Collingham Celebrate Winter League Debut Success

After a blustery couple of days conditions were much better on Tuesday evening as Wetherby 2 entertained Collingham who were making their debut in the Winter League. Captain Janine Smith paired up with newcomer Dexter Waud who was making his first competitive appearance for the hosts in team tennis whilst Louise Williams and Greg Vince brought experience to the table and were successful in helping Wetherby A to promotion in Harrogate Division Five this season.

Collingham captain Tony Cutler is also a member at Wetherby and he selected fellow Castlegarth member Richard Franks along with Liz Douthwaite and June Hudson who are regulars down at Cottage Lane.

Smith and Waud took on Hudson and Franks in the opener which turned out to be a very competitive affair. Waud is a useful singles player and covers the court well hitting aggressively. With Smith content to prowl the net this pair employed tactics to good effect. However Franks is also a big hitter and confident server and with the consistent Hudson alongside him the Collingham duo were more than able opponents. In a nip and tuck encounter honours were eventually shared following a 6-6 draw.

Williams and Vince took on Douthwaite and Cutler and again there was very little to split the quartet. Cutler is a difficult opponent as he has a number of well disguised shots in his armoury and a tremendous slice shot that often produced winners.Douthwaite proved an excellent accomplice with some useful returns of her own and standing firm the pair played some attractive tennis. Williams was hitting well from deep with her deadly forehand and with Vince proving difficult to pass and also producing some superb recovery shots this rubber could have gone either way. Finally it was the visitors who narrowly prevailed 5-7 to give themselves a two point lead after round one.

Smith and Williams teamed up in the ladies rubber against Douthwaite and Hudson and this was too prove a match of contrasting styles. Wetherby used pace and power but with the guile and consistency of Collingham proving a useful combination the visitors took the contest 4-8 to extend Collinghams lead.

Vince and Wuad were battling away against Franks and Cutler and really there was little to separate the pairs. A game full of energy and determination resulted in a 6-6 draw after some breath taking tennis.Collingham battled back from 5-2 down and this comeback would ultimately help prove the difference.

So the final round commenced with all to play for and Wetherby upping the tempo in an attempt to reduce the six point arrears. However the match continued its very close nature and once again there was nothing to separate either tie. Smith and Waud were enjoying their encounter with Douthwaite and Cutler but despite a massive effort had to settle for another 6-6 draw.

Williams and Vince were also involved in a tight skirmish and with Hudson and Franks playing some effective tennis too not surprisingly another 6-6 draw was the outcome.

So after an evening of great tennis it was Collingham who celebrated a 33-39 victory after a hard fought success. Well done to Tony Cutler and his team and good luck to both teams for the remainder of the season.


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