16th Dec, 2017

There's no stopping rampant Stratford

Liam Moakes 14th Jun, 2017

STRATFORD maintained their 100 per cent record at the top of the Wildmoor Spa Tennis League Premier Division with another 4-0 victory – this time over Moreton-in-Marsh – to move on to 33 points.

Moreton, with only eight points, are looking set for relegation.

Stratford’s nearest challengers Ardencote Manor (21) lost more ground after being held to a 2-2 draw by fourth placed Henley-in-Arden (18).

Alcester A climbed to joint second with Ardencote after they surprisingly defeated Evesham 4-0, causing the latter to slip down to sixth with 14 points.

Alcester B managed a 3-1 win at Redditch HDA A (15) to reach 14 points.

Stratford’s top pair Callum Bailey and Simon West beat Brian Lomas and Greg Stotesbury 6-0, 6-1 and Gary Jackson and Chris Elliott 6-0, 6-1.

Chris Marrow and Pieter Uys-Barnard (Stratford) beat Jackson and Elliott 6-0, 6-0 and Lomas and Stotesbury 6-2, 7-5.

Alex Woodbridge and Marcus Powell led the way for Alcester A in a tough rubber, which they claimed over Evesham’s Andrew Crowther and Chris Francis after a championship tie-break 6-4, 4-6, 1-0.

They then beat John Clarke and Julien Heath 6-0, 6-4. On the other court, Alcester’s Tim Kenneally and Stuart Beach beat Clarke and Heath 6-4, 6-3 and then overcame valiant Crowther and Francis in another tie-breaker 6-4, 3-6, 1-0.

Ardencote Manor’s challenge seems to be fizzling out after dropping points again in their draw. Ben Summers and Pete Thomas (Ardencote) beat Sam Turner and Brett Mackay 6-4, 6-3 and Tom Griffiths and Matt Williams 6-1, 6-4.

However, the other Ardencote pair Myles Wilcox-Smith and John Brain went down 0-6, 5-7 to Griffiths and Williams and then lost out on a tie-break to Turner and Mackay 4-6, 6-2, 0-1.

Alcester B improved their chances of avoiding relegation by beating the team above them, Redditch HDA A, 3-1.

Matt Fielding and Will Morley-Cotterell (Alcester B) beat Tomas Cop and Terry Iduitua 7-5, 7-6 and Chris Irwin and Simon Watson 6-0, 6-0. Gareth Price and Will Smith (Alcester B) beat Irwin and Watson 6-0, 6-1, but lost to Cop and Iduitua 0-6, 3-6.

Division One leaders Chipping Campden (25) had their match against bottom side Snitterfield (4) postponed due to rain. This gave Littleton the chance to close up on them, which they did when they beat relegation-threatened Claverdon (12) 3-1 to move to 24 points.

Joint third placed teams Pershore and Studley, with 20 points apiece at the time, met at Studley where the hosts took the match 3-1 to move clear on 23 points in third and leave Pershore fourth on 21 points.

Ardencote Manor B (16) beat fellow mid-table side Stratford B (15) 4-0.

In Division Two, Inkberrow A pulled clear at the top with 28 points following a 4-0 walkover against FISSC (15), who were docked two points.

Second placed Henley B (24) had several of their normal side away and their reserve side were unable to hold fourth placed Shipston A (18), who were pleased to emerge 3-1 victors.

Alcester (21) moved clear in third despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Claverdon B (15) and bottom team Studley B (9) managed a 3-1 win over the team immediately above them, Snitterfield B (10).

However, both are still favourites for the drop to Division Three.

In Division Three, top two Redditch HDA B and Chipping Campden B continue to swap places. This time it was Campden’s (24) turn to top the table following a 4-0 victory over fifth placed Warwick (16).

HDA B (23) were held to a 2-2 draw by third placed Pershore B (19). Fourth placed Inkberrow had their match at Aston Cantlow postponed due to heavy rain and bottom team Claverdon C had no fixture.

It is as you were at the top of Division Four with Bidford-on-Avon A (33) still leading Inkberrow C (26) by seven points.

Both enjoyed 4-0 victories – Bidford over previously third placed Evesham B (18) and Inkberrow over bottom placed Moreton-in-Marsh C (3).

Redditch HDA C (19) moved above Evesham, pushing them down to fourth, despite losing 3-1 to relegation-threatened Moreton-in-Marsh B (14).

Wildmoor Spa A (17) hosted Bidford B (14) and the honours were shared in a 2-2 draw. This left Bidford B alongside Moreton B in the relegation zone.

Rain ruined the Division Five schedule. The only match played saw Warwickshire County Council defeat fourth placed Henley C (18) 3-1 to move second with 21 points.

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