Relief for Henley as Ardencote Manor are relegated

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Claverdon A line up for the camera.

HENLEY A were celebrating after avoiding relegation by the narrowest of margins in the final week of the Wildmoor Tennis League.

Having lost their final match 4-0 to Alcester A, Henley still managed to escape the drop by a single point, meaning Ardencote Manor will join already-relegated Redditch in Division One next summer.

Stratford had already been declared champions with their 16th consecutive league title by nine points from Chipping Campden and Alcester A.

Runners-up Campden finished on the same points as Alcester A, but beat them on sets difference.

Stratford signed off with a 2-2 draw with fifth-placed Alcester B. Campden also finished with a 2-2 draw with Ardencote Manor.

Henley-in-Arden just escaped relegation despite suffering a 4-0 defeat to Alcester A.

Champions Stratford fielded a weakened side against Alcester B.

Usual members Callum Bailey partnering team captain Tim Page won both their rubbers beating Gareth Price and Matt Fielding 6-3, 6-2 and beating Marcus Powell and Sam Thruston-nend 7-5, 6-4.

Stratford’s new pairing James Smith and Andrew Helby lost to Powell and Thruston-nend 2-6, 3-6 and lost to Price and Fielding 1-6, 1-6.

Runners-up Chipping Campden only just held their position when opponents Ardencote forced a 2-2 draw.

Campden’s George Richards and Tobias Kemp went down to Ben Summers and Jack Smith 4-6, 2-6 but bounced back to beat John Brain and Matt Smith 6-4, 3-6, 1-0.

Geoff Vaughan and James Hudson beat Brain and Smith 6-4, 6-2, but lost to Summers and Smith 1-6, 1-6.

Alcester A ended their season with an emphatic 4-0 victory as their Stuart Beach and Charlie Watson beat Henley’s Oli Didlick and Tom Griffiths 6-3, 6-2 and then beat Max Retallack and Matt Williams 7-5, 6-4.

Pete Watson and Barney Williams beat Retallack and Williams 6-1, 6-2 and beat Didlick and Griffiths 2-6, 6-4, 1-0.

In the final Premier Division fixture, Pershore secured fourth place with a straight sets away win over Redditch.

Pershore’s Jon Guppy and Sean Randle beat Lubo Smoliar and Andrew Hanson 6-1, 6-3 and beat Darren Shennan and Will Hanson 6-0, 6-0.

Steve Bauer and Bradley Smith beat Shennan and Hanson 6-0, 6-0 and beat Smoliar & Hanson 6-0, 6-2.

Champions of Division One, Littleton A, suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat to relegated Inkberrow A on the final day.

Evesham A gained promotion despite a 2-2 draw with fourth placed Stratford B.

Third place was taken by Moreton-in-Marsh A when they beat the other relegated team Ardencote Manor B 3-1, while Studley A finished fifth after beating sixth-placed Alcester C 3-1.

Division Two saw both promoted teams claim 4-0 wins.

Champions Claverdon A beat Henley B away, while runners-up Shipston A hosted and beat bottom and relegated team Inkberrow B.

Third-placed Snitterfield A drew 2-2 with Claverdon B. These points proved crucial as they saved Claverdon B from the drop because fourth side Chipping Campden B doomed FISSC to Division Three next year by a solitary point after FISSC could only manage a brave 2-2 draw.

In the closest of finishes in the league, Pershore B squeezed out Warwick to claim the Division Three title by only a few sets difference.

Warwick had held the lead for most of the season and both had finished with 4-0 victories and 44 points.

Pershore beat bottom side Redditch C who only chalked up two points all season and are relegated.

Meanwhile, Warwick blew away fifth-placed Studley B. Bidford A were 13 points adrift in third despite receiving a late 4-0 thrashing at the hands of fourth placed Snitterfield B.

In the last fixture, Redditch B beat the other relegated team Inkberrow C 3-1.

Division Four champions Shipston B ended their season with an easy 4-0 crushing of bottom and relegated Claverdon C.

Evesham B, three points behind the winners, celebrated their promotion with a 4-0 victory over Tysoe, which meant that Tysoe were relegated by just a single point.

The team that benefited was Aston Cantlow, who avoided the drop by bravely hanging on for a 2-2 draw with third-placed Chipping Campden C.

Mid-table teams Wildmoor A and Bidford B met, resulting in an easy 4-0 win for Wildmoor B.

In Division Five, runaway title holders Stratford C played third-placed Warwickshire County Council, who were still in with a chance of promotion.

Stratford killed off these hopes with a 4-0 victory. This left the field clear for Moreton-in-Marsh B to claim that second promotion place.

This they duly did, but only with a 2-2 draw with fourth-placed Wildmoor B.

In the final league fixture, the bottom two teams Inkberrow D and Moreton-in-Marsh C played and with Inkberrow unable to field a team they were fined and docked a point, while Moreton C were awarded a 4-0 walkover.