The ladies first team were looking to follow in the footsteps of both the second and third teams who have gained promotion this term. Ahead of their final game of the season at home to close rivals Boston Spa, captain Yvonne Mannall was in confident mood as she picked from strength and knew her team had a big points differential over nearest rivals Rufforth. The biggest danger was arguably the climate as after a lovely week of bright sunny weather the heavens opened Saturday morning and the forecast was for rain throughout the day. The wind also meant the girls were going to have to tough it out but luckily it ultimately remained dry enough to complete.
Realistically with a two point lead over Rufforth,Castlegarth only needed to avoid defeat but even a narrow defeat would be enough so the ladies began relaxed with this insurance behind them. However they were determined to finish on a high and turn on the style.
Rachel Hill and Sue Jacklin teamed up at number one and these Harrogate mixed one members can always be relied upon to keep the scoreboard ticking over nicely. Today was no exception and they managed to accumulate 21 points to ensure the hosts made a solid start. Spa number one’s Lorraine Peaky and Lesley Bowline didn’t make it easy though and shared the spoils in a 6-6 opening draw. Kate Butterfield and Dominique Widrrisey even managed to lower the duo’s colours in winning 5-7 but Spa three’s Sheila Stuart and Sandy Clowett were put to the sword 10-2.
Captain Mannall teamed up with Helen Robinson and this powerful duo knew their strong baseline double attack was going to be key today. So it proved as the couple were on fire and ripped their opponents apart in claiming 26 points for a super haul. An impressive 9-3 success over Peaky and Bowline was the highlight but they produced some superb tennis to finish as top scorers.
Lucy Wright has been a welcome addition to the squad this year and today she teamed up with the elegant Charlotte Todd. The power and determination of Wright coupled with the gracious easy stroke playing Todd ensured they too managed a pair of 9-3 wins which gave them an excellent 22 point final total.
A final winning score line of 69-39 was no more than Wetherby deserved and this comprehensive victory rightly confirmed their promotion in second place behind champions Fulford. So the team will be plying their trade at Division one level next season which will be another step up in class but one the ladies will surely relish.
The squad consisted of the following ladies. Captain Yvonne Mannall, Angela Crossley, Rachel Hill, Charlotte Todd, Lucy Wright, Jo Coverdale, Sue Jacklin and Helen Robinson which proved as strong as it looked on paper.
Well done to all and good luck next term.
Footnote – Todd and Wright beat Butterfield and Widrrisey 10-2 but as the score was entered and signed by both captains as a 9-3 home win this must stand.