March League Roundup

With Coronavirus precautions coming in during March and full lockdown imposed on 23rd, just two matches from the Winter season, which were rescheduled for 28th and 29th March, were not played.

Most Men’s matches were completed by the end of February, so just two matches remained to be played in March.  On 1st March  Men’s 2 were away to Royal Ascot 2 in Division 4, the result of which would determine whether Crowthorne or Ascot were relegated.  In the event, the Crows were able to come away with a 3-1 win, although it was a struggle in the second round with both rubbers going to deciding tiebreaks.  Matt Paxton/Andy Sayer survived a tight first set against Dan Lampton/Don Taylor but won it 7-5 before taking the second set 6-3.  With Hamish McCarthy/Michael Harris cruising through 6-3 6-1 against Adrian Camp/Tristan Southwell, it looked like plain sailing for the match win but the Crows players found it tougher in the second round.  After winning the first set 6-4 against Camp/Southwell, Paxton/Sayer slipped up. losing the second set 2-6 and dropping the deciding tiebreak.  McCarthy/Harris found themselves a set down against Lampton/Taylor after losing the first set 6-7 but they recovered to take the second set 6-4 and win the deciding breaker to make the match score 3-1.  The 3 points leapfrogged them above Sonning and Maidenhead 5 into 4th place on 11 points.

On 8th March, Men’s 3 faced Binfield at home in Division 6E.  The result was a 3-1 win for Binfield but the Crows still finished a point clear of relegation, above Wokingham 3, in 6th place.  Joe Forrester/David Stone had a poor start, losing 2-6 0-6 to Scott Alloway/Dominic Ogden but Andy Stone/Steve Stow nearly squared the match only to lose 6-7 6-7 to Richard Nichols/Tim Usher.  Forrester/Stone got one back for the Crows with a 6-4 6-2 win against Nichols/Usher but Stone/Stow were unable to level the match, losing 3-6 4-6 to Alloway/Ogden.

Men’s 1 narrowly escaped relegation finishing in 6th place in Division 2.

Ladies’ 2 had a rearranged match on Sunday 1st March away against Wellington 3 in Division 7.  Penny Hemingway/Wendy Miles were unable to make any impression against either of the home pairs but Maggie Ingham/Jenny Partridge were able to win a close rubber 6-2 4-6 1-0 against Margaret Lucey/Judith Taylor to make the score 1-3.

The following Saturday, Ladies’ 2 faced Royal Ascot 2 at home, again losing 1-3 but in a much closer match.  Jenny Sheppard/Ravinder Norman started well with a close 6-2 6-7 1-0 win over Lisa Buttle/Caroline Everett but Wendy Miles/Penny Hemingway lost 3-6 1-6 to Kath De La Harpe/Gail Nash.   In the second round. Sheppard/Norman had another close match but lost to De La Harpe/Nash 7-6 3-6 0-1, while Hemingway/Miles nearly salvaged a point losing 6-2 4-6 0-1 to Buttle/Everett.  The team finished the season 6th in the division of 8 teams.

Ladies’ 1‘s rearranged match against Caversham 3 on 28th March was not played due to the lockdown, so the team finished 4th in Division 3.

On 15th March, Mixed 1 played their final match in Division 3 against Riseley 1 away from home.  Jon Blatchford/Emma Knowles won a very close first rubber against a strong Michael Fairburn/Karen Holt pairing 6-4 6-7 1-0 while Simon Usher/Cath Sillitoe were losing 1-6 1-6 to John and Clementina Tuck.  Blatchford/Knowles put the Tucks firmly back in their place with a 6-1 6-1 win but Usher/Sillitoe were again outclassed, losing 0-6 1-6 to Fairburn/Holt.   Still, the 1 point means the team finishes in 2nd spot above Riseley, who were unable to play their final match.

Mixed 2 were at home against Caversham 3 in Division 4 and Mark Callaghan/Jenny Sheppard found Rebecca Tricks/Andy Von Glehn too hot to handle, losing 3-6 1-6.  Andrew Morrison/Jenny Partridge were unlucky to lose a close rubber 6-7 3-6 to Elisabeth Andersson/Michael Barker and they too had no answer against Tricks/Von Glehn. losing 0-6 0-6.  However, Callaghan/Sheppard salvaged some pride with a 6-1 5-7 1-0 win against Andersson/Barker to make the final score 3-1 to the visitors.  The team finished 4th in the division which was dominated by Ascot 1 who didn’t lose a set.

With Bisham 2 withdrawing from the league. Mixed 3 had no match in March and finished in 4th place in Division 5E.

The last Junior match of the season was Boys 14U A against Caversham at home in Division 1B.  It was a good end to the season with a 6-0 win to finish in 3rd place in the division.  Jake Griffiths started well with a 6-2 6-0 win against Joseph Rogers with Jonathan Snyman finding it aconsiderably tougher in his 6-1 2-6 1-0 win over Joseph Bradley.  The Crows pair then completed the clean sweep with a 6-4 6-2 win in the doubles.

The Boys 14U B match against Royal Ascot, postponed to 29th March, was not played.

Congratulations to Boys 18U A who won Division 2, pipping Latika B to the top spot by a set.  Boys 18U B,who were in the same division, finished 6th.

Girls 18U finished 3rd in a division of 3 teams in which each side won 1 match.

Congratulations also to Mixed 10U who won Group B by a significant margin – it was a shame that three of the 7 clubs, Caversham, Wokingham and Caversham Park, withdrew their teams.