It’s all still to play for in the Leigh & Westcliff Winter Mixed Division Three as all six teams played out closely fought draws as clubs returned to league action after the Christmas break!
Resuming play first after the five-week break were table-toppers Kent Elms 2 who entertained Southend Lawn 2. Elms were looking for revenge after Lawn edged a close encounter 3-2 in the opening week of the season back in September. The early signs, however, suggested this would not be the case as visiting duo of Anne-Marie Driscoll & Graham Wells steamrolled Brenda Lincoln & Andy Pond 6-1 6-2. This handed the onus onto home pairing of Jo Hancock & James Needs, who duly obliged by beating Sandy Bysouth & Graham Taylor 7-5 6-4. The 2-2 draw did neither team a favour as both will be closely looking over their shoulder at different ends of the table heading into the business end of the season.
Later that week, it was over to Westcliff Lawn 2 & Thorpe Bay 2 and Westcliff Hard 2 & David Lloyd 3.
Westcliff Lawn, who were peering over Kent Elms shoulder’s, & Thorpe Bay played out a hard earnt 3-3 draw with both rubbers going the distance! Bay’s first pair of Kris Newberry & Mark Husselbee eventually got the better of Debbie Goldhawk & Matthew Hilsum 2-6 7-6 6-2. Lawn’s pairing of Nicola Hopkins & William Bailes edged Jackie Sirdifield & Craig Jones 6-4 5-7 7-6 to make it honours even after slugging it out in the joyful January conditions!
Not to be outshone, third placed Westcliff Hard & bottom-of-the-table David Lloyd decided to also play out a nail-biting 3-3 draw! First it was the turn of Hard’s second pairing of Sue Levy & Stephen Wynn who defeated Neil Sales & Amanda Jackson 6-3 1-6 6-3 in a topsy turvy rubber. This handed the chance to Hard’s first pairing of Robyn Stone & Louis Rowe to clinch the win! Clearly, however, Lloyd’s Melanie Lamb & Ken Bateman did not get the memo as they narrowly scraped a third set tie-break to win 6-2 4-6 7-6. The draw though was enough to see Westcliff Hard leapfrog Kent Elms into first place heading into week seven.
Overall it cannot be said that any of the teams were suffering with the “January Blues” however all six teams will the rueing these missed opportunities to gain some breathing space at both ends of the table!
Looking forward to week seven, new leaders Westcliff Hard 2 travel to Southend Lawn 2 meanwhile second placed Westcliff Lawn 2 visit basement team David Lloyd 3 and there is a mid-table clash between Thorpe Bay 2 and Kent Elms 2.
Next week we look at how the Ladies and Men’s leagues faired as they all returned to action!