The Ladies first team were hosting York 2 at Castlegarth today and looking for the victory that would mathematically secure their place in Division One again next term. Captain Yvonne Mannall was able to pick from strength and the ladies looked very confident as they prepared for battle in the blistering sun and heat.
Sue Jacklin and Rachel Hill are prominent members of the Harrogate One mixed team and teamed up together at seed one this afternoon. They faced the useful visiting pair of Sarah Dwyer and Caroline White in a rubber that promised to be tight. It certainly was and with little to seperate the pairs the Wetherby ladies had to call upon their vast experience to see them home narrowly 7-5. Mannall paired up with Sue Perkins, who has made a welcome return to team tennis following injury this year, and has made important contributions already. This duo formed an impressive looking partnership which offered pace, power and guile and they used all these to great effect in their match with Beth Barker and Susan Gilfillan. The visiting pair were blown off court as the Wetherby girls laid siege and they ran out comfortable 10-2 winners. Charlotte Todd and Lucy Wright completed a good looking Wetherby line up and they took on Amy Jackson and Denise Willow. There was no room for error and concentration levels had to be maintained throughout this tough encounter. Finally Wetherby celebrated a narrow 7-5 success which gave them an encouraging 24-12 lead.
Jacklin and Hill then faced Jackson and Willow and once again things were extremely tight. With no quarter given the pairs battled it out producing some excellent tennis but luckily the top home seeds had enough class to secure another 7-5 success. Mannall and Perkins were unable to produce the heroics of the previous round when they found the visitors top pair a little too good. However a 5-7 loss was no disgrace and maintained Wetherby’s good lead. Todd and Wright were enjoying themselves together and were playing as hot as the temperatures. They really were competing extremely well against Barker and Gilfillan and some clever play and some excellent strategy enabled them to run out cosy 8-4 winners.
So as round three got under away Wetherby now lead 44-28 and were closing in on another vital win.Jacklin and Hill continued their consistent performances with yet another 7-5 win over Barker and Gilfillan. This gave them a useful 21 points on the day and this great effort was testament to strong concentration levels throughout. Mannall and Perkins went two points better as a 8-4 victory over Jackson and Willow took them to an impressive 23 points . They really handled the conditions well and with some excellent error free tennis proved difficult to beat all afternoon. Todd and Wright also chipped in with a wonderful 21 points as they held York 2 top dogs Dwyer and White to a very creditable 6-6 tie. They too used great understanding and clever tactics to frustrate their opponents and thoroughly deserved a share of the spoils
A fantastic team performance therefore yielded a superb 65-43 victory and with their status in the top section secured a big well done and a pat on the back all round tonight. The team can enjoy the rest of their campaign without the pressures of relegation hanging over them and can now concentrate consolidating a mid table finish.
The Ladies second team went down to a 64-44 defeat at local rivals Boston Spa. Injuries to Ginny Hinds and Jill Abel meant they were always playing catch up and couldn’t bridge the gap. Luckily Dunnington lost at Starbeck so Wetherby remain two points clear of the York based side and still outside of the drop zone. They visit bottom side Wistow next week in what is now looking a must win game, no pressure hey ladies!!!