Titchener Turns The Tide
Winchester's Sigvaris-sponsored sixth team consolidated their position in the top half of Hampshire Division 3 with a hard fought 3-2 victory at home to Portsmouth Navy.
First on court, John Titchener was returning from injury and keen to put in a good performance against a very fit Loz Seaman. Titchener started strongly, driving consistently and accurately to take the first game 9-6. However, his matchplay was rusty and a slight loss of concentration allowed Seaman to gain the upper hand to take the next two games. A change of tactics was called for, Titchener successfully mixing up his shots to take the fourth 9-6. In the final game both players were tired but determined, the score reaching 8-8, then 9-9 with match points being saved on both sides, before Titchener unleashed an unstoppable low drive down the forehand wall to clinch the match by the narrowest of margins.
Meanwhile Patrick Fisher was embroiled in another tough encounter against Andy Rogers. Fisher fought hard, displaying his trademark accuracy and consistency, but Rogers was just too strong and quick, running out the winner in four close games.
Trevor Leahy was also up against it against the in-form Oliver Burrows who had lost only one match all season. Although Leahy produced some inch-perfect drop shots and accurate lengths, Burrows' overall fitness and consistency allowed him to dominate proceedings and take the match 3-1.
With skipper Will Maclean unavailable, the pressure was on Olley Harrison at no.2 to turn things around for the Bereweeke Road side and he didn't disappoint, displaying ruthless efficiency against veteran Robin Young to win his match 3-0 for the loss of just a miserly four points.
So it fell to the number ones to battle it out for overall victory, and Southern Area U15 champion Josh Leahy responded in fine style for Winchester, overcoming the Navy's Danny Egan in straight games and with the minimum of fuss to secure the winning points for his team.