Also playing at home this afternoon were the Ladies second team who faced fellow strugglers Dunnington in a hugh clash as both looked to move away from the foot of the table. Wetherby have found Division Two tough this term after promotion but have still managed three wins . They were looking to avenge an earlier 64-44 defeat at Dunnington and held a narrow two point lead over the York based opponents in the league table.
Captain Fiona Chantry teamed up with Jill Abel at seed one and this experienced pair were hoping they could start quickly against Sue Sumner and Joyce Rhodes. However the visitors looked sharp and were also keen to catch and overtake Wetherby if completing the double this afternoon. The visitors top pair were proving troublesome and despite a close encounter ran out narrow 5-7 winners. Rachel Butterworth had hot footed over the Pennines from Manchester earlier to partner Marise Richfield and this classy duo took on Claudine Shaw and Rosie Todd. The Wetherby girls were playing well and producing some good consistent rallies which ensured they kept their score ticking over. Dunnington responded and with little to separate the quartet the experienced home pair eventually took the honours 7-5. Trish And Angie Bell formed a strong partnership at seed three but they too found determined opponents in Sara Grinnell and Denise Bolan. No quarter given but the four players on show ensured an exciting but tense rubber which thankfully the Bells secured 7-5 after showing battling reserves.
Round Two began with Wetherby holding a slender 19-17 lead. Chantrey and Abel looked confident and determined as they took on Grinnell and Bolan and were quickly away playing some lovely controlled tennis. Chantrey was returning superbly and with Abel controlling the net the hosts oozed guile and class to run out cosy 9-3 winners. Butterworth and Richfield found the going much tougher against Sumner and Joyce and this impressive duo continued their good form from the first round by having the upper hand throughout here. They secured a 4-8 win that kept the visitors in the match. Trish and Angie were enjoying themselves despite the hot temperatures but they could never quite get away from Shaw and Todd who stuck to their guns well and ensured honours were even from an entertaining 6-6 stalemate.
This left the match on a knife edge with Wetherby still ahead 38-34 but with little room for error. Chantrey and Abel couldn’t maintain their impressive form from the second round as they found Shaw and Todd a tricky pair and too hot to handle. A 4-8 loss meant the visitors were now level. Butterworth and Richfield were also running on reserves as they tried to contain a rejuvenated Grinnell and Bolan who suddenly started to spay the ball around court with great authority. Punishing the home pair they really were splendid in accumulating a 3-9 success. Trish and Angie Bell however were well on top in their tricky tie with Sumner and Rhodes as they began unleashing some bullets from the baseline. With Angie turning up the tempo and Trish producing some lovely controlled volleys and smashes they ran out 9-3 winners which meant the sides could not be split with an honourable 54-54 draw the final outcome.
Both sides will feel they had chances to win but on reflection this may prove a point won rather than one dropped for Wetherby as they still maintain a two point lead over Dunnington which keeps them out of the drop zone.
Next week they make the short trip to rivals Boston Spa before a crucial home match with bottom side Wistow the week after. Well played today and good luck with the fight to retain Division Two status.