Wetherby Ladies Go Down Fighting

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From left to right Captain Bev Lyn, Anne Lillywhite, Mary Fidler and Katie Barrett looking cheerful and relaxed before the match.

The Ladies third team were also in action on Friday night when they entertained league leaders and title favourites Chapel Allerton. Chapel swaggered into Castlegarth after posting two 7-1 wins from their opening games and were heavy favourites to complete another easy hat trick. After promotion last term Wetherby knew they would face a tough season and they had opened with a 8-0 defeat at Adel who had been in the top section the season before.

Katie Barrett made a welcome return after her Harrogate mixed doubles commitments to pair up with Mary Fidler. They took on the imposing duo of Petra Morgan and Lydia Edwards who gave the visitors a big physical presence on court. The pair are big hitters and dominate the net but Barrett and Fidler played a very calm and composed first set to rattle their opponents. In an exciting and tense opener Wetherby produced a shock to take the rubber 7-6 after a tie break. Chapel came storming back and reduced their unforced error count significantly in set two. They began to run the Wetherby couple ragged and despite a spirited performance the Leeds based side levelled up with a 3-6 success for a drawn game.

Captain Bev Lyn had been in relaxed mode before the evening commenced and she paired up with Anne Lillywhite who has done very well to return so quickly from what initially looked a long term injury problem. Sporting a leg length bandage Lillywhite was her usual all action style and was unleashing some tremendous left handed bullets from the baseline which often caught the visitors unaware. With Lyn adopting a calm approach and making some lovely net shots the Wetherby girls sensed a shock and as Alex Farrell and Claire Morris became more flustered ,errors crept into their game and Lillywhite and Lyn struck. They completed an excellent 6-4,6-3 win to leave the underdogs ahead 3-1 at the break.

Chapel knew they would have to step on the gas and up the tempo in the second round and in fairness they most certainly did.Lillywhite and Lyn found the visitors number one pair extremely hard to play against and they started to return with venom and deadly accuracy to take the first set 2-6. Not undaunted Wetherby fought back in the second set which was a nervy affair. The scores were close but eventually the visitors were able to take the game 5-7 for a 2-0 success.

Farrell and Morris looked eager to make amends for a disappointing first round and they were soon into stride and normal service was resumed. They didn’t offer Barrett and Fidler any chances and ran out cosy 2-6 winners. The second set however was a real thriller and roller coaster affair. With Chapel ahead 4-3 on the night this was ultimately going to be the decisive rubber and there was nothing between the pair as they finished 6-6. A tie break was therefore needed to settle the contest and with the time 9-45pm the visitors came through in champion style to take the honours and clinch a very hard fought 3-5 overall result.

A fantastic night of tennis with plenty of positives from a very spirited performance from the Wetherby ladies which made the leaders pull out all the stops. The team are next in action on Wednesday evening when they travel to Pool who were beaten 7-1 at Chapel recently. This looks an opportunity to pick up a first win of the season so no pressure but good luck!

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