The Ladies second team travelled to Bishopthorpe this morning for an early start and although the conditions were hot they were thankful this wasn’t scheduled for the afternoon when temperatures really soared. Both teams had lost their opening two rounds and were both desperate to open their account for the season.
Captain Yvonne Mannall teamed up at seed one with Helen Robinson. The pair were still celebrating a win for Harrogate one last Thursday and made a slow start against Laura Rhodes and Ellie Page. However the hosts top duo are one of the strongest around and with Wetherby struggling to recapture Thursday’s mixed form the hosts took advantage to run out 10-2 winners. Sue Jacklin returned from holiday to partner Lucy Wright and they faced another strong home couple in Emma Cashmore and Katie Harvey. This proved a fascinating battle with little between the quartet before the visitors claimed the rubber 5-7. Charlotte Todd and Jo Coverdale completed the Wetherby line up at seed three and they faced Carmen Mackle and Sue Hanley. Thankfully for Wetherby Todd and Coverdale were quickly away and made all playing some consistent tennis they proved too strong to record a 3-9 success.
This left things nicely poised at 18-18 as round two began. Mannall and Robinson took on Cashmore and Harvey with the hosts adopting better to the conditions. The Wetherby girls were having to dig deep but with Mannall serving well and Robinson starting to produce some deft touches they only narrowly lost 7-5. Wright and Jacklin were playing well however and looked determined to put their tie with the hosts third pair quickly to bed. They dominated from start to finish with some eye catching tennis and ran out cosy 2-10 victors. Todd and Coverdale knew they faced a tough match with Rhodes and Page but playing with determination added a further two points to the Wetherby total despite a 10-2 reverse.
This always looked a match too close to call and beginning the final round the hosts led 37-35. Jacklin and Wright faced a sharp rise in class against Thorpe’s top dogs but playing with high energy battled away to take a vital three from a 9-3 reverse. Todd and Coverdale knew they needed to keep things close with Cashmore and Harvey and they arguably saved their best form till last as they suffered a close 7-5 defeat which kept Wetherby in the contest. All eyes were now on Mannall and Robinson and with Bishopthorpe leading 53-43 only a whitewash could rescue the match for Wetherby. The visitors top duo were now moving up the gears and playing to the high standard we are accustomed too. Playing in a relaxed style they were knocking off the games with a simple but effect game plan. However as the finish line began to come into view the pair were aware that they couldn’t afford to drop a single game and it was a rather nervy finish before finally a 12-0 win was recorded to the delight of the team who triumphed 53-55.
A fantastic match with some scintillating tennis and of course it couldnt have been more closer or exciting. A really tremendous team effort from the Wetherby six to take the points and hopefully kick start their season. Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend ladies!.
The second team had won both their opening two games but a home clash with Rufforth later in the afternoon would be a real test of their credentials. The visitors had slipped up last week in a game where injury had prevented them from beating Boston Spa so they arrived determined to get back on track. Conditions were difficult in the heat and all on show had to be prepared to test their fitness levels to the extreme.
Wetherby welcomed back Angie Bell who teamed up with mum Trish. Trish had been in great form during the week bagging 25 points for the Harrogate A mixed team and she continued that fine form with an excellent 20 here. Fiona Chantrey and Marise Richfield were able to equal that fine effort as the close off court friends played very well throughout the contest.
Rufforth were able to field a strong squad with captain Kate Lewis and Sue Yoward no stranger to those who follow the Winter League. Yoward was arguably the player of the tournament for the ladies in that title winning team and she is also a member of the Rufforth side which competes in division one of the York mixed league. Chris Place is the master of the delicate angled volley and with Yowards power the Wetherby ladies did well to score so highly against the duo. Therefore Rachel Butterworth and Ginny Hinds knew they would have to bridge a considerable gap to compete and despite a great effort the visitors class told and they were restricted to 11 today.
This was another exciting match however but the class and guile of the powerful visitors was all too evident and they ran out winners 51-57.
A great effort from all on show for battling heat exhaustion to provide great entertainment and once again this was a great advert for ladies tennis. Wetherby face another tough game at early pace setters Fulford next weekend whilst Rufforth will expect to beat Pocklington back on home soil. Good luck to both this season and the return fixture in late June between the pair should be one to look forward to.