Melton Mowbray Tennis Club’s men’s Aegon team took the Division Two title race down to the wire after an exciting win over closest challengers Knighton.
A narrow 7-6 win means their final match with Syston Northfields will decide the destination of the league title.
On one of the hottest days of the year, the hosts chose the match to be played indoors with an afternoon start which made for an energy-sapping contest for all.
Ben Mactaggart was just edged out in a tight 6-4, 6-4 defeat at number one before Knighton went two-up when Tom Rowe went down 6-1, 6-4 at number two.
Melton rallied through number three Simon Hawthorne who proved too consistent and athletic for his opponent to win 6-4, 6-0.
John Sturmey came in at number four and despite a match of many long rallies lost 6-1, 6-0 to give Knighton a 3-1 lead.
But Melton rallied and Ben and Tom notched their doubles with a splendid 6-2, 6-0 win before Simon and James Rowe levelled the tie with an exciting 6-4, 7-6 victory.
Ben put Melton ahead for the first time after a singles tie-break win, but John just lost out in his match to make it all-square again.
With the match in the balance, Melton brothers Tom and James Rowe came up trumps with a superb tie break to clinch the tightest of wins.
* Melton men’s second team kept up their promotion drive at Houghton with a welcome 8-1 win.
Highlight of the night was the performance of John Sturmey and his teenage son Guy who performed brilliantly to collect three wins.
Sean O’Regan and another club teenager Tom Dryell were also in fine form to collect another maximum.
At third pair Jake Beagle teamed up with debutant Tom Bendle and just missed out on a clean sweep in a third match tie-breaker.
Scores: J. Sturmey/G. Sturmey W 9-2, 9-2, 9-6; S. O’Regan/T. Dryell W 9-3, 9-3, 9-1; J. Beagle/T. Bendle W 9-2, 9-1 L 8-9.
Melton Mowbray Tennis Club’s junior teams were in the thick of the action and served up a mixed bag of results.
The 14 and under boys’ entertained a depleted Birstall team in Division Five at Melton Sports Village and ran out 6-0 winners.
Scores: Billy Drewe W 6-2, 6-1; Gabriel Philbin W 6-2, 6-0; Billy and Gabriel W 7-5, 0-6, 1-0.
* The 10 and under mixed team travelled to league favourites Kibworth in Division Six, and despite some terrific matches went down 5-1.
Melton’s sole win came from captain Frazer Jackson who played superbly to gain a 5-3, 5-3 win playing at number one.
Ollie Spencer battled hard before narrowly losing out after a third set tie-break, and Hayden Scallon also pushed his opponent close in a 5-3, 4-2 defeat.
Anna Duncan, at number four, put in a plucky performance before losing out 4-2, 5-4.
Frazer and Ollie went down 4-1, 4-1 in their doubles before Hayden and Anna again were involved in a close battle, losing 4-2, 5-4 to give the home side the points.
* The 12 and under team entertained Victoria in their Division 3B match and found the visitors in good form as the youngsters went down 6-0.
Scores: Adam Thornley L 1-6, 2-6; Danny Kettle L 2-6, 2-6; Gus Hagger L 1-6, 2-6; Jake Duncan L 1-6, 0-6. Doubles: Adam/Gus L 1-6, 1-6; Danny/Jake L 1-6, 0-6.
* The 16 and under boys entertained a strong Kibworth team in Division Three and also lost 6-0 despite many lengthy rallies in long matches.
Scores: Oliver Roberts L 3-6, 2-6; Matt Gamble L 1-6, 3-6; William Hodder L 2-6, 1-6; Liam Morrison L 0-6, 1-6. Doubles: Ollie/Matt L 1-6, 2-6; William/Liam L 0-6, 3-6.