Stratford on verge of 16th successive league title

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Stratford A line up for the camera. Left to right: Callum Bailey, Tim Page, Simon West, Cameron Malik.

STRATFORD are on the verge of a 16th successive Wildmoor Spa League title after a 3-1 victory over nearest challengers Chipping Campden.

Callum Bailey paired up with new partner Simon West and found life tougher than normal.

After beating Campden’s Martyn Ledbury and George Richards 6-1, 6-1, they went down in a tight tussle with Tobias Kemp and Tom Partridge 6-1, 5-7, 0-1 after a championship tie-break.

Fortunately for Stratford, their other pair Cameron Malik and Max Hurtubise beat Kemp & Partridge 6-2, 6-2, and beat Ledbury and Richards 6-4, 6-4 for a 3-1 success.

Alcester A pulled to within a point of Campden by beating relegated Redditch 4-0.

Alex Woodbridge and Charlie Watson beat James MacDonald and Will Henson 6-0, 6-2 and beat Ben Portman and Darren Shennan 6-1, 6-0.

Alcester’s Stuart Beach and James Moreley-Cotterell beat Portman & Shennan 6-2, 6-2 and beat MacDonald and Henson 6-1, 6-4.

Alcester B moved up to fourth behind their sister side thanks to a 3-1 victory over Ardencote Manor.

Sam Thruston-nend and Pete Watson beat Ardencote’s Matt Smith and John Brain 6-4, 7-6, and beat Ben Summers and Christian Hardy 7-5, 6-1.

Alcester’s Tim Kenneally & Emma Hubbard lost to Summers and Hardy 3-6, 4-6, but beat Smith and Brain 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 with a tie-break finish.

Pershore had a great 4-0 win at home to Henley-in-Arden. This leaves a fascinating battle at the bottom between Pershore, Ardencote and Henley to decide who goes down alongside Redditch to Division One next year.

Pershore did their survival prospects a power of good with a vital 4-0 win over Henley.

Mike Langston and Matt Sime beat Henley’s Brett Mackay and Matt Williams 7-6, 6-2 and beat Max Retallack and Gionis James 6-1, 6-0. George Southall and Jon Guppy beat Retallack and James 6-0, 6-0 and beat Mackay and Williams 6-1, 6-1.

In Division One, with two weeks of the season still to go, the top two teams claimed their promotion places with victories.

Littleton A stayed six points clear on 40 thanks to a 4-0 win over third side Moreton-in-Marsh A.

Second-placed Evesham A also confirmed promotion to the top flight after they enjoyed a 4-0 victory over Studley A. Alcester C met Stratford B and the 4-0 result to the Stratford side took them up to fourth place and pushed Alcester C down to fifth.

Finally, the bottom two teams, Ardencote B and Inkberrow A, met and shared the points in a 2-2 draw which leaves both vulnerable to relegation.

Claverdon A were declared champions of Division Two when they beat FISSC 4-0.

Shipston triumphed 4-0 over penultimate side Claverdon B, who are now in danger of relegation.

Third-placed Snitterfield A are still vying for the second promotion spot and they are now just a single point behind Shipston A.

Snitterfield A recorded a 4-0 win over bottom team Inkberrow B, who, barring a miracle, look like dropping to Division Three.

The last fixture saw a middle of the table clash between Henley B and Chipping Campden B end 3-1 to Campden.

Division Three still finds Pershore B and Warwick locked together at the top on 36 points. Warwick only lead the table on a game difference of +62 to Pershore B’s +46.

Both enjoyed straight set 4-0 victories, which guarantees both promotion to Division Two next year.

Warwick’s win was away to relegated Inkberrow C, while Pershore B’s was over third-placed Bidford A. Fourth-placed Redditch B drew 2-2 with mid-table Studley B (25).

Mid-table Snitterfield B were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom placed and relegated Redditch C.

Division Four saw Shipston B drop a point, although securing a 3-1 win away to third-placed Chipping Campden C.

This allowed second-placed Evesham B to close the gap to three points after their 4-0 victory over sixth-placed Bidford B.

Fourth-placed Tysoe slumped to a 4-0 to relegation threatened Wildmoor A. This meant that Wildmoor jumped up to fourth, pushed Tysoe down to fifth and left them, Bidford and Aston Cantlow battling to avoid going down with Claverdon C.

Aston Cantlow at least kept their hopes of avoiding relegation alive when they overwhelmed Claverdon C 4-0. This result confirmed Claverdon C (12) relegation to Division Five next year.

The Division Five title was claimed by Stratford C after their 4-0 victory over Wildmoor B.

Stratford have opened an unassailable 11-point lead over second placed Moreton-in-Marsh B, who in turn defeated third-placed Warwickshire County Council 3-1.

While the second promotion spot is still up for grabs, this gave Moreton a two-point lead over the council side with only two weeks of the season to go.

In the final fixture, Henley C beat Moreton C 4-0.