Melton Mowbray Tennis Club fortunes got even better when their men’s first and second Winter League teams clinched their respective division titles.
The team travelled to Stoney Stanton for their last match of the season without regulars Ben Mactaggart, Luke Smith and Ryan Parmar who were on Winter County Cup duty with Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.
Still requiring a 6-2 win to overtake long-time leaders Lutterworth, the Melton team once again came up with the goods, collecting a superb 7-1 win to earn nine points and finish two clear of Lutterworth.
The unavailability of their top players meant another step up for Justin Horobin who teamed up with the in-form Tom Rowe.
Despite pre-match concerns about the slippery courts, the pair paved the way with a convincing four-set win by beating their second pairing 6-1, 6-0 and then playing just as solidly to record a 6-1, 6-2 score.
Brothers Tom Ellis and Jack Ellis, involved with many of Melton’s successes this season, played some positive tennis to collect three out of four sets and ensure the title went back to Melton.
On an individual league basis the Melton team boasted the top ranked player in Tom Rowe with 14 wins out of 14, ahead of Ben Mactaggart (10 out of 10) and Jack Ellis in eighth with eight out of 14.
The squad consisted of Ben Mactaggart, Tom Rowe, Tom Ellis, Jack Ellis, Ryan Parmar, Luke Smith and Justin Horobin.
Scores: Jack Ellis/Tom Ellis drew 6-0, 4-6; won 6-1, 7-6. Tom Rowe/Justin Horobin won 6-1, 6-2; won 6-1, 6-0.
* Melton’s men’s second team were in a much healthier position when they travelled to Gynsill after results elsewhere had gone their way and guaranteed them the title.
Jason Wheatley came in to partner teenager Sam Dryell and they came out with a single rubber from their four.
Jake Beagle teamed up with Sam’s twin brother Tom Dryell at second pairing and they also came out with a single set to give the hosts an 8-2 win.
The team have performed brilliantly throughout the season and finish top of Division Four with 55 points, 16 clear of Market Harborough.
Simon Hawthorne finished third in the individual standings with seven wins out of eight, while Jack Ellis was sixth (five from six), Neil Johnson was eighth with five from six, and Pierre Luiggi was 10th with four from four.
The second team used 14 players throughout the winter.
Squad: Jason Wheatley, Neil Johnson, Jonathan Sturmey, Sam Dryell, Tom Dryell, Simon Hawthorne, Jake Beagle, Olli Aley, Tom Bendle, Jack Ellis, Justin Horobin, Tom Rowe, James Rowe, Pierre Luiggi,
Scores: Jason Wheatley/Sam Dryell lost 1-6, 0-6; drew 3-6, 6-3. Jake Beagle/Tom Dryell lost 4-6, 1-6; drew 6-2, 1-6.