Wetherby 1 were in Winter League action tonight as they took on Knaresborough. Once again weather conditions were excellent with the evening mild and dry. Josh Bayliss and Lucy Wright paired up at seed one for Wetherby and this duo, who have played together in the Harrogate league, took on Steve Duckenfield, son of our own Kevin, and Jan Blogg. There was plenty of long rallies with Wright returning extremely well from deep whilst Bayliss was happy to prowl the net and intercept with tremendous smashes and some soft handed drop shot winners. Wright too was dominating the net and the Boro duo had their work cut out to contain the strong Wetherby pair. Duckenfield is also a big hitter and covers the court extremely well. The wily veteran Blogg was proving a good foil and played some crafty winners. However Wetherby just had a touch of class and ran out cosy 8-4 winners.
Fiona Chantrey, on the back of a successful promotion winning campaign for Wertherby A in Division five of the Harrogate league, pared up with the crafty Mike Abel and this experienced duo were very much at home in one another’s company. Chantrey was enjoying the step up in class but was more than holding her own. Abel was his usual bundle of energy and ensured he covered every inch of the tarmack.Opponents Andy Little and Fran Bakes however were proving very useful opposition. Little was part of the successful promotion winning Harlow team that finished runners up in Division four whilst Bakes is a rising star and played some fantastic recovery tennis with some strong running and aggressive stroke play. This proved an excellent contest with Wetherby taking the spoils and running out narrow 7-5 winners.
As round two began Wetherby led 15-9.Bayliss and Abel took on Duckenfield and Little in the men’s doubles. The quartet served up a treat with some solid tennis which ensured a close encounter. Wetherby just edged a close match 7-5. However Lucy Wright and Fiona Chantrey were to really swing the match in the hosts favour in the ladies singles against Jan Blogg and Fran Bakes. The Wetherby pair were quickly out of the blocks with some aggressive tennis and looked determined to take the win. Wright continued to press hard and with Chantrey showing some classy touches and some well thought out returns the Wetherby girls were in full swing. They didn’t allow their opponents an inch and despite a battling display from the Boro ladies Wetherby won 11-1 to ensure they led 33-15 going into the final round.
There was no let up from Wright and with Bayliss once again proving a strong accomplice they began to turn the screw. In fairness to Little and Bakes they gave it everything and forcing a number of deuces ensured the Wetherby pair had to fight hard for victory. However a 9-3 success was richly deserved after a powerful performance. Over on Court Five Chantrey and Abel had built up a useful 6-1 lead against Duckenfield and Bloggs but the Boro pair were not giving up without a fight and fought back to 6-5 before Chantrey and Abel steadied the ship to win 7-5.
So a final winning scoreline of 49-23 saw Wetherby leapfrog Rufforth at the top albeit with only two games played. Well done to all on show for an entertaining evening of tennis played in a good spirit. Knaresborough are next in action against champions Rufforth whilst Wetherby 1 face Boroughbridge on October 26.
Tonights winning team from left to right was Mike Abel, Fiona Chantrey, Josh Bayliss and Lucy Wright.
Runners up from left to right were Andy Little, Fran Bakes, Jan Blogg and Steve Duckenfield.