The Ladies first team were also in action on Saturday afternoon and like the men’s third team were nervously hoping the weather forecast proved inaccurate. Ultimately and thankfully it did and they enjoyed their clash with bottom side Poppleton. Wetherby have started brightly on their return to the top flight and sit just below mid table. Helen Robinson was absent with injury and the team were also without Rachel Hill, Sue Jacklin and Charlotte Todd. Hettie Alton came in to partner Angela Crossley and Janine Smith came off the subs bench to pair up with Yvonne Mannall so the team still had a very strong feel.
Crossley was still on a high after accumulating an impressive 33 points for the York 1 mixed team on Thursday which helped them to another victory. Alton was making her first start of the campaign and the pair were soon entertaining the watching galleries on the show court. Poppleton were winless and played with little confidence and the Wetherby top duo soon capitalised with some aggressive tennis. Left hander Alton was serving fast and visiting pair Liz Burdett and Sue Peach were helpless to respond. With Crossley extremely strong at the net and Alton dominating from the baseline the couple rolled on effortlessly to secure an 11-1 victory. Lucy Wright and Sue Perkins formed a strong partnership at seed two and they entertained Rosie Cantrell and Avary Spencer on court two. This proved a tough rubber with the visiting pair proving resilient and happy to battle from the baseline. However Wright and Perkins held the edge at the net and both produced some lovely smashes on their way to a narrow 7-5 success. Captain Yvonne Mannall teamed up with Smith and they began at seed three over on court three. Jenny Jones and Lauren Caley were battling valiantly and ensured many rallies were long drawn out affairs. However Mannall was patient and biding her time well attacked at just the right moment to secure many points. Smith was confident at the net and proved the perfect foil for her partner as the duo ran out cosy 8-4 winners.
A good start for the hosts saw them lead 26-10 and already looking well on their way to victory. Mannall and Smith kept up their blossoming partnership when they enjoyed a great battle against Cantrell and Spencer. No quarter given by both pairs meant this contest was close throughout and at the end they couldn’t be separated and settled for a share of the spoils from a 6-6 draw. Wright and Perkins took on Burdett and Peach who still looked a little shell shocked from their tough opener. The Poppleton pair came back strongly here however to make themselves far more competitive. However the Wetherby ladies are experienced and were in no mood to surrender and their greater consistency and power saw them prevail 8-4. Crossley and Alton were continuing in the same rich form from round one and it was pretty much a repeat from their last game as once again they had far too much weaponry for Jones and Caley. They went one better in fact and dished out a comprehensive 12-0 thrashing.
Wetherby were almost over the line leading 52-20 and it would need a miracle to now lose. Mannall and Smith were improving together and saved their best tennis for the finale. They took control from the outset and playing error free tennis had Burdett and Peach on the ropes. Smith had settled and enjoying the freedom Mannall allowed her stepped in to make some timely winners. The pair ran out comfortable 9-3 winners and added an impressive 23 points to the Wetherby total. Wright and Perkins were also in the ascendancy although in fairness Jones and Caley were now playing their best tennis of the afternoon. It was close but once again the Wetherby couple proved the stronger as their aggressive style enabled them to run out 7-5 winners and contribute another excellent 22 points to the total. Crossley and Alton were in no mood to let up and sensing blood they carried on relentlessly as they made many effortless winners with some great play. Both players produced a number of well disguised shots and keeping their opponents guessing at all times mixed things up in impressive fashion. They took the rubber 11-1 with Cantrell and Spencer offering little resistance to make it an incredible 34 points in the afternoon. For Crossley that made it 67 from 72 possible points in back to back outings and I would suggest that must be a record!
However a good team performance and well done to all our ladies today. With nine points the team move up to fourth place and must be confident of retaining their place in the top section.
Four of todays winning team seen celebrating on the balcony were – Yvonne Mannall, Sue Perkins, Lucy Wright and Janine Smith.