THORPE Bay Tennis Club replaced Harlow at the top of Essex Open Division One after inflicting a 12-0 defeat on the previous leaders.

Harlow had not tasted defeat in the Aegon Team Tennis league this season before the home clash with Thorpe Bay.

The hosts looked a class act in the warm-ups but it was Thorpe who took a stranglehold on the match in the singles rubbers.

Rob Carter came through 6-4 6-0, Ed Pudney 6-1 6-4, Harry Randle 6-1 6-1 and Dave Tubbs 6-2 6-2 to ensure Thorpe won all four singles matches.

And the dominance continued in the doubles, with Thorpe winning both matches in straight sets to secure the whitewash.

Carter and Pudney saw off Luke Spooner and Alex Curaba 6-3 6-4, and Randle and Tubbs defeated Christophe Guillard and Simon Lowe 6-2 6-1.

The result leaves Thorpe Bay in a strong position to qualify for promotion via the regional play-offs ahead of their final league match away to derby rivals Westcliff Hard on Sunday, June 5.