The men’s first team were at home to rivals Starbeck on Sunday morning at Castlegarth. The table toppers were in confident mood against opponents battling to avoid relegation and once again fielded a strong looking six.
Captain Roger Fawcus stepped onto Court One alongside big hitting left hander David Corbyn and this imposing duo would enjoy themselves. Playing Gary Saunders and Grant Dorward they attacked from the off and with both firing down some impressive serves and hitting some great returns they soon had the scoreboard ticking over nicely. Experienced Saunders used his great height and reach to have success at the net for the visitors but Fawcus was his equal and the Wetherby top seeds ran out comfortable 9-3 winners. Nigel Williams was missing his usual partner in crime Mike Butterworth so youngster Ollie Newsome stepped up from the third team after a very impressive performance the day before when his 100% record helped the team to victory and an early promotion. The pair took on Steve Hubbard and Josh Cole in a tight and close affair that proved good viewing. Williams was his usual reliable self and keeping the error count low was ensuring the duo stayed in the contest. Newsome carried on from yesterday with some lovely hard hitting from deep and with some accurate net play the pair were producing some entertaining tennis. Eventually the Wetherby men came out narrowly on top to record a useful 7-5 victory. Josh Bayliss and Rob Payne paired up at seed three and again some hard hitting and deft net play, particularly from the youngster Bayliss, meant Wetherby were always in command against Jordan Harrison and John Burger. Payne adopted his usual aggressive style and proved hard to pass whilst Bayliss showed great maturity and a calm head to pick off any opportunity that fell his way. The pair methodically picked up crucial points on their way to a great 8-4 win that left the hosts well on top leading 24-12.
Williams and Newsome began round two in confident mood and this new partnership was looking very promising indeed. It needed to be as Saunders and Dorward were a step up in class and the Wetherby duo had to fight tooth and nail to stay in the rubber. However they did so with a mixture of power and guile and thoroughly deserved a share of the spoils from a 6-6 tie. Bayliss and Payne were also up in class and they just fell short attempting to lower the colours of the Starbeck second seeds. Another close contest this time went in the visitors favour but a 5-7 defeat still left the hosts happy. Corbyn and Fawcus however were yet again in majestic form and spraying the ball around with consummate ease they always carried too much weaponry against the visitors third seeds to record another comfortable 9-3 win and extend the hosts lead to 44-28.
Bayliss and Payne produced another big effort to finish their morning when enjoying a great battle with the Starbeck top dogs. They gave everything but were just touched off 5-7 but an excellent 18 points was a good return. Williams and Newsome were involved in yet another close affair against Harrison and Berger and there was little to separate these well matched pairs. A second tie of the morning and other share following a 6-6 draw meant they were delighted to accumulate an excellent 19 points. Corbyn and Fawcus too kept up their impressive strike rate with another top notch performance against Hubbard and Cole. The ferocity shown by both men was intense and they ran out easy winners 10-2 to earn a fantastic 28 points.
A 65-43 success meant a 9-3 victory for Wetherby which extended their lead at the summit and with promotion almost assured they are well placed to land consecutive titles . The team face mid table York 2 next weekend before an unusual three week break and a home game with Boston Spa who are the only team to inflict defeat on them this term.
Well played today and good luck next week.
The men’s second team fell to defeat at champions elect Wilberfoss losing out 9-3. They still hold onto second place however and entertain promotion rivals York 3 at Scott Lane next Sunday morning.