THE Essex A have been crowned champions of the Stringers World Colchester and District Tennis League men's premier division.

After defeating fellow contenders The Officers' Club A, 7-2, title rivals Frinton A kept themselves in the hunt.

But they needed a similar result in the return away fixture and The Officers' Club, fielding a stronger team, put paid to their chances with a 5-4 victory.

The Essex tied up a hat-trick of premier division titles when their ladies' A team matched the men's and mixed teams' achievements.

They enjoyed 8-1 and 5-4 victories against Lexden Hill A and Frinton A respectively.

Wivenhoe ladies are division three champions after defeating nearest rivals, The Essex D 6-3.

They will be replaced next season by division four champions, The Officers' Club B, who pipped The Essex E by three points following an 8-1 victory over Dedham B.

Lexden Hill A just failed in their bid to avoid relegation from the mixed premier division after suffering 5-4 defeats against The Essex B and Dedham A, with a couple of vital tie-breaks just going against them.

Lexden R & F Club A are looking likely to take their place in the top division after beating Wivenhoe A, 7-2.

Spring Lane A will need results to go massively in their favour if they are to catch division two leaders Frinton B.

Their 6-3 victory at Dedham B may not have been quite enough.

Spring Lane B, however, need only two points from their final fixture to claim the division three title.

The battle for division four is the closest in the league with Little Clacton still top after a tight 5-4 victory against West Mersea.

Tony Fulcher and Kay Mansfield claimed three sets while Gerry Borley and June Ratford secured a vital tie-break win.

A number of Colchester league players were successful at the week-long Framlingham Lawn Tennis Tournament.

Joan Hassell, 76, of Lexden Hill, playing with her son-in-law, Nikki Giles, beat Trevor Wright and Elizabeth Cubitt 6-4, 7-5 in the over 40s mixed doubles final.

Richard Arrell, Rob Boyd and Jill Crown were also winners.