After a slow start to the season, reigning champions Shottery A top the table with a four point lead over their nearest rivals. They defeated Blazing Paddles 8-2 with Gary Stewart recording treble, and Stephen Foster and Graham Poole adding braces. Paddles’ Chris Dickens featured in both games to go down to the wire. He put aside an early deficit to defeat Foster 12-10 in the fifth end, and looked likely to add to his haul after taking a two set lead against Poole who then turned the tide to win over the full distance. Nello Mauri did get the better of Poole to earn Paddles’ second win, and he was also involved in a close contest with Foster who’s combination of angled returns, blocks and smashes was just enough to see him through.
Honours were even at Snitterfield where Shottery B’s Awais Muhammed achieved a maximum and shared a further success in the doubles with Tim Fell, although that looked unlikely after the pair squandered an initial two set advantage. Gareth Hepworth earned the visitors’ crucial fifth point, with Clive Irwin and Alison Stewart each enjoying two wins for the hosts while Don McAdam claimed a five set encounter against Tony Remes for their other score.
Shottery B also gained a 6-4 victory over JLM Troopers for whom Doug Payne was unlucky to finish on the losing side after recording a treble, without conceding a set, and then partnering Piotr Penczkowski to success in the doubles. However Payne’s wins were all his team recorded as Hepworth, Dave Fordham and Ron Shakesheff chalked up braces for the hosts although, in the only contest to go the full distance, Shakesheff had to overturn loss of the first two ends before overcoming Henry Clarke.
Troopers reversed that scoreline when they entertained Tanworth Taipans. George Clarke provided the backbone to their victory with a treble, as well as securing the doubles with Penczkowski who notched a brace. However Penczkowski was unable to get the better of Darius Mrowinski who won two games, with Tim Lawrence and Denis Kynaston also getting on the card.
Dave Hatcher recorded his first league treble as Henley A inflicted the whitewash on Veterans. Nigel Payne and Geoff Shepard also enjoyed perfect performances although, in the only contest to go beyond three sets, the latter was taken to the wire by Neil Mudie.
It also finished 10-0 at Ashorne where the visiting Colebridge Pasties trio of Mike Evetts, Mike Credland and Dean Hicks triumphed.
It was a good week for Colebridge as their Bulldogs enjoyed a 7-3 win when they entertained Henley B. Hicks was again in action and led the way with a treble while Mahroof Hussain notched a brace, with the pair sharing the doubles and Chris Welsh gaining their other success. Henley captain Robert McCluskey recorded two wins and Andy Rowland earned their third point, with all three of these victories being achieved the hard way over five sets.