The York 2 mixed team were in action tonight as they travelled to Rowntree Park. Jill Abel has seen an amazing upturn in fortunes as having lost their opening four games they have reeled off sixth consecutive victories to guarantee safety in Division Four. Tonight’s hosts are involved in a three way battle with Dunnington and Poppleton to avoid the drop so this came was crucial to their survival hopes.
There was a number of absentees so Marc Bickers and Lucy Wright stepped in from Harrogate One. Bickers paired up with captain Jill Abel at seed one and they took on Park top guns Steve Walker and Hannah Nash. This proved an enthralling contest between two very well matched couples. Abel and Bickers quickly gelled and with the magic man serving well and hitting big from deep the winners began to flow. Abel on the back of a strong performance to help the ladies second team to victory as the weekend, was once again producing some crafty net play and returning well meaning the hosts had to play well to keep in the rubber. Eventually Wetherby took a narrow tie 5-7. Lucy Wright teamed up at seed two with her old partner in crime Kevin Duckenfield and the pair were soon into stride. However Park duo Martin Pinfold and Sandra Robinson have both enjoyed success this term, albeit generally playing with different partners. They started to find their form and playing extremely well took control of the rubber. Duckenfield was serving well and producing some nice net play and with Wright covering the court well this again was a tie to saviour. However Rowntree ran out 8-4 winners. Stuart Robinson has enjoyed a good campaign and this evening teamed up with the ultra reliable Rachel Butterworth. Both players are confident from deep and with Robinson hitting some lovely backhand returns with real ferocity the pair soon began to dominate proceedings. Russ Warin and Breeda Gallagher were struggling to contain the Wetherby pair who produced error free tennis throughout on their way to a comfortable 3-9 success.
The score line stood at 16-20 as round two began and still plenty to play for indeed. Robinson and Butterworth looked quietly confident of an upset against Walker and Nash and continued to produce some quality tennis. In a real rollercoster affair the pairs fought like cat and dog with some tremendous tennis on show. The Wetherby couple used excellent team work to frustrate their hosts and began to exploit the errors. However the home duo are strong and a final 6-6 draw was a fair reflection of the event and left Wetherby extremely happy. Wright and Duckenfield soon began to take control against the home third seeds and with Duckenfield turning up the tempo the winners started to flow. Wright looked in determined mood and was chasing down everything as the pair kept the scoreboard ticking over nicely. A 3-9 victory was good reward for a professional performance. Abel and Bickers were involved in another tight contest against Pinfold and Robinson. They had to dig deep into their reserves but with both players producing the goods ran out narrow 5-7 winners once more.
The score now stood at 30-42 and Wetherby were intent to keep the pressure on. Robinson and Butterworth were showing no sign of letting up and they once again were in superb form as they produced a fantastic performance to defeat Pinfold and Robinson 4-8. They were the model of consistency and with some free flowing tennis bagged a very impressive 23 points on the evening. Wright and Duckenfield found the Park seed ones too strong however and despite some long rallies they couldn’t quite turn the deuces into winning games and succumbed 9-3. Nevertheless another 16 points was finding its way into the visitors ever increasing pot. Abel and Bickers were relieved that their final rubber allowed them the freedom to reflex and exploit the space well as they took on the home sides third pair. Bickers had far too much power and with Abel once again majestic at the net they enjoyed the finale and took the rubber 3-9 for an excellent 23 points haul on the night.
A Wetherby victory of 46-62 meant a seventh consecutive success and on this form the team will be hoping to make a promotion push next season.
Well done to the team tonight and a very strong all round performance resulted in a 16 point advantage. The team have three matches left to play and are quickly back in action when they visit table toppers Appleton Roebuck on Wednesday.