On Saturday 9th, Ladies 2 faced a trip to Maidenhead in Division 7 to play their 6th team. They came away with 2 points from a 2-2 winning draw by 1 game to keep their hopes alive of avoiding relegation with a match to play. Alison Nicholson & Cath Sillitoe were unlucky to lose a close match against the home first pair, Hazel Adams & Claire Castignetti, losing 2-6 7-5 0-1. But Jenny Partridge & Pauline Snell kept the Crows in the match with a convincing 6-1 6-4 win over Sandr Rogerson & Fiona Jackson. Partidge & Snell lost a close first set 6-7 against Adams & Castignetti but fell away 1-6 in the second. Nicholson & Sillitoe faced another close battle against Rogerson & Jackson, but this time it was they who won the deciding tie-break, winning 4-6 6-2 1-0.
After a succession of losing draws, Men’s 3 doubled their points tally on Sunday 10th with a dominant 4-0 away win against bottom of the table Wargrave 5. The win moves them out of the relegation slots into 6th place in Division 6E. Vince Brooks & Steve Stow set the ball rolling with a straight sets 6-3 6-1 win over home number one pair Graeme Walker & Richard Etheridge. Meanwhile Andy Johns & Nathan Osborn were doing a similar job against David Smith & Greg Bello, winning 6-2 6-3. Both pairs were even more dominant in the second round, Johns & Osborn winning 6-2 6-1 against Walker & Etheridge while Brooks & Stow demolished Smith & Bello 6-1 6-0. Although a win against second placed Bracknell 4in the last match of the season will be difficult, it is at home and the team below the Crows is also facing higher placed opposition and need a win to overtake them.
The following week Ladies’ 2 played another postponed away match, this time against Royal Ascot 2. This time Alison Nicholson & Cath Sillitoe won both of their rubbers in straight sets but Wendy Miles & Sarah Mayhew, still finding their way in the league, were unable to much of an impact. Although the team lost by 5 games, it was another valuable point won for the team.
The next weekend was the last round in the Men’s Leagues and Men’s 1 were at home against Division 2 leaders Peppard 1 who had only dropped one point all season. Jon Blatchford & John Phillips had a good start against Dominic Cusk & Simon Thorpe, winning the first set 6-4, but they lost the next 1-6 and lost the deciding tie-break. David Smith & James Brennan lost their opening set 2-6 against Andrew Lee & James Franklin, but came back well to take the second 7-5 only to lose the second deciding tie-break of the match.In the second round, Blatchford & Phillips were beaten 7-5 6-3 by Lee & Franklin but Smith & Brennan agains took their opponents to a deciding tie-break, the third of the match, before losing 7-6 1-6 0-1 to Cusk & Thorpe. So a disappointing result after a very close match, but, with Maidenhead 3 being held 2-2 by bottom of the table Bisham Abbey 1, they finish a point clear of relegation.
Men’s 2 were playing Peppard’s 2nd team in Division 5W and they won 3-1 to cement their position as champions of the division losing only 2 points all season. Matt Paxton & Russell Finch thrashed the visitors’ first pair Anthony l’Anson & Vic Fry 6-2 6-1 but Jim Hawes & Peter Lindholm had to work a lot harder in winning 4-6 7-5 1-0 against Rob Woodthorpe-Brown & Nigel Sheldon. In the second round Hawes & Lindholm lost 5-7 2-6 to l’Andon & Fry but Paxton & Finch continued to dominate, winning their second rubber 6-1 6-1.
Men’s 3 had a trip to Bracknell to play their 4th team in Division 6E and, as usual, Bracknell put out a strong team aaginst their local rivals and won 4-0. However, our team remain in the division by virtue of Caversham Park 4 doing us a favour and beating Maidenhead 6 4-0 to avoid them swapping places and putting our team into the relegation zone.