The men’s first and second teams were in action today as both pressed on for promotion from their respective leagues. The first team sit top of Division Three and made the trip over to third placed Wiggington this morning. They had beaten the York based team 7.5 v 4.5 back in early May and travelled looking to complete the double.
Captain Roger Fawcus teamed up with Tom Warburton in what looked a very aggressive and impressive partnership. They took on Chris Cheeseman and Triv Watson but were in for a rude awakening!. The hosts top dogs were quickly away and dominated throughout to leave the Wetherby chaps somewhat perplexed. Wiggington ran out 10-2 winners to give themselves an early lift. Nigel Williams and Mike Butterworth once again paired up at seed two and these crafty and very experienced pair began to steady the rocky boat. They took on Ben Kins and Chris Brniam in what turned out to be a war of attrition. The steady play of the visiting pair ensured they remained in control and managed to take away a 4-8 success. With notable absentees, Paul Archer stepped in from the third team and joined forces with youngster Joe Cawcutt, who has impressed when needed for the York 1 mixed team . The pair were quick around court and playing confidently as they took the early initiative. Not allowing opponents Nick O’Keefe and Rob Walker any time to relax this young and enthusiastic away pairing ran out cosy 3-9 winners which left Wetherby leading 17-19 following the conclusion of round one.
Archer and Cawcutt then went up significantly in class as they faced the home pair seed ones but were still reeling off some impressive winners and playing well. However they were punished for the slightest error against an impressive home duo who took the rubber 8-4. Williams and Butterworth were looking confident and they continued their excellent partnership in completely dominating against the hosts bewildered third pair. Williams was hitting hard from deep and Butterworth snapping up all the chances that came his way at the net. The duo were certainly enjoying themselves and ran out very good 1-11 winners. Fawcus and Warburton were also now back on song and after their bizarre opener started to put the record straight here in the second round. The big hitters found their rhythm and with the winners flowing and the pair well on top managed to run out 0-12 winners against the Wiggington seed two pair.
Wetherby had forged ahead 26-46 and were now looking to complete the win as round three got underway. Williams and Butterworth finally met their match but what a great advert for tennis this rubber proved as all four players gave their all to produce some memorable play. Cheeseman and Watson certainly knew they had been in a fight and just edged a narrow 7-5 win. Archer was battling away despite a bad back and alongside the gutsy Cawcutt the pair fought bravely but were always struggling against the home number two duo who finally produced their best tennis of the morning to take the tie 10-2. However Fawcus and Warburton were to crown a strange but ultimately impressive mornings work when they once again managed a consecutive whitewash as they brushed aside O’Keefe and Walker 0-12 to help the visitors to a winning margin of 43-65 which yielded a 4-8 success.
The team stay at the summit but with second placed Boston Spa winning at Starbeck the race for the title appears to be down to these rivals although Wetherby still hold a useful eleven point lead. Well done again to the team and the strength in depth at the club is now very evident as reinforcements were once again needed and answered the call well. Wetherby travel to struggling Knaresborough next Sunday looking to consolidate their lead at the top.
The second team hosted Riccall at Scott Lane looking to maintain their second place in Level Two Division Five. Riccall are one of a host of clubs chasing Wetherby for runners up behind the champions elect Wilberfoss whose game at Boston Spa was not played.
Captain Mike Park teamed up alongside son and regular partner Ollie Boyes Park and they faced visiting top seeds Pat Woodward and Scott Anderson. This proved to be an excellent rubber with some quality tennis on show from both pairs. However the greater consistency of the hosts saw them run out 7-5 winners. Mike Connolly and Nick Lumb continued their good form together as they stepped out at seed two to face Alex Trembath and Chris Woodruff. Once again a very exciting affair roller coastered one way then the other before an honourable 6-6 draw meant the spoils were shared. Mike Abel and Steve Crossley completed the Wetherby line up and they took on Andrew Dunning and John Lingott. This match also followed the same path as the other ties in remaining extremely tight whilst producing some eye catching tennis. Abel covered every inch of the court as he battled away whilst Crossley produced some calm and effective touches to enable the hosts to take the rubber 7-5 and open a narrow 20-16 lead after round one concluded.
Connolly and Lumb then tried their luck against Woodward and Anderson and despite these two hard hitters upping the pace with force and aggression, the Riccall duo were their equal and once again another 6-6 draw was recorded. However the balance of the tie was to turn dramatically as Abel and Crossley began to take control against Trembath and Woodruff. The visiting pair completely lost their composure and with the Wetherby men smelling blood were only too quick to start capitalising on errors and mistakes. Playing with great confidence the pair were majestic as they rattled off some amazing winning shots to run out very impressive 11-1 winners. Mike and Ollie were also in the mood to turn the screw and they too were playing extremely well and hitting the back of the baseline with regular occurrence. They left Dunning and Lingott clutching at straws time after time as the Wetherby top duo rattled off many winners to also take an excellent 11-1 victory which virtually settled the contest.
The final round began with Wetherby now leading 48-24 which enabled the players to relax and really enjoy the conclusion. Ollie and Mike this time settled for a 6-6 draw with Trembath and Woodruff who fought back well and improved to produce their best tennis whilst Abel and Crossley couldn’t quite reproduce earlier efforts and fell to a narrow 5-7 defeat against the Riccall pair one. It was left to Connolly and Lumb to finally shake off consecutive draws and turn on the style as they hammered Dunning and Lingott 11-1 to crown a wonderful morning for the hosts who won 70-38 for a 9.5 v 2.5 success.
The team have a ten point lead over York 3 in third who do have a game in hand but the season is now very exciting with the final third to play. Wetherby host another of the chasing pack in Heworth next week and a win there would really start to get the excitement levels rising. Well done chaps and good luck next weekend.