The news that promotion rivals, Knowle, had beaten a weakened Clifton 10–0 last week meant that only a miracle could push Writhlington Seconds into a promotion spot.

Pre-match preparation was as thorough as ever, with Darren Thompson, Chris Cox and Graham Steer meeting early at Andy Jeffery’s to ensure that hydration was not a problem.

Darren and Chris had a mare against Tim and John, and a single break of serve in each set was enough for the Clifton pair to take it 6–4, 6–4. Andy and Graham were also dead and buried at 6–2, 5–2 down to Sam and Mark, when Andy had a straight-talking motivational two minutes with Graham. They immediately won five straight games, and took a very tight tiebreak for a 2–6, 7–5, 1–0 win. In the

reverse rubbers, Andy and Graham had a routine 6–2, 6–3 win against Tim and John. Darren and Chris started like a train against Sam and Mark, storming to a 6–1 first set win, but lost momentum to hand a tight second set to Clifton, 7–5. With plenty of time, they elected for a third set, winning 6–2.