The Wetherby mixed first team play in Division Two of the Harrogate and District Tennis League.They are captained by the evergreen Sue Jacklin.This is a strong competition and the team have struggled this term.Last night they entertained a powerful Academy A side who lie second in the table.
Josh Bayliss,who has been getting rave reviews in the Men’s second team, and the powerful Rachel Hill were the home sides seed one and they faced the almost impossible task of bringing down Mark Hinchliffe and Vanessa Cameron. The Academy duo are regarded as one of the Leagues strongest pairs and in fact had won the Annual League Mixed Doubles title only last weekend. Hinchliffe had also been runner up in the men’s doubles so the magnitude of the task was there for all to see.
True to form the visitors recorded an opening win but Bayliss and Hill didn’t go down without a fight and lost narrowly 5-6 in the first set and 2-6 in the second. That was to prove as close as anyone came as the impressive away duo duly dished out a 0-6, 1-6 thumping to home pair Mike Butterworth and Sue Jacklin and completed a 0-6 win over Marc Bickers and Helen Robinson to record another impressive evenings work.
So Wetherby were on the back foot and needed improvement against the Academy other pairs but they set about the comeback in impressive fashion.
Bayliss and Hill buoyed by such cracking form in the opener dished out a 6-2 win over Mark Roberts and Angela Stevens and followed up with a 6-3,6-5 victory over Thomas Cameron and Clare Simister to earn two vital team points.
Jacklin and Butterworth were not down hearted either and bounced back with a 6-3,6-3 win over Roberts and Stevens and a 6-4 success over Cameron and Simister.
The theme of the night was the competitiveness of the overall match and Marc Bickers and Helen Robinson were battling away manfully to keep Wetherby in the hunt.
They responded magnificently to their mauling by Hinchcliffe and Cameron to take a half against Roberts and Stevens. First overcoming a 2-6 first set loss to level at 6-5 and then again against Cameron and Simister they also took an excellent draw with a 6-4 win and a 5-6 narrow defeat.
The tension was mounting and Hinchliffe and Cameron must have felt their maximum points would be enough for an away success but amazingly Academy were to ultimately fall short as Jacklin and Butterworth took the honour of closing out the match to secure a famous Wetherby win in the most dramatic of circumstances.
So one of the results of the season with Wetherby winning 5-4 will surely send shockwaves through the League no doubt as Academy are regarded as one of the strongest competing clubs at this level.
There will not be a more entertaining and action filled evening of tennis played this year at Castlegarth and a big well done to both sets of players. This really epitomised tennis in the local Leagues and everyone was a credit both to their clubs and the League itself.
This win, following a useful draw at Academy B, means Wetherby jump out of the relegation zone and into joint fourth place pending other weekly results. It’s going to be a titanic battle to ensure safety but with lady luck and the same battling qualities shown last night, hopefully Division Two status will be maintained come the season end.
We look forward to bringing continued good news from this section.