Alcester edge out Ardencote Manor in Charity Cup final

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Wildmoor Summer League vice-chairman John Lovett (centre) with the Inter-League Charity Cup winning Alcester A team of Charlie Watson, Marcus Powell, captain Stuart Beach and Barney Williams.

TENNIS

ALCESTER A edged out Ardencote Manor by virtue of sets won in the final of the Wildmoor Tennis Inter-League Charity Cup final.

The 18th edition of the final took place at Bannatyne Health Club & Spa Wildmoor on Sunday, with the winners deciding which charity the £100 prize would go to.

Alcester, champions of the Wildmoor Spa League Premier Division, and Ardencote Manor, representing the Stratford & District Winter League, fielded strong sides for the clash and a healthy crowd was in attendance to watch a keenly-contested final.

Alcester’s A pair of Stuart Beach and Barney Williams opened with a convincing straight sets 6-0, 6-2 win over Ardencote’s John Brain and John Turner.

However, Ardencote struck back on the other court after losing the first sets 3-6, with captain Ben Summers and Cameron Malik fighting back to draw level at 1-1, overcoming Charlie Watson and Marcus Powell 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 following a championship tie-break.

After the change around Alcester pair Watson and Powell reversed their fortunes to beat Ardencote pair Brain and Turner 6-2, 6-3.

Then in the final rubber Ardencote duo Summers and Malik again triumphed to beat Beach and Williams 6-3, 6-2 and tie the rubbers at 2-2.

Unfortunately for Ardencote Manor, in the event of drawn rubbers the result went to the team with the most sets which was Alcester, who therefore lifted the trophy in yet another competitive final and became the 2019 Inter-League Charity Cup winners.

This was only the second time either side had played in the Charity Cup and the first time they had met in the final.

Alcester had won the trophy in 2003 representing the Summer League by beating Studley, while Ardencote had lost in the 2017 final to Stratford-on-Avon when they again represented the Winter League.

John Lovett, vice-chairman of the Wildmoor Summer League, presented the cup and individual awards, the latter of which had been donated by the Winter League, who were represented by secretary Simon Price.

Wildmoor Summer League secretary Corin Bishop presented the £100 cheque to Alcester, whose chosen charity was MacMillan Cancer Support.

Wildmoor Summer League vice-chairman John Lovett (centre) with the runners-up Ardencote Manor team of John Brain, Cameron Malik, John Lovett and captain Ben Summers.