Here's the latest update form our Tennis Team Coord, Jon Whitehead:
Having recently retired from teaching for the coming seven weeks it hasnít taken long for me to venture down to The Wolverhampton International Tennis Centre to catch up on the latest action. The interruptions of the club championships and Wimbledon are now behind us and the final six weeks of league action will become make or break for many of our thirteen teams who have been slogging away since early April.
Our mighty ladiesí A team, ably led by Amber Quick are currently on court against Albert A and are one rubber to the good. Currently with a three point lead over Walsall, a win tonight would see them move to within one match of an eleventh title in the last thirteen years. No other team in the history of the competition can match this level of success.
Moving one division down in Premier 2 we find the ladiesí B team of Jo Webb up to similar tricks. Currently sitting top of the league with two to play, a win against Florence will see our second string move back to the top table. The title is very much theirs for the taking. That match is away, this Friday, and we shall await the news with keen interest.
Matters are not so clear cut for the ladiesí C team. Cathy Grinsell sent her team off to Hanbury last Monday for a match of mid-table importance. With games in hand on their rivals, a win has moved them into a promotion place. Two matches to come against Wollaston and a season closer against bottom side Great Barr suggests that this could still be a very positive season.
The ladiesí D team, piloted by Beth Grinsell were in action yesterday away at Albert. Whilst the title will probably be heading to The Albert in this division, four points from that match and two further matches will see the Grinsell army secure back-to-back promotions. And a loud party.
Things are not quite so rosy for the ladiesí E and F teams. The E team of Vickie Jones sit bottom of division 2 having found this season tough. Currently winless with three to play, their last matches are all at home, including Thursday. Hopefully one of those three will yield a much deserved win for all their efforts this season.
The F team of Suzanne Davies have enjoyed a successful debut season, marred slightly by a cancellation during the World Cup. This penalty will ultimately see them fall away from any promotion contention. With three final games there are still plenty of points available and all matches have been played in fine spirit, which is how it should be at the blunt end of league tennis.
Moving into the hairy and testosterone fuelled menís divisions we arrive first at the G team of Jason Mansell. Having just come unstuck against Tipton via the misery of the dreaded tie-break, Mansellís boys have the opportunity to bounce straight back against Wednesbury. If the scenery is nothing to write home about, the teas are fabulous there and enough points are available to at least pester and worry the top two. They are probably too far away to catch, but the Gís play tennis the right way and have enjoyed their season so far. Long may this attitude continue.
A couple of rungs further up the league we find the F team and Joe James boys who are nestled nicely in upper mid-table. One point above the relegation zone! With five matches left to play all outcomes are possible. A couple of wins would be nice and leaders Cheslyn Hay are definitely catchable, with just one match left to play. This league is one to keep an eye on.
Further up again, Mike Shaw and his three wheeled waggon are still trying to find both points and players. A recent win against Hanbury has improved their stock, but they still remain second bottom and in the relegation places. Fortunately, six remaining matches represents a bumper opportunity to complete a great escape and this starts at home over the next two Thursdayís against Quarry Bank and Cheslyn Hay. Nobody is allowed to pick Adrian Watts or Nigel Eastwood between now and the end of the season or it will cause Mike untold distress!
One league higher and the D team have recently walked off court against Walsall having shared the spoils. This result inches us away from Brewood and Albert at the wrong end of the league and we should soon overtake Halesowen to make the season safe. Destiny is in our own hands though as a match away to Brewood in August could see us send our opponents down. Best not to count chickens though and I may need to call on Watts and Eastwood!
Now for most upsetting news. Chutney Bob Hawkes is still in line for another promotion. Like the Leicester City of a couple of years ago, everyone is still convinced that the bubble will burst and the cheap fizz will go flat. With David Lloyd and Stourbridge circling like a pair of ravenous vultures, Bob has four matches against supposedly weaker opposition to pull off the impossible. This all starts tonight night at home to Streetly. I shall not be watching. I darenít watch. I will get a blow-by-blow account at the Tennis evening in October anyway! Good luck Bob, the Cís have never had it so good!
Back in the real world the B team of Amun Samra are scrapping hard for a promotion place. Streetly A have only played five matches and look well set for the title. Runners up looks like a straight fight between Samraís boys and Florence. With games against Florence and Streetly still to come, destiny is in our own hands it would seem.
And so to the top league where Paul Hodgetts and his A team have not had matters all their own way. Six matches in and they sit in a three way tie for second. Fortunately this is with games in hand over Draycott who currently occupy the top spot. A run of home matches, starting this Friday against Albert should make the difference, Draycott will be visiting in early August. With Quick blazing a trail for the ladies, Hodgetts knows that he can not afford any further mistakes. Your support in this matter might just be greatly appreciated and is a fitting farewell for the long standing Albert coach, Tom Hole who will be known to many at WLTSC.
So there we go, just a few weeks left of the season and many of our teams still with a great shout of a promotion, a title or even a championship. Hopefully we can see you here to cheer our teams on for the rest of the summer.