It was great to see all five courts in use this evening which cant be bad for January!!
A cool but calm evening greeted the 16 players on Winter League duty this evening at Castlegarth. With postponements meaning the schedule was running behind, four teams kindly agreed to this rare double header and were rewarded with a very good evening of tennis.
Starbeck and Boston Spa met on courts 2 and 3 and both fielded faces that have graced both the Winter and Summer Leagues over the years. Starbeck captain Di Lang was a welcome addition to her team and she paired up with her old partner in crime Gary Saunders whilst Katie Draper made a quick reappearance after playing last Thursday and was joined by James Matthewman.
Boston captain Jordan Gregory was away so once again the ever reliable Peter Smith donned the captains armband but with his regular partner Lesley Hale still in the USA Kate Gilman joined him. Will Parkins and Dominique Morrisey formed a useful looking duo which gave Spa a strong feel.
Smith used all his craftiness to ensure Spa made a cracking start and with Gilman proving a valuable asset the Spa duo opened up with a cosy 2-10 win over Draper and the youngster Matthewman. With Morrisey and Parkins also defeating Lang and Saunders narrowly 5-7 it proved a lead that Spa would never relinquish. Boston extended their lead in the ladies and men’s rubbers before the third round proved extremely competitive with some excellent tennis on show. Starbeck fought bravely to ensure the scoreboard didn’t run away and both rubbers saw honours shared at 6-6.
A 25-47 victory therefore for Boston consolidated third place after a third victory of their campaign.
Winning Boston Spa team from left to right Kate Gilman, Peter Smith, Will Parkins and Dominique Morrisey.
Gallant runners up Starbeck from left to right were James Matthewman, Di Lang, Gary Saunders and Katie Draper.
Over on Courts 4 and 5 defending champions and current favourites for this seasons crown Rufforth took on Knaresborough. Rufforth are the only unbeaten team left in the competition and as always looked determined to maintain that run. However they were missing key men in James Edmond and Ed Zeigler which gave some hope to Borough of causing a major shock. Rufforth were still able to field a strong quartet with the powerful pair of Tom Schouksmith and Sue Yoward , who had both featured in the top four players in the Summer York mixed doubles Division Two , both on show. They were joined by captain Kate Lewis and chairman Andy Ivel which looked eye catching.
Knaresborough captain Paul White was also in attendance and this easy going player who always has a smile on his face was joined by Jan Blogg whilst Tony Graham, who has been in good form in the Winter League this term, paired up with Natasha Quigley who was the leading lady for Boro in Division 4 of the Harrogate mixed leagues last summer where they finished comfortable in mid division.
The favourites were quickly out of the traps to show their class as both couples were victorious with Lewis and Ivel really enjoying themselves as they ran out impressive 10-2 winners. There was no rest bite for Boro in the men’s and ladies rubber as Rufforth took the spoils 9-3 in both whilst once more the final round turned out to be the closest with Quigley and Graham having the honour of taking the scalp of Lewis and Ivel 5-7.
Amazingly we had an identical score line of 47-25 as Rufforth ominously moved top of the leader board following their fourth successive win.
The all conquering Rufforth team from left to right was Tom Schouksmith, Kate Lewis, Sue Yoward and Andy Ivel.
For Knaresborough from left to right saw Paul White, Jan Blogg, Tony Graham and Natasha Quigley.
I really would like to thank all the players on show this evening for showing great flexibility in allowing this double header to be played and with only one outstanding fixture we are certainly back on track with this seasons schedule. One thing I have really noticed this season is the friendly but competitive nature of many of the matches and the feedback received from individuals has been really complementary and certainly makes the competition worth all the effort to organise.
Good luck with your remaining games and Starbeck are once more quickly back on the horse as they take on Wetherby 1 this Thursday.