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Stratford crowned Wildmoor League champions for 16th year in a row

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

STRATFORD-on-Avon clinched their 16th consecutive Wildmoor Summer Tennis League title with a week to spare following a 3-1 victory over Ardencote Manor.

The result was crucial to Ardencote’s survival in the top flight and it leaves them three points adrift of Henley near the bottom.

This was because Henley-in-Arden picked up an invaluable four points in a maximum 4-0 win over relegated Redditch to lift themselves out of the danger zone with just one fixture to go.

Chipping Campden stayed in the runners-up spot despite losing 3-1 to fourth-placed Alcester B

Meanwhile, third-placed Alcester A travelled to relegation-threatened Pershore and the latter hosts celebrated an excellent 4-0 victory drawing them clear of the relegation battle.

Stratford’s Callum Bailey paired with usual partner Cameron Malik as they beat Ardencote’s Ben Summers and Jack Smith 6-3, 6-0 and Pete Thomas and John Brain 6-1, 6-0.

Stratford’s William Morley-Cotterell and Tim Page saw off Thomas and Brain 6-2, 6-2, but lost to Summers and Smith 6-7, 7-5, 0-1 after a Championship tie-break.

Pershore’s George Southall and Mike Langston beat the Alcester A team of Stuart Beach and James Clemons 6-1, 6-2 and beat Charlie Watson and Pete Watson 6-1, 6-2.

Antony Fordham and Jon Guppy beat Alcester A’s Watson and Watson 6-2, 6-2 and beat Beach and Clemons 6-3, 7-5.

Alcester B dented Campden’s chances of the runners-up spot when they beat them 3-1.

Alcester B’s Marcus Powell and Sam Thruston-nend beat George Richards and Tobias Kemp 7-6, 6-2 and beat Geoff Wood and Phil Wood 6-4, 6-1.

Gareth Price and Matt Fielding beat Campden’s Vaughan and Wood 1-6, 6-4, 1-0, but lost to Richards and Kemp 6-3, 4-6, 0-1.

In the final Premier Division match, Henley grabbed vital maximum points in the relegation battle.

Oli Didlick and Tom Griffiths beat Redditch’s Matthew Cutler and Ben Portman 6-1, 6-1 and beat Darren Cutler and Lubo Smoliar 6-2, 6-0.

Brett Mackay and Matt Williams saw off Cutler and Smoliar 6-4, 6-2 and beat Cutler and Portman 6-2, 6-2.

Littleton A were declared champions of Division One after a 4-0 win over relegated Ardencote B.

Ardencote were docked a further point for only sending one pair to the match.

That amassed 44 points for Littleton, to give them the title over runners-up Evesham A, who only managed a 2-2 draw with fifth-placed Alcester C.

Both had already celebrated promotion the previous week.

Third placed Moreton-in-Marsh A managed a comfortable 3-1 win over the other relegated team, Inkberrow A. Fourth-placed Stratford B drew 2-2 with Studley A.

Division Two champions Claverdon A were walked over when they lost 4-0 to Chipping Campden B.

Shipston A stayed in the second promotion spot by drawing 2-2 with third-placed Snitterfield A, but only lead them by a solitary point and the battle will go to the wire.

FISSC hosted Henley B and the 2-2 result meant that while Henley moved away from the relegation zone, FISSC fell into the bottom two.

This was because when the previous bottom two teams in the table, Claverdon B and Inkberrow B met, Claverdon won 4-0, giving them a total of 18 points, one above FISSC.

Division Three leaders Warwick took a giant step toward their championship bid by beating relegated Redditch B 4-0,

Redditch did themselves no favours by only fielding one pair and were docked a further point.

Challengers Pershore B kept right on Warwick’s tail with the same points after they also beat Snitterfield B 4-0.

The latter similarly turned out only one pair and were docked a further point by the league.

Fourth-placed Studley B managed a 3-1 win over relegated Inkberrow C, while Bidford A moved up to third after beating relegated Redditch C 4-0.

Redditch C were docked a point for playing with only one pair.

Division Four saw confirmation of promotion for the top two teams Shipston B and Evesham B, after both celebrated 3-1 wins.

Shipston beat relegation-threatened Aston Cantlow, while Evesham saw off Wildmoor A.

Third-placed Chipping Campden C overcame relegated Claverdon C 3-1 to secure their position.

Bidford B beat Tysoe away 3-1 in an effort to avoid relegation.

In Division Five, previously declared champions Stratford C played second placed Moreton-in-Marsh B in a match that could decide Moreton’s promotion.

However, it was Moreton who suffered defeat for the second time to Stratford, going down 3-1.

This gave a chance to Warwickshire County Council who took the opportunity to draw to within one point of Moreton B when the Council drew 2-2 away to fourth-placed Wildmoor B.

Bottom team Moreton C lost to next to bottom Inkberrow D 3-1, while Henley C also played a rearranged match against Inkberrow D, which resulted in a 3-1 win for Henley.

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