The York 1 mixed team were in action tonight after a good win at Bubwith last Thursday had seen them leapfrog Rufforth into top spot. It was incredible that any tennis was even been played at Castlegarth in all honesty as torrential rain all day had put the match in serious jeopardy. However the rains abated and despite wet conditions and dark clouds it was game on! Wetherby had some selection posers as Becky Jones, Yvonne Mannall and Charlotte Todd were all absent with Rachel Hill and Dee Nolan stepping in alongside captain Angela Crossley for the ladies. Steve Jones had injured a wrist at training the night before and was also missing along with Jeremy Reddish who is also on the treatment table. Josh Bayliss was yet another non runner which meant David Woon and Ollie Newsome came in after helping the men’s first team to another success on Sunday. Poppleton travelled at strength with arguably their top six pairs and were looking to cement their good start which currently has them well positioned in third place.
Dream team Angela Crossley and David Woon were starting at seed one and they took on the more than useful visiting pair of Hilary Spencer and John Anderson who are currently fourth in the division’s top couples table. The Wetherby duo made a slow start and the Poppleton pair sensed a possible upset as they took the game to their illustrious opponents. There was some tremendous hitting and great net play from both couples and this contest was proving tough. However the hosts top seeds showed their class to run out narrow 7-5 winners as the finishing line arrived. David Corbyn and Rachel Hill formed a very strong pair at seed two and both looked ready for action as they strode out confidently to court two. They would need to be in top form to account for Sue Peach and Tom Cantrell who are having a productive season together. However the visiting pair would be facing their stiffest challenge to date and were under immediate pressure from the outset. Corbyn was serving big and unleashing some powerful baseline rockets with his famed left hand whilst Hill was like a cat on a hot tin roof as she patrolled the net snapping up numerous chances with deadly accuracy. The pair were certainly warming up a grey evening and continued to punish the visitors with some spell binding tennis. They eventually ran out comfortable 9-3 winners. Men’s third team player Ollie Newsome came in at seed three to partner Dee Nolan who is enjoying a great campaign with various teams this term. They took on Sue Wilson and Matt Everatt and this tie lived up to its billing as been difficult to predict. Newsome is enjoying his tennis and continues to improve on a regular basis. With a good serve, strong forehand and accurate smash he proved a good foil for the dogged Nolan who was playing aggressively and looked in very determined fashion. Eventually the pairs could not be split and an honourable 6-6 draw suited the hosts more as they finished the opening round leading 22-14 and pleased with an eight point advantage.
Nolan and Newsome then took on Peach and Cantrell but knew they couldn’t let their high standards dip. The Poppleton pair came out fighting and were determined to improve from their opening loss and show the watching crowd their true form. Nolan was digging deep and with youngster Newsome covering the court well they remained competitive throughout this absorbing contest. Eventually the visitors used their greater experience to just run out narrow 5-7 winners. Hill and Corbyn stepped up to face the visitors top guns but took the momentum obtained in round one into this clash and they started brightly once more. They looked extremely confident although Spencer and Anderson were also producing some first class tennis of their own. However the hosts were always just one step ahead and managed to claim a significant 8-4 success to keep their side in control. Crossley and Woon were much more settled in this round as they took on Wilson and Everatt and found time and space to showcase their excellent all round game. Proving tough to pass and producing some error free tennis they were playing well and a 10-2 result underlined their supremacy.
Round three began with the gap now standing at 18 after a 45-17 score line and the match was now looking all but won for the hosts. Nolan and Newsome continued to produce the goods and were delighted with yet another strong performance against Spencer and Anderson. They had the visitors top pair on the ropes and were looking to produce a shock. Battling manfully they gave everything but just failed and went down to a gallant 5-7 loss which produced a wonderful effort of 16 valuable points on the night. Hill and Corby continued to impress too and they ensured they would finish the night with a very eye catching 27 points after some superb doubles play saw them run out 10-2 winners in the last against Wilson and Everatt. With Crossley and Woon also in fine form the scoreboard was really ticking over nicely for the hosts and the top home pair were professional in ensuring they completed a superb 11-1 demolition job against the weary Peach and Cantrell to close on 28 points.
Despite the poor conditions it was very well played all around and a big thanks to tonight’s visitors for proving tough opposition. However Wetherby produced a really strong team performance to run out 71-37 winners which increases their lead at the summit to three points ahead of the other midweek fixtures.
The team are back in action a week today at Scott Lane when York 3 are the visitors.