Bears must fight to retain league status
WARWICKSHIRE’S first team finished the first round of matches in the 201819 County Championship Premier Division with one win and two defeats.
Competing in the Cippenham Club, Slough, the Bears began with a 6-4 opening win over newly-promoted Leicestershire, thanks to unbeaten displays from Adrian Pilgrim, James Ward and Kate Hughes.
Yorkshire were next up, with last season’s runners-up registering an 8-2 victory over the Bears, who put up stern resistance despite the score.
Hughes and Rachel Pilgrim both beat Zoe Cheeseman for the two Bears wins, but Paul Lenormand was extremely unlucky to lose both his sets in the decider to Richard Lightowler and England-ranked Simon Noutch.
The Bears lost the final match 6-4 against Nottinghamshire, despite Loz Sweeney and Lenormand putting Warwicks 2-0 up, beating Jason Ramage and Trevor Kerry respectively. Other victories for Hughes and Adrian Pilgrim followed, but this result means that Warwickshire will be in their usual position of fighting to save their coveted Premier Division place in the final round of matches in February at Wood Green Academy, Wednesfield.
After the Bears performances in the final weekend in the last two seasons, few would bet against then doing just that.
Steve Cull was in inspired form for JLM Cavaliers in the Stratford League, winning his three singles and partnering Jack Davis to doubles success in the 5-5 draw at Snitterfield.
John Price took Cull to 15-13 in the deciding game and won two singles, as did Clive Irwin for Snitterfield.
Cull was again unbeaten in Cavaliers’ 8-2 victory over Taipans, with Joe Cull and Dave Bevington winning two each. John Taylor was another maximum man for Colebridge Pasties, in their 6-4 victory over JLM Troopers, with combination bat specialist Mike Credland picking up two.
Doug Payne was just pipped by Taylor in the decider, but won his other two sets. Shottery A hammered Henley B 8-2, with Gary Stewart and Stephen Foster untroubled.
It was another 8-2 score for Ashorne against Blazing Paddles, with Nello Mauri gaining a hat-trick, with braces from Dave Fordham and Chris Dickens.
JLM Hussars are the new league leaders, with the trio of Kevin Taylor, Chris Dyson and Michael Klein inflicting a 10-0 drubbing on Veterans, while Colebridge Bulldogs also inflicted a 10-0 whitewash on Henley B, with Mahroof Hussain, Chris Welsh and Dean Hicks in control.
Awais Muhammed secured a classy treble for Shottery B at Tanworth Taipans in a 6-4 success, with Tim Fell also winning two.
Jason Rainey won two singles for the hosts.
Warwickshire Bears First Tea, fom left, Rachel Pilgrim, Adrian Pilgrim, James Ward, Paul Lenormand, Laurence Sweeney, Kate Hughes