board. Ultimately it was the Panthers side that edged the vital 5 game matches on the night, winning all 3 of them. Unden lost 11-8 in the decider to Vivian and 13-11 in the final end to Wesley. 3rd Division reserve Dan Collenette was also beaten 11-7 in the 5th by Mosley.
St Pauls A not only closed the gap on the leaders during their tight 6-4 win over Whistlers C this week, but they also created a gap between the 2 sides, with Whistlers C another of the sides searching for glory this year. The result can be entirely considered to be a team win for the St Pauls side as each player's contribution was consistent, 2 singles wins out of 3. Maurice James and Trevor Bourgaize both defeated Keith Opie and Stuart Sarre, however it was Chas Elliott that secured a major scalp on the way to his 2 wins. He let a 2-1 lead slip against Opie, losing out in 5 games but bounced back strongly with a straight game win over Sarre. It was then left to him with the tough task of facing the only remaining player with a 100% singles record in all divisions, Kay Chivers, whilst his side were leading 5-4. Elliott was determined to make his mark and roared back from 2-1 down to force a tense final game. 10-10 read the scoreboard in the final game and it was at this pivotal stage that Elliott earned himself a slice of fortune via a net ball. He proceeded to complete the job in the next point to secure an excellent triumph for both himself and his team.
Lions G continue to impress on their return to local action and they ran out 8-2 winners over Whistlers H this week. Jamie and Andrew Ferbrache each defeated Matthew Casey, Alex Dekker and Matthew Board. Sophie Ferbrache beat Board in a 4 game opening match and also teamed with Andrew to win the doubles over Board and Casey in 4.
Lions J have the same record as their G side do in the division above and that record is that they have won all their matches thus far this season. That trend did not look like ending this week as they overcame Whistlers L 7-3. It was Val Guilbert who led the way for the Lions side as she defeated Imogen Bishop-White, Ellis Tomlin and Chris Mcquaigue. She also combined with Diane Le Page to emphatically see off Bishop-White and Mcquaigue in the doubles encounter for the loss of just 8 points. Reserve Val Le Messurier had a tough start and was unfortunate to lose to Mcquaigue in 5 games having held a 2-1 lead. She bounced back very strongly by beating Bishop-White and Tomlin in 4 games.