The men’s first team were in action at Scott Lane this morning in the sun although it was a little chilly in the shade for those watching on the side-lines but Louise Williams was in good form in the kitchen making the hot drinks!. Wetherby sit proudly top of Division Three but were without Josh Bayliss, Paul Godden, Jeremy Reddish and Rob Payne today. David Woon stepped in following his excellent 33 points haul in the York 1 mixed on Thursday and Ollie Newsome came in from the third team. Today’s opponents Rowntree Park are struggling at the foot of the table so this looked at excellent opportunity to increase the lead at the summit for the hosts.
Tom Warburton paired up with Woon at seed one and they took on the impressive Park top duo of Paul Adams and Kevin Davison. The Rowntree pair were certainly not undaunted and gave as good as they got in this tight affair. Warburton and Woon adopted a strong aggressive style but Adams and Davison more than matched that as the rubber remained close throughout. Eventually the Wetherby men hit the front close home to record a narrow but welcome 7-5 success. Captain Roger Fawcus took youngster Newsome under his wing and the pair strode confidently out to court two playing at seed two. However Peter Richardson and John Neary proved tough opposition and belying their lowly position in the league produced some excellent tennis to shock the hosts. Another tight rubber this way went the way of the visitors 5-7 to level up the match. Experienced campaigners Mike Butterworth and Nigel Williams were in action on court three as they took on Russ Warin and Anthony Chester. As was the way of this opening round this contest was also extremely close with the wily veterans of Wetherby using all their guile to keep abreast with their counterparts. Eventually the quartet couldn’t be split and after a well-earned and honourable draw the spoils were shared at 6-6 to leave the overall score at 18-18.
Wetherby knew they had to increase the tempo and start forcing the issue as round two began and Warburton and Woon thankfully began moving up the gears. Playing some great doubles tennis they battled for every point and unleashed some punishing shots from the baseline. Woon used his doubled handed back hand to repeatedly force a number of winners whilst Warburton controlled the net. The pair were relentless and coasted to a 11-1 win to finally give the hosts some daylight. Fawcus and Newsome were also developing their partnership and started to edge ahead in their match with the Rowntree Park top pair. Using the width of the court both home men sprayed the ball around in impressive fashion and with fawcus showing a killer instinct at the net they ran out narrow 7-5 winners. Butterworth and Williams were involved in another tough encounter with Richardson and Neary and had to call upon all their reserves again on this occasion. Trailing 6-3 the duo responded in excellent fashion to reel off three games on the bounce to claim a share of the spoils from another 6-6 draw.
Wetherby were now showing why they were league leaders and had built a useful 42-30 margin. Fawcus and Newsome saved the best till last as they took on the Rowntree pair of Russ Warin and Anthony Chester. The Park pair had some lovely touches and fought bravely but they couldn’t match the power of the hosts and both Fawus and Newsome enjoyed returning many shots with interest. They managed to remain far more consistent and ran out 8-4 winners to add a valuable 20 points into the Wetherby satchel. Adams and Davison had produced some excellent tennis for the visitors and this experienced duo were standing firm to whatever the hosts threw at them. However Butterworth and Williams were playing with a greater confidence on the show court and started to take advantage of their greater fitness over the Park veterans. With Williams producing a number of attacking baseline shots from deep and Butterworth showing a willingness to gobble up any chance at the net, the duo were enjoying themselves. They finished the stronger and took another good contest on court one 8-4 to also accumulate an excellent 20 point haul. Warburton and Woon were also starting to motor and they too saved the best till last. Playing faultless tennis the pair were dominant throughout and never gave their beleaguered opponents even the slightest sniff. The Woon back hand was a joy to watch and with Warburton executing some clever angled smashes the pair ran out 12-0 winners for a superb 30 points on the morning. Woon therefore just fell short of emulating his mixed doubles partner Angela Crossley in notching 63 points from a possible 72 in his last two appearances which would certainly satisfy the majority of players of course!
It was however an excellent team performance and a final margin of 70-38 resulted in a 10-2 win which cemented the teams place at the summit. The team travel to third placed Wiggington next Sunday looking to emulate an earlier home victory and we wish them well there.
Todays winning team from left to right were – Roger Fawcus, Mike Butterworth, Nigel Williams, Tom Warburton, Ollie Newsome and David Woon.