The Wetherby men’s doubles third team were in action this afternoon when they hosted Horsforth at Castlegarth. Despite the awful forecast of heavy rain all afternoon and both ladies teams postponing, the match went ahead with dark and grey skies and the sounds of various bands playing in the background at the Wetherby food festival.
Wetherby currently sit in sixth ,one place above today’s opponents so this was a vital promotion clash with the loser realistically been eliminated from that race.
Captain David Morris teamed up with the Harrogate three mixed captain Barry Johnson and the duo were soon playing some subline tennis as they won their first set 6-3 against Brian Hayes and Richard Kidd. Morris was quick and confident around the court and Johnson was playing some unstoppable back hand shots and the pair continued in the same vein to follow up in the second set 6-2 for a 2 nil win and a good start for the home team.
Next door over on court five regular partners Mike Triffitt and Peter Russell were playing Horsforth captain Robert Naylor and debutant Soni Abhishek. The Wetherby men are finding their partnership starting to flourish and looked impressive in winning comfortably 6-1 in the opening set. However as often happens with this inconsistent pair, they switched off and allowed their opponents back into the match . Not helped by a bonfire in the allotments which resulted in Russell suffering extreme difficulty with his vision the Horsforth men began to dominate. Sony in particular looked a lot more settled after a nervous start and began spraying the ball about with power and precision. Alongside the battling Naylor the visitors rang out worthy second set winners 2-6 for an honourable 1-1 match tie.
The music at the festival was starting to grow louder as round two began with Wetherby holding a useful 3-1 advantage.
Morris and Johnson moved over to court five although thankfully the bellowing smoke had dispersed. They won the opening set 6-3 before slow starters Naylor and Soni composed themselves again to win another second set 6-4 to once again draw a game 1-1.
Russell was enjoying court four and the extra breathing space and he and Triffitt bounced back from the disappointment of only drawing their opening rubber with an impressive 6-3 win over Hayes and Kidd. Russell was starting to serve well and constantly put the visitors on the back foot whilst Triffitt was his annoying best in playing many returns high but deep and frustrating the visitors into many unforced errors. In between Russell produced some cracking baseline play whilst Triffitt was happy to intercept at the net with an array of deft touches.
For once the duo found some consistency and for the first time this season were able to close out a game winning the second set 6-2 for a welcome 2-0 win.
The final winning margin of 6-2 moves Wetherby up to the giddy heights of joint third ahead of a difficult trip to Kirkstall on Tuesday night. Wetherby are looking to avenge an earlier 8-0 home defeat but will need more of today’s form to gain revenge.
Well done to both teams for going ahead with this game when the weather looked the only winner and for playing some terrific tennis in at times difficult conditions.
Todays winning team was from left to right – Barry Johnson, Peter Russell, Mike Triffitt and captain David Morris.