By Liam Moakes 26/07 Updated: 01/08 09:49
THE PENULTIMATE week of the South Warwickshire Summer Tennis League season saw Stratford crowned Premier Division champions for the tenth successive season - an achievement that will possibly never be repeated in the history of the league.
Their 2-2 draw with second placed Shipston-on-Stour gave them an insurmountable 33 points. Stratford captain Tim Page was absent from this victory but will no doubt celebrate later.
Ever-present Callum Bailey was this time partnered by club coach Ralf Nielsen and they lost the first rubber but secured their second.
Team-mates Richard Monk and Cameron Malik took their first but lost their second rubber.
Shipston never gave up the fight during the year and caused this season to have the closest finish for many years, preventing Stratford from their usual runaway success.
Their champions on the day were Adam Moran and Shola Adebisi who won both their rubbers. Although beaten in this match, captain William Welch and Tobias Kemp had supported their team-mates on most occasions this season to confirm Shipston as runners-up.
Shipston have now completed their fixtures on 28 points and, whilst Alcester and Claverdon have one match left with both on 24 points and therefore could equal that number by winning their final matches, they could finish only third because Shipston have beaten both in head-to-head encounters this year.
Claverdon beat Stratford B 4-0 in their last match but were caught by Alcester despite the latter losing 3-1 to Evesham.
This last result meant Evesham pulled clear of the relegation zone, two points ahead of Stratford B, and the final week’s clash between these two will decide who is relegated alongside Pershore.
Division One leaders Littleton were declared champions after defeating Ardencote Manor 3-1 as their total of 29 points cannot be caught.
Bidford-on-Avon, currently second, finished their season on 26 points after a 2-2 draw with Studley and will now have to await Campden’s final two results to see if they gain the second promotion place.
Third placed Chipping Campden could only manage a 2-2 draw away to Inkberrow and are currently on 24 points.
Inkberrow played two matches as firstly they beat bottom placed Whitnash 3-1 and then drew 2-2 against Ardencote.
This lifted them above Studley and out of the relegation zone, but they meet champions Littleton in their last game whilst Studley meet relegated bottom side Whitnash, so Inkberrow will need to be in their best form if they are to avoid the drop.
In Division Two Alcester B topped the table having completed their fixtures on 32 points after inflicting a first defeat of the season on Aston Cantlow, who fielded a depleted side.
Alcester B then beat Claverdon B 4-0 in a rearranged match which meant that, while not declared champions, Alcester can celebrate promotion as they now lead Cantlow by six points with the latter having two matches in hand and a maximum of eight points on offer.
Third and fourth placed teams Ullenhall and Stratford C respectively shared the points in a 2-2 draw and have 24 and 22 points.
Snitterfield B defeated relegated Littleton B 4-0 and with that result escaped the relegation zone and overtook Claverdon B who took their place.
Both teams are on 21 points but Snitterfield lead on head-to-head meetings. Who goes down will be decided on the final week’s results.
Having already been declared Division Three champions, Studley B enjoyed a week’s rest, but the battle was still on between Shipston B and Chipping Campden B for the second promotion place as the sides met.
A tense struggle finished with honours even in a 2-2 draw and left Shipston B having completed all their fixtures in second place with 30 points.
Campden B trail a point behind on 29 points but, with one final game against the champions Studley B to come, Campden need just one point from that fixture to secure promotion thanks to a better head-to-head with rivals Shipston B.
The mid-table match between Ilmington and FISSC was rained off, whilst the only other fixture between relegated sides Henley B and Wildmoor Spa A saw a 4-0 walkover awarded to Henley B.
Inkberrow B have clinched the Division Four title with 42 points over Moreton-in-Marsh A. They only lead Moreton by four points but cannot be caught as they have a better sets and games total than Moreton in this season’s head-to-head.
Inkberrow B began with a 3-1 victory over Snitterfield B and then drew 2-2 in a rearranged match with HDA A of Redditch.
Meanwhile, despite losing 3-1 away to Pershore B, Moreton celebrated promotion to Division Three alongside Inkberrow.
HDA A are in third but ten points behind on 28 after another 2-2 draw in their regular fixture with Alcester C.
Snitterfield B moved up to fourth on 25 points after two matches, drawing 2-2 in a rearranged match with Alcester C and then losing 3-1 to the champions.
Pershore B, with their previously referred to win, moved three points clear of relegation trouble. Inkberrow C, despite beating bottom placed and relegated Chipping Campden C, remain in the drop zone.
Division Five champions Ardencote B celebrated their title and promotion by defeating Henley C 3-1.
Claverdon C helped their bid for promotion in second spot by beating rivals HDA B Redditch 4-0. Claverdon now lead HDA by 35 points to HDA’s 30, although the latter have a game in hand.
If Claverdon win their last fixture that should be enough to secure their place in Division Four.
Studley closed up in fourth place by beating bottom two sides Bidford B 3-1 and Wildmoor B 3-1.
BRANDON MILLER and Te Ahu Davis were the
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