On a glorious afternoon the ladies second team kicked off theirs and the clubs first competitive league tennis match of the season. Conditions were arguably too nice with the sun beating down but it was certainly an opportunity to top up the tans!.
Captain Fiona Chantrey was able to pick from strength despite the absence of key players Angie Bell and Rachel Butterworth and they started favourites against visitors David Lloyd 2.
With daughter Angie missing with work commitments, Rachel Hill stepped in to partner Trish Bell and they took on Liz Taylor and Lisa Garland. This proved an intriguing and competitive rubber with no quarter given and points well earned. A 6-6 tie was a good reflection of events and both pairs were happy to share the spoils.Chantrey teamed up with regular partner Jill Abel at seed two and they took on Chris Twigge and Barbara White. This proved another tight contest but it was the York based visitors who narrowly prevailed 5-7. Louise Williams and Ginny Hinds paired up at seed three and they entertained Jo Denton and Sharon Davidson. They were slowly out of the blocks however as the stylish visiting pair quickly moved through the gears. Unable to close the gap David Lloyd recorded an eye catching 1-11 success to put themselves firmly in the driving seat.
Round Two got underway with Wetherby trailing 12-24 and suddenly having work to do and now big underdogs. However Bell and Hill are experienced campaigners and looked determined to reduce the arrears. They quickly upped the pace and with some lovely free flowing tennis and excellent court coverage started to turn the screw. They gave opponents Twigge and White little chance and finally ran out 10-2 conquerors. Chantrey and Abel also stepped on the gas and started to show the form that has seen them produce some excellent wins over the years. Chantrey has looked very classy in pre season and she managed to bring that form to the table here and with Abel digging in and dominating at the net the pair began to build up a useful lead. Denton and Davidson looked shell shocked as the hosts continued to rattle up the winners and eventually Castlegarth ran out 12-0 winners to once again completely turn the match on its head. Williams and Hinds knew they would have their work cut out to hold the David Lloyd top pair but they improved from their opening round to give their opponents a fright. They managed a crucial three and despite a 3-9 reverse it was all to play for as the final round began.
With Wetherby now edging ahead 37-35 the match was on a knife edge and with the sun making conditions tough this was turning into a war of attrition. Bell and Hill took on Denton and Davidson who fought bravely and recapturing their first round form made it hard for the Wetherby top pair. A 6-6 draw meant Wetherby still clinged to a tight two point advantage. Chantey and Abel faced the visitors number one duo and this proved one of the most competitive rubbers of the afternoon. Some real quality on show with the York team prevailing 5-7 to level the overall scores. Thankfully Williams and Hinds used their extra fitness to good effect in their final rubber and certainly saved the best till last. All those holidays and vacations abroad to sunny climes was seen to real use here as the duo confidently hit well from deep to unhinge Twigge and White. The extra pace was proving a really useful weapon for Wetherby and the duo ran out 8-4 winners to help the team to a fantastic and well deserved 56-52 success.
An exhausted twelve players have to be richly applauded for some excellent play in sweltering conditions and all earned their stripes and hopefully a glass of prosecco this evening!
The ladies travel to Poppleton 1 next week before a return to Scott Lane on May 5 when old rivals Rufforth 1 are the visitors.
Thanks again and well done to all on show and good luck for the rest of the campaign.
Well done from left to right to captain Fiona Chantrey, Trish Bell, Jill Abel, Louise Williams and Rachel Hill with Ginny Hinds behind the camera.
The ladies first team were on the wrong end of a 56-52 score line the following day as they narrowly lost away at York 2. A great effort with missing personnel and a performance to give them hope for the remainder of the season of course.