The Winter League opened on Tuesday evening with Wetherby 1 playing Boroughbridge. After a dull and rainy day, conditions improved for the start and the match was played in relatively good weather for October with a reasonably warm climate and no rain!
Josh Bayliss had fallen ill over night so Mike Butterworth had stepped in at late notice and was joined by captain Mike Triffitt with Helen Robinson and Lucy Wright the ladies on show.
Boroughbridge picked from strength and played two young but very strong men in Robbie Webster and Charlie Grasby with canny ladies Chantal Lancaster and Maureen Wilkinson making up their quartet. Charlie is the son of Ian Grasby who was part of the all-conquering Boroughbridge team that comfortably won Division two of the Harrogate mixed doubles league this season. Judging by the form he showed tonight he may well follow in his father’s footsteps!
The match began with Mike Butterworth and Helen Robinson teaming up as seed one against Robbie Webster and Maureen Wilkinson. Butterworth and Robinson play in the Wetherby mixed first team in division two of the Harrogate league and opponents Webster and Wilkinson are part of the Boroughbridge A team in that same section. This was a close affair with Butterworth using his strength at the net to good effect and Robinson been very strong from the baseline. Webster was turning up the volume with some booming serves whilst Wilkinson played the steady role with a low error count which proved very reliable. The contest was close throughout before the Wetherby duo took the honours 8-4 for a well deserved victory.
Over on court five Lucy Wright and Mike Triffitt were in action against Chantel Lancaster and Charlie Grasby. Lancaster had played the majority of games for Boroughbridge A in the Harrogate league Two and is an accomplished player who is difficult to read. This was another close encounter with numerous deuce games that remained close throughout as well. However with the score line poised delicately at 5-5 the visitors turned up the heat to win the final two games for a narrow 5-7 success.
So after round one it was the hosts 2 points up heading into the men’s and ladies matches. Wright and Robinson are a regular pairing and are both comfortable on court together and they raced into an early 4-1 lead. However the canny Boro duo were not going to lie down and came battling back before the Wetherby ladies took the honours 7-5.
Triffitt and Butterworth were hanging in on court five in the face of some more monster serving from the Boroughbridge lads. They managed to ensure the rubber was competitive however but came up short losing 8-4. Both players had their moments for Wetherby but the Boroughbridge duo were ultimately a shade too strong as the score line reflects.
Round three began with the match all square and finely poised. However Boroughbridge were starting to click into first gear and both games were starting to swing their way. Butterworth and Robinson had made a strong start but unfortunately lost six games on the bounce to finally succumb 3-9.
On court four Wright and Triffitt were doing their best to keep abreast of their opponents but with Webster showing no signs of slowing up with the serves it was proving a difficult task. Eventually the visitors proved victorious but only by a 5-7 score line so the Wetherby couple could be rightly proud of their efforts.
A final winning score of 32-40 was a fair record of the evening in a match played to a good standard and without incident. A good advertisement for Winter League and its Boro who top the table after this opening victory. Good luck to both teams during the rest of their campaigns.
Winning Boroughbridge team tonight was from left to right – Robbie Webster, Charlie Grasby, Captain Chantal Lancaster and Maureen Wilkinson.
For the runners up we have from left to right Mike Butterworth, Helen Robinson, Lucy Wright and Captain Mike Triffitt.