WEEK ten of the Wildmoor Spa Tennis League saw Stratford move 15 points clear at the top of the Premier Division and they are almost out of sight after another 4-0 win, this time over bottom side Inkberrow.
Meanwhile, nearest challengers Ardencote Manor were beaten 3-1 by Evesham who move to third above Henley on sets difference. Both are on 21 points and trail Ardencote by only two points.
Henley enjoyed a 4-0 victory over Claverdon which leaves the latter only one point clear of the relegation zone. Their nearest rivals for the drop, Littleton, did themselves no harm with a great 3-1 win over Alcester.
Stratford’s Callum Bailey and Chris Marrow overpowered Jim Richardson and Matt Saunders (Inkberrow) 6-1, 6-1 and beat Gordon Keir and Chris Dixon 6-2, 6-1. Tim Page and Will Moreley (Stratford) beat Keir and Dixon 6-2, 6-3 and beat Richardson and Saunders 6-2, 6-3.
Evesham beat previous league challengers Ardencote with a surprise 3-1 victory. John Clarke and Chris Francis (Evesham) began by losing to Ben Summers and John Brain 2-6, 6-7, but then beat Phil Silk and Christian Hardy 6-4, 6-1.
Heroes for Evesham were Andy Crowther and Simon Wall who won both their rubbers, beating Silk and Hardy 6-3, 6-1 and then defeating Summers and Brain 6-3, 6-2.
Henley-in-Arden continued their winning ways with a good 4-0 win over a Claverdon team struggling for consistent form. Neil Supperstone and Jon Hunt beat Pete Thomas and James Courier 6-2, 7-6 and beat Richard Butler and Andy Ashley 6-1, 6-3.
Brett Mackay and Sam Turner beat Butler and Mackay 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8) on a championship tie-break and then defeated Thomas and Courier 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-4) in another close match.
In the final Premier match Littleton surprised Alcester with a 3-1 win. Littleton opened with a defeat as their pair Richard Herborn and Simon Blewitt lost to Oliver Allman and Matt Poole 4-6, 2-6, but then beat Arthur Bennett and James Morley-Cotterall 6-1, 6-0.
The Littleton coaching pair of Sean Witheford and Dave Rudge proved too strong for both Alcester pairs, beating Bennett and Morley-Cotterall 6-1, 6-1 and then Allman and Poole 6-0, 7-6.
Division One again had only two fixtures with both leaders Studley A and sixth placed Shipston-on-Stour having no matches.
Studley A held on to the lead on 20 points, but had their lead cut to just two points by sister side Studley B when they comfortably beat fourth side Snitterfield 4-0. Third placed Pershore drew 2-2 with fifth placed Aston Cantlow.
In Division Two there were a plethora of matches with a late result seeing leaders Moreton-in-Marsh A drawing 2-2 with Bidford A, but beating Redditch side HDA A 4-0 in their scheduled match to open a ten-point lead at the top.
Whitnash stayed second just ahead of Stratford B on sets difference after both teams drew their matches 2-2 – Whitnash with Alcester B and Stratford B with Claverdon B.
Finally, in a rearranged match bottom side Claverdon B managed to draw 2-2 with mid-table Bidford-on-Avon A.
Division Three saw Ardencote B stay five points clear at the top with 21 points despite a 2-2 draw with bottom team Chipping Campden B. This was because second placed Inkberrow B were also held to a 2-2 draw by third placed Wildmoor Spa A.
Ilmington did their bid to avoid the drop no harm when they beat FISSC 4-0 and have now caught them on 12 points each.
In Division Four leaders Henley-in-Arden B hold a six-point lead after they beat second placed Claverdon C 3-1. Third placed Studley C took advantage to close the gap on Claverdon C to just a solitary point after they had a good 4-0 win over fourth placed Snitterfield B.
Alcester C beat Chipping Campden C 3-1. Littleton B had no match.
In Division Five leaders HDA B of Redditch stayed one point clear on 29 points by beating Wildmoor Spa B 4-0. Challengers Pershore B kept up the pressure with their 4-0 victory over bottom side Inkberrow D 4-0.
Third placed Inkberrow C on 22 points had no match but fourth placed Moreton-in-Marsh B were unable to move up after they were well beaten 3-1 by Bidford-on-Avon B.