11th Dec, 2019

Alcester A can finally celebrate Premier Division glory

Liam Moakes 23rd Jul, 2019

ALCESTER A were crowned Wildmoor Summer Tennis League Premier Division champions with 45 points following a 2-2 draw with runners-up Pershore, who finished with 41 points.

Stratford, who were champions for the last 16 years, finished in third place with 34 points after beating Littleton 4-0.

Evesham escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth after beating fourth-placed Chipping Campden 3-1. Campden only fielded two players and were penalised with a one-point deduction for this offence.

This result saw Alcester B relegated because, despite enjoying a good 3-1 win at relegated Henley, both Evesham and Alcester B finished on 17 points, however Evesham had a better sets difference.

Alcester A were last crowned champions in 1996, so their 2-2 draw with nearest challengers Pershore was vital. The match began well for Pershore as Tom and Charlie Watson lost to Charlie Crisp and Mike Langston 0-6, 1-6, but came back to beat Jon Guppy and Matt Sime 7-6, 6-3.

On the other court Stuart Beach and Barney Williams (Alcester A) beat Guppy and Sime 5-7, 7-6, 1-0, but lost to Crisp and Langston 2-6, 4-6.

Stratford claimed third place with a 4-0 victory over fifth-placed Littleton. Will Morley-Cotterell and William Smith beat Craig and Sean Witheford 6-3, 6-4 and defeated Calum Bennett and Ali Witheford 6-1, 6-1.

Ryan Bolton and Max Hurtubise beat Bennett and Witheford 6-3, 6-3 and saw off Witheford and Witheford 6-3, 3-6, 1-0.

Evesham beat Chipping Campden after Campden forfeited the first two rubbers. Campden’s only players Tom Partridge and Martyn Ledbury lost to Andrew Crowther and Sam Turner 6-1, 5-7. 0-1, but then beat Paul Everatt and Simon Wall 6-0, 6-3.

Alcester B were unfortunate to be relegated despite a fine 3-1 win over fellow demoted side Henley-in-Arden. Alcester’s Gareth Price and Pete Watson beat Max Retallack and Carrick Waldron 6-2, 6-2 and then beat Alex Didlick and Spencer Knight 6-0, 6-1.

Matt Fielding and Duncan Robinson saw off Didlick and Knight 6-0, 6-0 but lost to Retallack and Waldron 5-7, 3-6.

In Division One Redditch celebrated promotion to the Premier Division with a 4-0 victory over Alcester C, which meant Redditch were crowned champions with 40 points.

Runners-up Ardencote Manor with 37 points had no match and had to settle for promotion.

Third and fourth-placed Moreton-in-Marsh and Stratford B both enjoyed 4-0 wins over Claverdon and Shipston-on-Stour respectively. Shipston were relegated alongside Studley A.

The Division Two title race was only decided in this final week when Pershore B with 41 points just pipped Ardencote B (40) to the title, although Ardencote B do have the consolation of promotion.

Pershore B beat Campden B 4-0 while Ardencote B also won 4-0 against Claverdon B. Inkberrow B trailed two points behind in third after beating Henley B 3-1.

In mid-table, Snitterfield drew 2-2 with Warwick, leaving Claverdon B and Henley B relegated.

Bidford A, already crowned Division Three champions, suffered a rare 3-1 defeat at the hands of Evesham B. Challengers and almost certainly promoted Redditch B finished five points adrift with a total of 37 points after beating bottom and relegated Inkberrow C 4-0.

Technically, Shipston B could mathematically catch Redditch B for the second place promotion spot if they win their rearranged fixture. However, being eight sets in arrears, they would need to win 4-0 and virtually blow away their opponents in all sets.

This is a very unlikely scenario, especially since when they met opponents Inkberrow B earlier in the season they drew 2-2. This match could also save Inkberrow B from the drop but they too would require a 4-0 win, which would be unlikely if more possible. In mid-table Campden C beat Studley B 3-1.

Stratford C confirmed their dominance of Division Four with a record 54 points after they defeated fellow promoted team Wildmoor A 3-1.

Whilst Wildmoor trailed the leaders by an unbelievable 18 points, they were still five clear of third-placed Redditch C, who recorded a 4-0 win over relegated Tysoe.

Moreton-in-Marsh B were next thanks to a 4-0 win over the other relegated side Bidford B. Aston Cantlow and Warwickshire County Council comfortably avoided the drop and relaxed into a 2-2 draw.

In Division Five, Pershore C matched Stratford C’s Division Four total of 54 points as champions, celebrating with a 4-0 win over third-placed Claverdon C.

Wildmoor B with 38 points finished runners-up to claim the second promotion spot, despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Moreton-in-Marsh C.

In the middle of the table, Littleton C drew 2-2 with Wildmoor C and Henley C beat bottom of the league Shipston C 4-0.

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