The ladies third team finally got their season under way when they hosted St Chads at Castlegarth this evening. The visitors arrived after suffering a loss at home to Whitkirk and responded by sending a completely new quartet for tonight.
Captain Bev Lyn teamed up with Anne Lillywhite who has been in sparkling form for the Harrogate B mixed team. They took on left hander Vicki Lawton and Rohan Simpson. This promised to be a tight affair and so it proved. Lilleywhite is also an accomplished lefty and she began in typical form hitting hard from deep and putting the visitors on the back foot. With Lyn providing many deft touches at the net and smashing well Wetherby made a good start not allowing their opponents any time or room to secure an opening 6-4 success. Lawton is a classy player and serving well she gracefully covered the court with determination. Simpson was content to patrol the net and produced some lovely interceptions. However the Wetherby ladies were their equal and looked determined to close out the match which they did with a cosy 6-3 second set victory for a 2-0 win.
Ann Jones had played in a veterans league match with regular mixed doubles partner Tony Cutler in the morning but still looked like a spring chicken as she got under way with the experienced and rather useful Mary Fiddler. However they found the going tough against the wily Anne Wallace and the rangy and eye catching Gemma Dracup who is a long distance marathon runner and certainly looked the part. The Leeds based couple were able to take control with both hitting well from the baseline whilst the tall Dracup was intimidating at the net and the pair ran out winners 3-6 in the opener. Realising they must change to plan B the Wetherby ladies regrouped and started to mix up their game with some unorthodox play which had the visitors rattled. Jones was returning well and using her famed short game had the St Chads pair racing around . Fiddler was also playing well and showing great strength recovered many a lost cause and the duo were rewarded in fine style as they ran out comfortable 6-1 winners for a share at 1-1.
So with round one complete Wetherby led 3-1 needing two more points for victory.
Lillywhite and Lyn moved over to court five to take on Wallace and Dracup and continued their impressive opening win by taking the opener 6-3. St chads were starting to look like a beaten team and struggling to reenergise the Wetherby top seeds sensed blood and went in for the kill. Lillywhite was relentless in her ferocious attacks and creating some splendid low angles was rampant. Lyn was solid at the net and taking everything that came her way and the duo completed a fantastic evening with a 6-1 win and the maximum four points.
With the match won Jones and Fiddler were able to relax although their match with Lawton and Simpson was very hard fought and extremely competitive. Wetherby took the opener 6-4 and keeping the foot to the pedal Jones and Fiddler were showing no mercy. However Lawton looks a promising player and only a lack of tennis this year perhaps prevented her from squaring the match as she showed some lovely touches at times. However Wetherby were not to be denied and a 6-3 second set secured a 2-0 win and meant Wetherby opened with an impressive 7-1 success.
Well done to all on show in an absorbing contest with great sportsmanship shown from both teams this was a fine advert for Leeds Division Two. Wetherby will hope for further success at Almscliffe next Thursday with the hosts having lost their first two matches and we wish captain Bev Lyn and her troops all the best there.
Well done to Mary Fidler, Bev Lyn, Ann Jones and Anne Lillywhite who celebrated with a cup of tea!
Gallant runners up from left to right were Anne Wallace, Rohan Simpson, Gemma Dracup and Vicki Lawton.