Bears must fight to re­tain league sta­tus

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS - By BOB BROWN

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

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