The York mixed two doubles team have had to tough it out this season battling against relegation after promotion from Division Five last term. They had managed to secure safety ahead of the final two games however so at least were able to take the court without the pressure of previous weeks.
On Tuesday August 23 they hosted a strong looking mid table Dunnington outfit who arrived seeking a third straight success.
Wetherby fielded three members of the same family with father and daughter, Mick and Emma Abel playing seed one. They were up against it however during their opening rubber as visitors number one Anthony Downing and Sue Sumner are one of the sections finest pairs. They are still unbeaten this season in the league and showed no mercy with an impressive 1-11 victory. This set the tone for the evening as the couple maintained that unbeaten run by adding a further two victories to finish with a very impressive 28 points. The Abel’s bounced back themselves though with narrow 7-5 wins in their final two rubbers to accumulate 15 points to the Wetherby total.
Jill Abel partnered Mike Connolly and although they fell to the Dunnington dream team duo 4-8 they showed great fighting spirit to manage a 6-6 draw with Kevin Todd and Denise Bolan but fell to another 4-8 reverse against Nick Bentley and Sara Grinaell. They added a further 14 points to the hosts tally.
Captain Debbie Vines partnered Olli Boyes Park and they managed to take 3 from their match with the Dunnington first pair. They too took an honourable draw against the second pair and in a tough battle just came out the wrong side of a narrow 5-7 loss to Bentley and Grinaell to score 14 points for their considerable efforts.
The visitors were a solid unit and with Downing and Sumner a class apart ran out comfortable winners 43-65.
A week later Wetherby hosted Poppleton in their final game with the visitors just a place above the hosts on points differential so at least the match had an edge.
Wetherby retained the majority of the team from a week earlier with the only change seeing Trish Bell come in to replace Debbie Vines.
Once again the visitors number one pairing proved above average with Sue Wilson been joined by 16 year old whiz kid Kobbie Greenall. They played some wonderful tennis together and polished off the three home pairs on their way to an impressive 28 point final haul.
This put the visitors in the driving seat but Wetherby were determined to finish the season on a high.
Despite an opening loss, Mick and Emma Abel bounced back in style to secure two victories and a final tally of 20 points. The pair were certainly enjoying themselves and produced some fine play combined with excellent teamwork.
Mike Connolly and Jill Abel managed a battling draw with Ben Crick and Sheena Jackson and having put Sue Pauer and Stephen Fenton to the sword 9-3 with some clinical tennis, they finished with 18 points and things were looking better.
Ben Crick is one of the stronger men in the competition but crucially he was missing regular partner Rosie Cantrell. Likewise Sue Pauer was without her normal partner Neil Johnson and the absence of the two began to turn the match in Wetherby’s favour.
Ollie Boyes Park and Trish Bell were in excellent form and although falling 9-3 to Wilson and Greenall they inflicted two 9-3 defeats on the remaining Poppleton pairs to finish with a very useful 20 points themselves.
This was a fine team effort from Wetherby and with the points evenly shared they ran out narrow 58-50 winners to finish above Poppleton in the table.
Division Four has proved a steep rise in class this term and to avoid the drop has been a good achievement. With a season of consolidation now under their belts they will know what is required next season to challenge at the business end.