Wetherby B entertained Thirsk in a rearranged game last Sunday and once again had to call upon several new faces to fulfil the fixture.
Injury was a major factor with Captain Barry Johnson and Greg Vince still missing. Indeed the three men selected were making their seasonal bows.
Ryan Castelow who is a member of our very successful Under 16 squad had a promising Mixed season last term and another year on is developing into a tremendous prospect. He is a big hitting player and alongside Janine Smith, who is a hard hitter and excellent net player herself, the pair were in excellent form making short work of most of their opponents. They won two rubbers and drew the other to secure two and a half points and won three sets 6-1. They would probably have won all five sets if Smith hadn’t been injured but she battled on to ensure the home number one seeds picked up vital points.
Doug Harrison is a long standing member and a player with vast League experience and he rolled back the years to show plenty of his class and guile when partnering the useful left hander Anne Lillywhite.The pair produced some good doubles play and managed to acquire one and a half points to keep the Wetherby score ticking over nicely.
Ian Wells, a fellow long standing member with many years of competitive tennis behind him, was also in fantastic form paired with the always efficient Ann Jones. There won’t be many more expericed pairs on show in League tennis anyway in Yorkshire this season.
Wells still retains a very useful service game and coupled with a commanding net presence the duo were able to destroy the Thirsk third couple 6-0,6-1 and readily account for the second seeds 6-5,6-0 in an evening of memorable tennis.
The two points won from two wins and a loss was enough to ensure Wetherby were victorious 6-3 on the evening.
The following Thursday Wetherby A were also at home with Ripon the visitors. They too were missing key personal with Mike Triffitt and Fiona Chantrey absent on holiday and Katy Barrett, who had played very well the previous two games, also unavailable.
Dawn Steel stepped up from her usual seed three position to partner Kevin Duckenfield and the pair soon gelled in producing some very efficient tennis. The duo accounted for the Ripon first pair 6-0,6-5 to begin the night strongly and followed up with a comfortable 6-0 thrashing of the away sides second pairing. The whitewash was complete when they defeated the final pair 6-4,6-1 and it proved a rare and welcome early night for Steel! .
Neil Ripley came in for his first start of the season and paired up with Louise Williams who herself had missed last week due to attending the Chelsea flower show. They had a tough battle against the fellow Ripon second seeds but came through with a 6-4,6-4 success. There was no let up in the games played and a useful draw with Ripon seed one when both sets went to tiebreak showed how close the rubber had been. Despite a 6-3 loss in their final game the one and a half points gained meant Wetherby needed just a half from their final couple and put them in a strong position for victory.
Bev Lyn had stepped in to complete the line up and the Ladies third team captain partnered Ian Teasdale here. The half was secured from an opening draw and despite two losses the couple were unquestionably unlucky as the closeness of the scorecard reveals. They actually won 25 games on the evening which would generally have seem more success of course.
So after a narrow 5-4 loss to highflying Knaresborough last week the team bounced back with a 5-4 win this which keeps their promotion aspirations alive. It also sets up nicely the eagerly awaited derby clash between the two Wetherby outfits next Thursday too.