The mixed York first and second teams were both in action this evening. The first team travelled to York 3 and still had strong hopes of promotion to the top flight. They have struggled with team selection recently however and have been unable to select from strength. They began the evening in fourth place knowing realistically they would probably have to win all their remaining five game to join champions elect Heworth in Division one next term.
Captain Angela Crossley was still absent following surgery and she was joined by Yvonne Mannall who also sat out. Stephen Jones and David Corbyn were two big losses for the men so once again replacements were needed to plug the gaps.
Becky Jones was drafted in and she paired with Nigel Williams who usually plays in the Harrogate League for the mixed first team. This still looked a more than useful partnership and so it was to prove. The Wetherby pair were soon into stride and played some wonderful tennis to complete a hat trick of wins and accumulate a very useful 27 points. Williams really is Mr Consistent and always looks in total control with his laid back attitude whilst Jones continues to impress with her hard hitting and great court awareness.
Jo Coverdale stepped in as acting captain and teamed up with regular partner James Landau. This pair can always be relied upon to post points and this evening was no different as a win, a draw and a narrow 7-5 loss meant another crucial 19 points was making its way into the Wetherby hat.
Charlotte Todd who has struggled with injury joined forces with Joe Cawcutt to make up the squad. They managed a crucial 4-8 win and alongside a narrow 7-5 loss were able to bag a welcome 16 points which was to ensure the visitors made the journey back South with the important league points safely in the bag.
This lifts the team back into second place but with the chasing pack having played fewer games, promotion is mathematically out of their own hands. The good news is that third placed Bubwith travel to unbeaten Heworth on Thursday although Wetherby must host the champions elect next Tuesday!. The pair then clash on July 28 in what is already looking one of the games of the season.
So a good win tonight and an exciting end to the season now awaits.
Down in League four the second team were in action at home to Fulford. After the early season good form hopes were high for consecutive promotions. However the standard has proved to be pretty high and on reflection much stronger than League five so the team will now be happy just to retain their status.
Fulford are on the same points as Wetherby with both clubs just above the drop zone so this was a crucial relegation fight.
Mike Connolly and Rachel Butterworth formed a strong looking partnership and the duo didn’t disappoint this evening. They scored well in drawing two of their three matches and a comprehensive 9-3 win completed a good night’s work and a total points tally of 21.
Ollie Boyes Park and Trish Bell played together but they found the going much tougher and were unable to force a win whilst adding 10 points to the Wetherby total.
Mick Abel returned to replace Stuart Robinson who was absent on holiday. He joined captain Debbie Vines who still hasn’t overcome her long standing arm injury. However Vines will have been far more pleased than she was last week as she and Abel combined well to manage a draw and a win from their three rubbers to achieve 17 points on the night.
However it was to prove short as the visitors rang out winners by 48-60 to leave Wetherby looking alarmingly over their shoulders as the relegation trap door starts to widen. The consolation however is that Bishopthorpe in last place are only on 3 points and look certain to be one of the clubs going down. Stillington who are two points behind Wetherby have played three games more so Wetherby will still feel they are favourites to avoid the drop. The crucial game may well be August 2nd when Wetherby travel to Stillington knowing a win should guarantee another campaign in League Four.
Well played tonight and good luck with that relegation battle.