From left to right – Bradley Triffitt, Zak Watson, Sam Spencer and Henry Brown looking extremely pleased with their evenings work!
Wetherby U14 were back in action this evening when they hosted Rawdon at Castlegarth. The lads had opened with an encouraging 3-3 draw with John Charles last Friday and another Leeds team, this time Rawdon, were tonight’s opponents who were making their first appearance of the term.
The hosts made one change from last week’s quartet with Zak Watson replacing Sam Pratt and he went straight in at seed one. The primary school player opened on Court One against Laurie Simkins and this contest was an enthralling one that entertained the watching galleries. Both players produced some cracking baseline shots and long rallies were the story of this rubber. Neither player was giving an inch but Watson is a very promising player with a lovely serve and temprement. He started to spread the ball effortlessly around the court and gradually began to wear down his opponent. Simkins found himself under increasing pressure and Watson was able to clinch the game 4-2,4-0 after really turning on the power late on.
Bradley Triffitt was on Court Two playing at seed three and he took on Ethan Baxter. Triffitt is a tall lad for 12 and towered over his very young primary school opponent. The first set was tight with the power of Triffitt and a confident serving game finally seeing him prevail 4-2. With Baxter unable to generate much power in the second and not helped with his service game, Triffitt took control and was able to use the full width of the court to tire out Baxter. Using a trade mark lob stolen from Triffitt senior,Bradley clinched the win with a cosy 4-1 success to make it a good start for the hosts.
Sam Spencer was on Court Three playing Daniel Littlejohns. The Rawdon youngster was left bewildered in the opener with the neat and clever footwork of Spencer enabling him to record a comfortable 4-0 success. However Daniel fought back bravely in the second and put Spencer under much more pressure meaning the 4-2 win for Wetherby was hard fought.
With Wetherby leading 3-0 and only requiring anther rubber to clinch the overall win confidence was oozing from the players as Henry Brown playing seed two went on the show court to face Morgan Hainsworth. Brown is a very imposing and confident individual and he was quickly out the traps to win a very good opener 4-1. However Hainsworth in no slouch and began to play himself expertly back into the tie with some terrific ground stroke play. He opened up a 3-1 lead to rattle Brown who then had to call on his experience to turn the tie back in his favour. A strong forehan combined with some good net play meant he rattled off four games on the bounce to triumph 5-3 and seal a Wetherby success.
On Court Two Triffitt and Spencer were making their doubles debut together playing against Baxter and Littlejohns. The Wetherby duo looked confident and well organised and soon settled about their work. Spencer controlled the baseline with Triffitt the net and they had too much class for the Rawdon youngsters as they took the opener 4-1. With heads starting to drop from the visitors Triffitt reeled off some impressive aces to firmly put Wetherby in charge and with Spencer covering plenty of ground the pair were never in any trouble winning the second set 4-0.
The final rubber of the evening was to prove the most exciting with Watson and Brown taking on Simkins and Hainsworth. With a large crowd gathering on Court One the players responded in magnificent fashion to produce at times some breathless tennis and some memorable rallies. There was some amazing recovery shots and calm net play from all the quartet and the first set was on a knife edge throughout. Finally the hosts took the honours 5-3 but back came Rawdon to take the second 4-5 which meant a third set championship tie break to 10 was needed to split the pairs.
It was going to take nerves of steel to take this tie and Watson held his extremely well whilst Brown organised superbly. They produced some clever team work to create some very good angles which left Simkins and Hainsworth floundering. As the gloom descended on what had been a lovely warm and sunny evening, Wetherby finished in style with a narrow 10-6 victory to complete a 6-0 whitewash.
Congratulations to Wetherby for a really good team performance and it was very rewarding to see how pleased they were and how well they had encouraged one another throughout the evening and conducted themselves in a very professional manor. Praise too for the gallant visitors who perhaps did not really deserve to leave empty handed and whose top two are very good prospects as well.
Wetherby travel to title favourites Whitkirk a week on Sunday where they will be severely tested but tonight’s result will certainly make their opponents sit up and take notice of course!
On Sunday the U16 team travelled over to Otley to play at Grove Hill. The hosts could only field three players so automatically forfeited one singles and one doubles which meant Wetherby led 2-0 before a ball was hit in anger!.
Angus Harte, Dan Wright and Charlie Dixon once again lined up and this successful trio appear to have made the step up from U14 level an effortless one with another impressive performance.
Angus Harte is a calm and composed left hander and he used the court well to create plenty of space to leave opponent Isaac Loftus floundering. Harte was too classy throughout and ran out a comfortable 1-4,1-4 winner.
Dan Wright is equally effective from the baseline and he too was in superb form as he maintained a constant high level of performance from start to finish. His killer instinct approach ensured he gave opponent Ben O’Connor little opportunity and ran out a comprehensive 0-4,0-4 winner.
Charlie Dixon is another big hitter but perhaps without the same concentration levels as his peers!. However when on form he is difficult to stop and he carried enough weaponry to take the opening set against William Hallidie Smith 1-4. The Grove Hill youngster however battled back impressively in the second and forced Dixon to pull out all the stops in a tense battle. Finally Dixon used his extra power to come through 3-5 in a thriller.
A big thanks to Tom March and Ed Grogan on this occasion too. The Wetherby duo played out a dead rubber with Grogan representing the hosts so at least a singles and doubles could take place.
In the only meaningful doubles match for scorecard purposes Harte and Wright continued their dominance with a 0-4,0-4 victory over Loftus and O’Connor which left the visitors as comfortable 6-0 winners on the day.
Well done to all concerned and good luck with the rest of the season.