The local top flight league returned to action this week with the traditional 3 man format being restored after 2 consecutive seasons of a 2 man format having been used.
Due to the odd number of 5 teams in the Division, there will only be 2 matches played each week.
Defending champions Lions A made the ideal start to the campaign with a commanding 8-2 win over Whistlers B. Garry Dodd and Liam Robilliard both set their stalls out for the season with unbeaten starts, each accounting for Phil Hunkin, Ben Foss and reserve Derek Webb, standing in for Mark Pipet, without dropping an end between them. Chloe Le Tissier got off the mark with a 4 game win over Webb and competed well in both of her other singles matches against Hunkin and fellow Division 1 debutant Foss, going down in 4 and 5 games respectively. She tasted further success in the doubles encounter after a 4 game win over Hunkin and Foss alongside Robilliard.
Lions B also made a very good start to their season with a hard fought 6-4 win over a strong Whistlers A side. Paul Hainsworth made his best ever start to a Division 1 campaign courtesy of 3 closely contested wins. He was required to reverse a 2-1 deficit in his opener against Dawn Morgan to win in 5, which was the same amount of ends he needed to get past the ever improving Stacey twins, Joshua and Lawrence. Phil Ogier impressed against both twins with matching 4 game wins, but he lost out in straight games to Morgan in the final dead rubber of the match. The important doubles match was won by Ogier and Matt Stubbington, standing in for the injured Carmen Aniceto. The pair combined well during their 4 game success over the combination of Lawrence and Morgan. All Whistlers players defeated Stubbington in 4 games in the other singles matches.
St Pauls A are the early leaders of the 2nd after their 10-0 whitewash of Ravenscroft Panthers B. Maurice James, Chas Elliott and Trevor Bourgaize all defeated Peter Vivian, Shaun Mosley and Steve Martin. Elliott and Bourgaize teamed up to win the doubles clash against Vivian and Martin in 4 games. The scoreline was a harsh reflection on the Panthers side that lost 6 of the 10 matches over the full 5 game distance.
The closest match of the week was between Lions' and Whistlers' respective 'E' sides, with the former taking the 2 points. 12 year old Luke Bichard obtained some excellent results towards the tail end of last season in this division and he was far and away the stand out performer in this fixture. He showed great resolve against the experienced Division 2 opposition in the form of Ken Falla, Len Bretel and Sam Kershaw, winning in 5 games against the latter and 4 against both Falla and Bretel. Brian Ferbrache opened with a straight game win over Bretel and lost out in a humdinger to Kershaw, 14-12 the score in the final leg. Another junior, Cleo Rosumek, added an important win over Bretel in 4 games. Ferbrache and Bichard made absolutely no mistake in what turned out to be a pivotal doubles match against Bretel and Kershaw, winning in straight games.
Lions G remain top following a convincing 9-1 win over Whistlers H this week. Jamie and Andrew Ferbrache went through the evening unbeaten with each defeating Matthew Casey, Matthew Board and Alex Dekker. Sophie Ferbrache beat Dekker and Board in 4 and was very unlucky not to pick up her 3 after losing out to Casey in 5 games, despite fighting back from 2-0 down to force the decider. She paired with Andrew in the doubles where they secured a 4 game triumph over the team of Board and Dekker.
Lions J and Lions K are both tied at top of the table with matching games difference ratios of 16-4 following their first 2 matches of the season.
Lions J ran out 7-3 winners over Whistlers L in a fixture which saw Sam Totty remain unbeaten. The junior saw off the challenge of Chris Mcquaigue, Imogen Bishop-White and Ellis Tomlin in singles action in addition to winning the doubles match against Mcquaigue and Tomlin in 4 games alongside Val Guilbert. Guilbert herself added 2 wins over Bishop-White and Mcquaigue and Diane Le Page also contributed with a straight game win over Bishop-White.
Lions K on the other hand were 8-2 winners for a second week in a row, Whistlers K the defeated side on this occasion. Graham Mallett and Derek Cave made sure of the win with singles wins over Callum Gilson, Michelle Gilson and Tom Hagerich and a straight game doubles win over Hagerich and Callum in straight games. Janine Mallett put the icing on the cake with a 4 game win over Hagerich.