As well as a successful Angela Crossley inspired club social tournament, Wednesday evening was a busy one with three teams involved in League action. However ultimately it was too prove a frustrating evening.
The Harrogate One mixed team made the short hop up to Boroughbridge in Division Two of the Harrogate and District league where the hosts were strong favourites to maintain their promotion challenge. Wetherby travelled in confidence however after a useful win over rivals Boston Spa last time out although our near neighbours upset the form book when beating Starbeck A on Tuesday to once again put daylight between the clubs and they currently have a useful five point cushion. With Wetherby still heavily involved in the relegation dog fight it’s starting to look like games against Bedale, Knaresborough and Academy B will be extremely crucial.
After a promising start at Aldborough Road where the scores were tied at 18-18 after round one, Paul Archer who has suffered with long term back problems, was unfortunately injured once more and despite plugging on gamely during round two was clearly in no fit state and reluctantly stood down in round three. This obviously gave the hosts a big advantage and they ran out winners 65-43. It would certainly have been extremely close without the concession of points and Wetherby can feel unfortunate to take nothing from the night. They visit yet to win and bottom side Academy B next Tuesday looking to regain winning ways.
The Wetherby B side are enjoying a successful season in Division Five and they too were on the road as they travelled North up the A1 to Ripon. The hosts were expected to challenge for promotion but have rather stumbled through their campaign sitting in mid table. However they remain six points behind Wetherby A in second and still have an outside chance of taking the runners up berth. Wetherby produced a terrific late burst to sink Burton Leonard 56-52 last time out with Ann Jones and Doug Harrison helping seal a memorable win and with ten points were looking to close the gap on the top two. However Harrison had a tooth taken out in the morning and was unable to reproduce those efforts tonight and in what has been a season of extremely close and well fought encounters they found themselves on the wrong side of a narrow 55-53 defeat this evening despite an excellent 23 point contribution with three victories from Walter Skubiak and Judith Crossley. Therefore Ripon join Wetherby on ten league points and with only six points separating five teams chasing the second promotion spot it promises to be an extremely tight finish. Wetherby A still remain favourites to secure that position but host champions elect Harrogate Spa tonight at Castlegarth and with the visitors unbeaten in two years face a massive challenge to lower their colours. The B Team are quickly back in action at home to a resurgent Academy C on Sunday with every game in this section suddenly becoming very important.
The tea’s at Ripon are always something to savour and Carol Tetlow, who is a crafty player on court, is certainly more than useful in the kitchen. Once again she came up with the goods and produced a fantastic cake to round off a good evenings work for her and the team as she and Colin Bowes top scored with 21 for the hosts.
So near yet so far in a titanic clash this evening.
A fine creation from Ripon leading lady Carol Tetlow.
The ladies third team travelled to Pool but with only captain Bev Lyn available from her squad the team had a unfamiliar look about it. However they travelled with confidence as replacements were strong. Louise Williams is a regular for both the ladies second team and Barry’s Johnson’s mixed outfit and she teamed up with the hard hitting Ginny Hinds who has stepped off the bench with great effect for many teams this term. The pair are a very useful combination and managed to obtain three points on the night. With captain Lyn assisted by Dee Nolan, they secured a further point to ensure honours were even after an exciting 4-4 draw. This meant Wetherby remain ahead of Pool on points difference but crucially have three games in hand. The teams made a quick reappearance when meeting again at Scott Lane tomorrow!
All smiles at the end as both teams mix in for a group photo after sharing the points.