The Men’s First team were in action in the baking sun of a lovely Sunday morning today at Castlegarth hoping to bounce back after suffering a first defeat in over eighteen months at Boston Spa last weekend. With Spa and Wigginton throwing down a strong challenge in Division Three it was vital Wetherby produced the goods today and as they arrived the chaps looked eager to reinvigorate their promotion push.
Captain Roger Fawcus teamed up with regular partner David Corbyn as they faced a Sherburn top pair who would certainly not lie down without a fight. It proved a great opening rubber with some delightful tennis on show from the quartet before the hosts prevailed narrowly 7-5. Tom Warburton and Nigel Williams looked confident as they took on Richard McIntosh and Emilis Vastakas but once again there was very little to separate these two well above average pairs. With Williams now looking far stronger after a run of competitive tennis and Warburton enjoying his partners company, they battled manfully to ensure another close one went Wetherby’s way 7-5. Mike Butterworth and Jeremy Reddish combined very well at seed three as they took on Peter Vasco and Andrew Rudd. Some powerful baseline play accompanied by some net dominance saw the hosts control the tie and run out cosy 8-4 winners which meant Wetherby led 22-14 as round two began.
Corbyn and Fawcus were now in full flow and ready to widen the gap as they faced the visitors third pair. With both Wetherby men unleashing some tremendous serves they outgunned their opponents from pillar to post and recorded a very welcome 9-3 victory. Warburton and Williams enjoyed their titanic battle with the Sherburn top duo and in a carbon copy of round one, had to show all their class and guile to repel the visitors. Some breath-taking rallies ensued and with no quarter given a fantastic effort from the home pair enabled them to once again secure a 7-5 success. Butterworth and Reddish were also in great form and with the sun bringing the best out of both men, secured a valuable 7-5 victory over the Sherborn second pair leaving Wetherby well in control at 45-27.
Corbyn and Fawcus then put McIntosh and Vastakas away with a cosy 8-4 win to end the session with an excellent 24 points. Warburton and Williams were just behind on 23 after a very impressive 9-3 win over Vasco and Rudd where they maintained a consistent performance throughout but their extra class was literally too hot to handle for the visiting duo. Butterworth and Reddish couldn’t quite make it a full house for Wetherby as they found the Sherburn number ones a little too good but nevertheless a 5-7 defeat was no disgrace and a very useful 20 points was more than enough to ensure Wetherby were victorious 67-41 but more crucially an 11-1 score line helped widen the gap at the summit.
A good performance with the consistent levels extremely pleasing . Lowly Rowntree Park are the visitors to Scott Lane next week and a repeat of today’s performance will surely be too good for the York based outfit.
The ladies first team are enjoying the higher standard in Divison One after promotion last term but know they face a tough task to maintain their place in the elite section. They began the weekend on five points which left them just above the drop zone with three clubs beneath them. Today’s visit to a scalding Fulford in York would be crucial as Wetherby held a slender one point advantage over their hosts.
It was the warmest day of the year as the players made their way out onto court next to Fulford School . With absence, Dawn Steel was called up for her first start of the season after some eye catching performances for the Wetherby A mixed team where she has been heavily influential in helping that team to second place at present. She started at seed three alongside captain Yvonne Mannall and they clicked instantly as they enjoyed a dream start. Putting bewildered opponents Carolyn Taylor and Pam Camprell to the sword they had far too much power and pace for the home pair and a 1-11 score meant Wetherby were quickly out of the traps and asserting. Good social friends Sue Perkins and Helen Robinson paired up at seed two and with Robinson showing no ill efforts from the previous night’s wine tasting event, they took on the impressive Wendy Cook and Jill McCreary of Fulford. This was a tasty rubber with some excellent tennis on show but in a close contest it was the quality of the home pair that enabled them to shade it 7-5. Harrogate one mixed team mates Sue Jacklin and Rachel Hill started at top seeds but were going to need to play extremely well to take down the Fulford top duo of Jo Middletun and Kelly Spry. They are one of the leading pairs on the circuit and showed why with some very consistent play. It proved a titanic struggle but the hosts just held the greater weaponry to claim victory 8-4.
Never the less a good round for Wetherby saw them lead 16-20. It was Mannall and Steel’s turn to take on the fierce top Fulford pair but they looked undaunted and buoyed by a confidence opener set about battle. This was always going to be an uphill task but in fairness the Wetherby pair more than matched their higher ranked hosts and certainly had many moments of success. Eventually they succumbed 8-4 but were happy with their considerable effort. Jacklin and Hill stepped out to face Cook and McReary and with the heat beating down were looking to avoid too many energy sapping rallies. With Hill useful around the net the Wetherby pair hoped to gain quick points adopting a net based game plan and they had plenty of success. However the Fulford girls were equally adept and with some fine short play the tie remained close. Finally a 6-6 draw was worthy of the quartets batting and a share of the spoils appreciated by all. Perkins and Robinson are big hitters from the baseline and hoped they could bully the third pair into submission adopting this aggressive style. It worked a treat and with Taylor and Camprell wilting in the sun they offered little resistance as Wetherby secured a comprehensive 2-10 victory to extend their overall lead to 32-40.
Perkins and Robinson soon felt the full force of Middletun and Spry who knew any chance of victory rested on their shoulders. The Fulford ladies greater strength and power was too good and with them handling the conditions better they won 9-3. Mannall and Steel were enjoying themselves despite the warm climes meaning conditions were tough. They played out an entertaining and thoroughly well matched 6-6 draw with Cook and McReary which obviously suited the visitor far more than the hosts. Jacklin and Hill were sensing blood as they took on the frightened looking Fulford third seeds and like rabbits caught in headlights they had no answer to a professional dismantling job the Wetherby ladies had in store. It really was a mismatch and with a perfect 0-12 success wrapped up it also meant Wetherby did indeed gain a very valuable two points on the road as they ran out winners 41-67.
Well done today and they now open a small three point gap on the teams below and have games in hand on each too. Next Saturday the ladies are back at home when they face bottom side Poppleton who are winless this season. Good luck there and another win will see them climb to mid table.