There were mixed results in Round 6 of the Berkshire Men’s Winter League. Men’s 1 were at home against Twyford 2 and they took all 3 points in a 3-1 win that will probably secure their 4th position in Division 3 with a match to play, against Wokingham 2 who are a place below them. Russell Finch & John Phillips set the ball rolling with a 6-4 6-3 win against Nicholas Webb & Jonathan Noy while James Brennan & Matt Paxton eased through 6-1 6-2 against Nigel Bailey & Gerard Stewart. Finch & Phillips secured the points with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 win over Bailey & Stewart but Brennan & Paxton had a slow start against Webb & Noy, losing the first set 4-6. Although they recovered well to take the second 6-1 they couldn’t clinch the tie-break but, with the points in the bag, it didn’t matter.
Men’s 2 are struggling in Division 4, without a point so far, and they were unlucky not to come away with their first point from Caversham Park, losing 1-3 against their 2nds. Jim Hawes & Chris Torkington were no match for the hosts’ strong first pair, Richard Morgan & Steven Ratcliffe, losing 1-6 2-6. Richard McCully & Andy Stone, however, put the team in contention by winning the second set 7-5 after losing the first 2-6 against Peter Rawlings & James Springett and taking the deciding tiebreak. They fared no better than Hawes & Torkington, however, against Morgan & Ratcliffe, losing 0-6 3-6, but Hawes & Torkington made a spirited comeback after losing their first set 3-6 against Rawlings & Springett by winning the second set 6-3, only to fail at the last hurdle in losing the tiebreak. The team have three matches remaining, but will probably have to win them all, including the one away against division leaders Peppard, to stand a chance of staying in the division.
Men’s 3 travelled to Purley for their 5th match of the season with Ben Grainger playing his first match for the club. He and partner Chris Hughes battled well against father and son pairing Colin and Glen Moses but went down 4-6 2-6. Meanwhile, Mike Smith & Steve Stow were winning 6-3 6-2 against Trevor Plowman & Mike Shepherd to give the Crows a 1 game lead at the halfway point. Smith & Stow could do no better than lose 2-6 2-6 against the Moses pairing with the cultured Colin Moses controlling the rallies most of the time. Grainger & Hughes won their second rubber 6-1 6-4 against Plowman & Shepherd to ensure a 2-2 scoreline and 4-4 on sets, and, when the games were added up, it was found that they were also equal at 34 apiece. The deciding shootout was a one-sided affair with Colin Moses, again playing with his son, a class above the Crows pair of Grainger & Hughes, so the two points went to Purley with just one to the Crows side. With two matches remaining against clubs currently below them in the division, Men’s 3 must win both to stay in Division 6W.