The men’s second team returned to action following a month break knowing they need to win both their final two fixtures convincinly to give themselves an outside shot of avoiding the drop. With three teams facing relegation this term and Wetherby currently sitting in the final relegation position, the race is on to secure as many points as possible. With Cliffe and Sheriff Hutton already falling through the relegation trapdoor, Wetherby are chasing Strensall who are a place but 13.5 points ahead and Rufforth, who are currently 18.5 points ahead. However with 12 points available in each round the gap was possible to close.
This morning Wetherby played host to Rufforth which gave them an ideal opportunity to start making inroads on one of their main rivals for survival. A warm and sunny day greeted the players and with conditions ideal the hosts set about securing points.
Captain Mike Park teamed up with Ollie Boyes Park and this excellent combination, who have been a constant shining light for the team this campaign, were in no mood to give up the fight just yet. Despite an opening draw with the Rufforth number one pairing they thrashed the remaining couples 10-2 to accumulate an excellent 26 points with a tremendous brand of tennis which left their opponents reeling.
Mike Abel and Mike Connolly are two fighters that anyone would be happy to have in the trenches with them and they were on fire this morning too. They were supremely consistent in producing three wins by a 8-4 scoreline to add another 24 points into the Wetherby coffers.
Josh Bayliss teamed up with Luke Green and again this had the look of a strong partnership. With Bayliss producing an impressive array of shots, both from the baseline and with his strong net play, coupled with a powerful serve meant the duo were always in control. Green was enjoying the extra freedom afforded playing with such a strong partner and his serving caused problems for Rufforth throughout. The duo completed three straight victories and in accumulating another 23 points ensured Wetherby would ultimately run out worthy and convincing winners. The crucial part was they won the game 11.5 to 0.5 and in doing so closed the gap on Rufforth to just 7 points.
Wetherby couldn’t have played any better with real team work and commitment today and with Stensall not playing the gap to them is now a mere 2 points, albeit the York outfit have two games to play. Wetherby now travel to Sheriff Hutton on September 4th for their final game knowing if they could emulate their earlier 12-0 success during the home fixture with Hutton they would possibly be able to secure safety. In a twist, the first team, whose game at Cliffe was called off with the hosts unable to raise a team, entertain Rufforth on the same day so hopefully they will be able to dish out a thrashing of their own to assist their fellow club mates.
Good luck with the final game and it could well be a case of standing by the calculators as the scores come in that day. Let’s hope that our chaps can show the same qualities as the great Steve McQueen to ensure they do indeed complete ‘The Great Escape’ .