After last week’s crucial win for the York One mixed doubles team away at Bubwith,they returned to Castlegarth this evening for their penultimate home game of the season when Poppleton 2 were the visitors.Both these teams could still be promoted alongside champions Heworth so a keen battle was in store.
Wetherby were in second place on 14 points from 12 games prior to the start with Poppleton on 12 points from 12 games and in fifth position in Division Two.
Joe Cawcutt, Charlotte Todd and Yvonne Mannell were missing from the Bubwith game so Rachel Hill and Lucy Wright stepped in from the Harrogate One first team alongside the welcome return of the hard hitting left hander Dave Corbyn.
It was Corbyn and Hill who partnered at number one and they were to enjoy an excellent night winning all three rubbers and contributing a very impressive 25 points in the process. They also took the prized scalp of league number four seeds John Anderson and Hilary Spencer with a superb 7-5 victory in a game where both couples produced some wonderful open tennis which was deserving of a higher stage.
Regular duo James Landau and Jo Coverdale played at seed two but would feel the full force of a fired up Spencer and Anderson as they lost heavily. They had begun the evening with a closer defeat against Sue Perch and Phil Stuton but managed to put Rebecca Jones and Jordan Temple to the sword 10-2 to contribute a useful 14 points to the home sides cause.
Lucy Wright teamed up with Steve Jones but they too were powerless to prevent Spencer and Anderson running away with their rubber but an excellent draw with Peach and Stuton and a 10-2 opening win over Jones and Temple meant they had collected a very welcome 18 points which left the duo extremely delighted.
In such a tight game when every point was highly prized, Wetherby would have been pleased that Peach’s regular partner Tom Cantrell was absent and this way well have just swung the tie in the hosts favour. When the scores were finally counted Wetherby had secured a most valuable success by 57 games to 51 to keep their promotion dreams alive. This really was an excellent victory against strong opposition with both teams fighting for every point available.
Wetherby move on to 16 points and in the process elimanate Poppleton from the promotion race. All eyes will now turn to Thursday when Dunnington in third and two points behind Wetherby travel to Heworth. Dunnington have two games in hand so the champions must beat them to keep Wetherby hopes burning to the final round when in a twist of fixture fate that is often seen across many sports, Wetherby host Dunnington hoping that victory will be enough to get the promotion party started .
Well done tonight and especially to the players who stepped in to assist so superbly. Fingers crossed for a Heworth success Thursday which would leave us with the mouth watering final game with Dunnington who still have to travel to Bubwith as well.
The York 2 mixed team were also in action this evening when they travelled to Stillington. They have been flirting with relegation during the second half of the season but last week’s defeats for both Stillington and Bishopthorpe meant they had already secured their status for another year in Division Four.
After a number of recent hard and extremely important games for many of the players on view for Wetherby it made a most welcome change to be able to relax without undue pressure!.Regular men Ollie Boyes Park and Mike Connolly were absent tonight along with usual ladies Rachel Butterworth and Trish Bell so the team had an usual look to it.
Paul Hill made a welcome return to League tennis after some comfortable wins both on the social and Wetherby in house club events. He paired up at seed one with Jill Abel. It was to prove an excellent evening for this couple as they won all three rubbers including two narrow 5-7 wins when both held their nerve extremely well to finish with a more than creditable 22 points. Hill is a classy performer and alongside the battling Abel the duo instantly formed a useful partnership.
Husband and wife duo Helen and Stuart Robinson paired up at seed two with Helen stepping in from the Harrogate One mixed team. This pair obviously needed no introduction and Helens strong baseline game complimented Stuarts crafty short game. They opened up with a honourable draw with Peter Jones and Christine Cookman,followed up with a spectacular 2-10 success over Julian Terry and Jennifer Jones before falling to impressive home number one seeds Adrian Streetley and Liz Burdett 8-4. A final points tally however of 20 was much appreciated by the team and put Wetherby in the driving seat.
Captain Debbie Vines brought herself back into the fold and she partnered Mick Abel. Vines was looking more confident than in previous weeks as her arm injury had eased and the pair were involved in three exciting and very close affairs. They were unlucky to lose two matches 7-5 but a draw with Jones and Cookman meant they had accumulated a good total of 16 points.
In a game played in testing conditions with drizzle throughout Wetherby were able to celebrate a good road win by 50-58 and travel home with welcome points.
So a great evening for our two teams in the York leagues and with three married couples on view this may well be some sort of record for an evening double header!