A smiling Wetherby B before tonights game from left to right were – Tony Cutler, Ann Jones, Ginny Hinds and captain Mike Triffitt.
On a cold but what turned out to be thankfully a dry evening after a mixed forecast,Wetherby 2 played their final Winter League game of the 2016/17 season when they hosted Knaresborough. This was a rearranged fixture following the earlier game falling foul of the weather.
Due to a mixture of illness,injury,work commitments and team trials, the hosts were down to the bare bones but were pleased to fulfil the fixture. Knaresborough arrived with a strong team and would prove to be worthy favourites.
Wetherby 1 captain Mike Triffitt stepped in as captain for tonight and partnered Ginny Hinds who was making a welcome return to team tennis after an enforced layoff due to long term injury. The pair faced Tony Graham and Janice McMillan who had played pivotal roles in helping guide the Knaresborough mixed first team to promotion from Harrogate Division three last term finishing as runners up. It was soon apparent this pair would be difficult to contain and both produced an accomplished performance in winning 10-2. Graham is a big server with excellent court coverage and a nicely disguised cross court forehand whilst McMillan is the perfect foil with a no nonsense approach and her low error count in keeping the ball in play at all times. There were moments of success for Triffitt and Hinds but they were always playing catch up and despite several deuce games the score ran away from them in the end.
On Court Five Tony Cutler and Ann Jones renewed acquanintance from their spell representing Wetherby B in Division five of the Harrogate mixed competition. This pair are a jolly twosome and always play with a smile on their face. They seemed to thoroughly enjoy their opening rubber against Andrew Little and Jeanette Bowden who had also enjoyed success in the summer when helping guide Harlow B to the runners up berth and promotion from Division Five. Little is another accomplished player with a big personality and beaming smile and his partnership with Bowden allowed the Knaresborough duo to hold the edge here. Cutler and Jones were however making the visitors pull out all the stops and the final score line was only 8-4.
Triffitt and Cutler knew they faced a big task in the men’s rubber but this pair are often seen on the social circuit at the club and know each other well. In fact you would struggle to find a more unorthodox partnership then these two and they indeed spent the rubber bamboozling the opposition with some surprising winners. However the Boro big guns carried too much firepower and eventually prevailed 10-2 with the highlight for the Wetherby men a break of Grahams serve to love to record a well earned high five!
The Wetherby ladies were trying to put some much needed points on the board and make the scoreline a little more respectable. They trailed 5-1 but after a change in tactics where Hinds in particular started to dominate the net, they gave their higher rated opponents a bit of a scare. With Jones playing every point as if this was the Wimbledon ladies final, the pair were narrow losers 7-5 despite an excellent effort.
With the match almost won Wetherby hoped Boro would ease up in the final matches. After taking the opening game Triffitt and Hinds had high hopes of reducing the arrears. Unfortunately Little started to actually increase the tempo and unleashed a barrage of winners to ensure the knife was well and truly turned as he and Bowden ran out comfortable 10-2 winners.
Jones and Cutler were still battling away on Court Four and were delighted to take three games from the number one pairing of Graham and McMillan who won 9-3. Jones contained to frustrate her opponents with her never say die attitude and Cutler produced some stunning spin shots to gain valuable points.
The final score line however reflected the hosts dominance and they eventually won 18-54. Well done Knaresborough who move up a place to fifth and with a game left are chasing Boroughbridge and Starbeck above them.
For Wetherby the season ends without a win but thanks to Janine Smith for taking the captaincy and ensuring the fixtures were completed. Special thanks this evening to Tony and Ann for stepping in at such short notice and as always giving one hundred percent to the cause. I must also thank Ginny Hinds who is a player of real promise and with a stronger partner tonight would have looked an even better player, sorry Ginny, will do better next time!!
But I will give myself a slap on the back for getting a team out on the court tonight after spending most of the day on the phone. I am just thankful text messages are free these day and hopefully my boss won’t read this match report!!!
Tonights winning team representing Knaresborough were from left to right – Captain Jeanette Bowden, Andrew Little, Tony Graham and Janice McMillan.