Gareth Hepworth notched a treble without reply as Shottery B won 8-2 at FISSC. Tony Remes and Ron Shakesheff added braces although, despite taking early leads, neither were able to overcome the in-form Malcolm Smith who earned both the hosts’ wins in the only games to go the full distance. Victory looked unlikely for Smith after losing the first two sets to Remes, but a dramatic turnaround in fortunes saw the farmer take the honours at the final hurdle. He was also twice at a disadvantage against Shakesheff before making it a memorable evening by clinching the decider 11-9.
When JLM Falcons travelled to Henley A Joe Cull gained his first win in the Stratford league and was unlucky not to add to his haul after twice going to the fifth and final set. He traded alternate sets with both Peter Quince and Dave Hatcher only to be defeated in the fifth by each, being particularly unlucky to lose to Hatcher having scored a point more than his opponent over the course of their encounter. However Cull had the consolation of gaining another victory in the closing doubles when partnering his father Steve who, along with Jack Davis, posted a treble.
Blazing Paddles were the third 8-2 winners of the week after their visit to Tanworth Taipans. Chris Dickens and Wilf Chan both produced unbeaten displays, although Chan was made to work hard by Tim Lawrence before achieving success in the decider. Dave Fordham gained Paddles' seventh singles and paired up with Dickens to clinch the doubles in another five set encounter. Mick Welsh secured a point for the hosts after overturning loss of the first two sets to Fordham to win over the full distance, while Lawrence also got on the card.
When they entertained Veterans Shottery A were done and dusted and on their way to a celebratory drink by 9.30pm. Gary Stewart, Graham Poole and Stephen Foster were all untroubled, with the Foster’s loss of a single set to Brian Marston in the final game of the evening the only dent in an otherwise faultless team performance.
Snitterfield and JLM Falcons head the league table with 117 points, although Falcons have played an additional match, with Shottery A just three behind. The outcome of the title race appears to rest on the crucial fixtures between Snitterfield and Shottery A who are yet to meet this season.