STARBECK were denied the Tyke Petroleum Men’s Tennis League division two title right at the very end of the season.

They took on relegated Bubwith needing all but half a point to snatch the trophy off neighbours Harrogate Racquets and the initial onslaught put them within touching distance of the crown, as they claimed all six rubbers and an unassailable 58-14 lead after just two rounds.

However, Bubwith captain Rob Jackson and Liam Moore proved heartbreakers, winning their final rubber 9-3 to deny Beck the silverware.

Racquets thus clung onto the division two trophy by just half a point.

Bubwith and Appleton Roebuck will drop from division two to three where next season they will face Academy 2 and Wilberfoss, the champions of division four and five respectively, as well as incumbents Boston Spa 2, Wigginton 2, York 2 and Starbeck 2.

Knaresborough and Rowntree Park 2, relegated from division three, will head up next season’s division four, which includes Harrogate Racquets 2, Copmanthorpe 2 and Wigginton 3, plus Heworth, Wetherby 2 and Alne & Tollerton, who rise from division five.

There was more joy for Harrogate-based players when Harrogate Spa entertained division seven champions Fulford 2 in their final inter-divisional match.

Although already division six champions in their maiden campaign, Spa needed at least five-and-a-half points to better David Lloyd 3’s total and earn a start in division five next year.

Spa duly took five points and a 43-29 lead after two rounds, going on to claim a 10-2 victory.

Spa will start their second season up in division five next year, along with division seven and eight champions Fulford 2 and Strensall. They will be joined by Starbeck 3, Rufforth and Appleton Roebuck 2 from division four, as well as Riccall and York 3, who are already in five.

Admitting to being off form, captain David Hicks appreciated team support as Heworth won their final match at home to Alne & Tollerton to top the century mark in division five.

The victory was assured by first pair Baptiste Briu and Stephen Jones with 3-27, and by third pair Nick Milner and Al Spall with an undefeated 2-19.

Wigginton 4 confirmed themselves a division seven start next season, by scrapping out four points at home to division six’s Harlow. They need not have worried as rivals Heworth 2 only took two pairs to their final inter-divisional match at Wheldrake.

Sutton-on-Derwent 2 suffered the big drop from division four to six, where they will be joined by division five’s Boston Spa 2 and Bishopthorpe, division seven’s David Lloyd 3 and Pocklington, division eight’s Wilberfoss 2 and, already in there, Selby.

A six-team division seven will next year comprise Poppleton 3, York 4, Harlow, Cawood, Sheriff Hutton and Wigginton 4.

Bubwith 2, Knaresborough 2, Heworth 2, youngsters David Lloyd 4, Wheldrake and Bishopthorpe 2 will make up a six-team division eight.