ALCESTER A took advantage of champions Stratford fielding a below full strength side to earn a 2-2 draw in the Wildmoor Spa Tennis League Premier Division.
Stratford, crowned champions for a 15th successive season the previous week, were able to take a look at some different faces and their share of the spoils leaves them on 42 points, 13 ahead of second placed Alcester A.
Stratford regular Pieter Uys-Barnard paired up with Andrew Helby and, following an epic struggle, went down 6-3, 3-6, 0-1 in a tie-break to Stuart Beach and Marcus Powell. Uys-Barnard and Helby recovered to beat Tim Kenneally and Emma Hubbard 7-5, 6-0.
Adam Winwood and Sam Righton also beat Kenneally and Hubbard 6-2, 6-1, but lost to Beach and Powell 2-6, 4-6.
Third placed Ardencote Manor (24) were unexpectedly held to a 2-2 draw by Alcester B (19), for whom two points took them out of the bottom two.
Tom Watson and Charlie Watson (Alcester B) beat Ben Summers and Pete Thomas 6-0, 6-4 and beat Myles Wilcox-Smith and Christian Hardy 6-3, 6-2.
Pete Watson and Gareth Price (Alcester B) lost to Wilcox-Smith and Hardy 4-6, 4-6 and also lost to Summers and Thomas 4-6, 3-6.
Redditch HDA A (24) joined Ardencote in joint third after an excellent 4-0 win over Henley-in-Arden (21) who dropped to fifth.
Tomas Cop and James McDonald (HDA) beat Brett Mackay and Sam Turner 6-2, 7-6, and beat Tom Griffiths and Max Retallack 6-0, 6-3.
Terry Iduitua and Lubo Smoliar (HDA) beat Griffiths and Retallack 6-1, 6-2 and defeated Mackay and Turner 6-2, 6-3.
Bottom side Moreton-in-Marsh claimed a rare win 3-1 over Evesham (18), which meant the latter dropped into the relegation zone and are looking at the drop to Division One.
James Elliott and Gary Jackson (Moreton) beat Chris Francis and Julian Heath 6-4, 7-5 and saw off John Clarke and Simon Wall 7-6, 6-0, whilst Chris Elliott and Brian Lomas (Moreton) beat Clarke and Wall 5-7, 7-5, 1-0, but lost to Francis and Heath 6-1, 1-6, 0-1.
Chipping Campden (35) are beginning to pull away at the top of Division One thanks to a 4-0 victory over second bottom Claverdon (17).
Littleton leapfrogged two teams to go second on 31 points following their 3-1 win over relegated Snitterfield (6).
The other two teams vying for promotion – Studley and Pershore, both on 29 points – lost ground.
Studley were the big losers, going down 3-1 to Stratford B (18) who pulled out of the relegation zone. Pershore were held to a 2-2 draw by mid-table Ardencote Manor (23).
Division Two’s top two Inkberrow A (38) and Alcester C (27) drew 2-2 which confirmed Inkberrow A as champions.
Henley B (27) are still vying with Alcester C for that second promotion spot after being held 2-2 by bottom side Studley B (12).
These results gave Shipston A (27) the opportunity to also draw level for that second promotion spot, which they did when they beat relegation-threatened Snitterfield B (13) 3-1.
Mid-table teams FISSC (24) were beaten 3-1 by Claverdon B (19), who moved out of the bottom two.
Chipping Campden B (34) are within touching distance of the Division Three title after a convincing 4-0 win over Pershore B (21).
Second placed Inkberrow B remained on 27 points having no match, whilst third placed Redditch HDA B (26) were shocked to be beaten 4-0 by fourth placed Warwick (24).
The two relegated teams – Aston Cantlow (7) and Claverdon C (4) – drew 2-2 with each other.
In Division Four Bidford-on-Avon A (42) confirmed their title win with a 3-1 victory over nearly-relegated Moreton B (17).
Second placed Inkberrow C (30) must now concentrate on that second promotion place but were disappointed to only manage a 2-2 draw from their visit to Wildmoor Spa (23).
Third placed Redditch HDA C (27) were also held to a 2-2 draw by fourth placed Evesham B (24), whilst Bidford B (24) stayed level fourth with Evesham after they were held to a 2-2 draw by relegated Moreton-in-Marsh C (5).
The Division Five promotion race opened up as Shipston B (31) made their bid for the title with an excellent 4-0 win over third placed Warwickshire County Council (27).
This gave newcomers Tysoe (28) the chance to move into second place with a 3-1 win over fifth placed Henley C (22).
Chipping Campden C (28) also moved up to joint second with Tysoe by defeating Inkberrow D (20) 3-1, whilst Wildmoor Spa B (21) moved away from the bottom after they defeated basement side Redditch HDA D (10) 3-1.