From left to right – Nigel Williams, Dave Corbyn, Josh Bayliss, Jeremy Reddish, Paul Godden and Tom Warburton celebrate a useful success.
A cold but dry morning greeted the players arriving at Castlegarth this morning for the Wetherby men’s first team fixture with Wiggington 2. Both sides had won their opening fixtures with Wetherby winning 9-3 at Starbeck and Wiggington by the same score line at home to Boston Spa. The York based outfit had suffered relegation last term whilst Wetherby had achieved promotion following their impressive title win so this promised to be a close contest.
Jeremy Reddish and Tom Warburton continued with their blossoming partnership and would enjoy their morning together once more. Despite a narrow first round defeat against Chris Burnham and Ben Kins the five points secured were greatly appreciated. The duo are both hard hitters and like to approach the net but fair play to the visitors who matched them all the way and ultimately came out just ahead 5-7.
On Court Two Dave Corbyn and Nigel Williams teamed up. Williams had only just returned from holiday and despite hitting the sack at 3am and managing only a few hours rest, still looked bright and nicely tanned ahead of the early morning action. These two big hitters combined particularly well with the left handed Corbyn offering a nice balance alongside the consistent Williams. Both served well and stretched their first round opponents Nick Osteffs and Trevor Watson and the final score line of 8-4 was a good start to preceding’s.
Josh Bayliss and Paul Godden were playing seed three on Court Three with Bayliss stepping up from the second team this year. He is a useful server and good court coverage player and with Godden booming the aces down they are a strong duo. However Scott Fairgrieve and Jonathan Adams were to be their equal on this occasion and in fact managed to clinch the rubber 5-7 to keep the visitors in the tie. All square after an absorbing opener with the tie finely balanced therefore.
Round two began with Reddish and Warburton bagging a useful six points from a tie with the Wiggington third duo .Corbyn and Williams remained strong and upped the tempo forcing the visitors number one pair into errors which the hosts punished to record an excellent 8-4 success. However Paul Godden was seen crashing into fencing and suffering a groin strain which threatened to derail the Wetherby bandwagon. He remained on court battling valiantly and with partner Bayliss upping his game the two players were delighted to take five points from a narrow reverse. This left Wetherby still two games ahead leading 37-35.
It was going to take a big effort and concentration to hold that lead but surprisingly the final round was to see the biggest winning margins. Reddish and Warburton absolutely flew out of the traps with some wonderful aggressive tennis to take their rubber by the scruff of the neck and dish out a comprehensive 10-2 thrashing to Osteffs and Watson. This was a massive boost to the hosts chances of success although with Godden starting to struggle with his groin strain things were still on a knife edge. He and Bayliss took two but were pleased to contribute and all eyes centred on Corbyn and Williams. Doubts that sleep deprivation would hinder Williams were quickly dispelled as this experienced campaigner continued playing to a very high standard. He and Corbyn were a joy to watch as they too dished out a 10-2 thrashing to help secure another vital win. Crucially that final round and large winning margins swung the tie towards Wetherby as despite the teams finishing at 4.5 v 4.5 a 59-49 games total meant the extra three bonus points awarded give the hosts an overall 7.5 v 4.5 success.
Well done to everyone on show this morning for providing excellent entertainment and good luck to both teams for the remainder of the campaign. Wetherby may now start to think that on this form they can once again challenge for promotion and will be favourites when Knaresborough visit Scott Lane next Sunday for another 10am start.