On a lovely balmy summers evening Wetherby U14 entertained Whitkirk in the Mixed Blue Group. The team had drawn their opener at Rawdon then beaten Sandal away so were hoping to add further points tonight. Gabriel Mead and Nathan Spencer came into the team to replace Sam Pratt and George Brown whilst captain Bradley Triffitt and Sam Spencer remained.
The visitors arrived having drawn their opening match away at Roundhay and this looked a well matched affair after the team news was announced.
Sam Spencer and Nathan Spencer began their doubles match on court three and they faced Jake Sterling and Charlie Wilson. Plenty of long rallies ensued and with both pairs sitting deep this tie would be won on which duo could keep the error count lowest. Wilson was using his tall frame to produce some powerful returns and with Sterling serving well the Leeds based side were edging ahead. Back came the Wetherby boys with Sam as usual scampering around and saving many a lost cause whilst Nathan produced some lovely lobs to take the opening set to a tie break which the visitors just prevailed. However Whitkirk were quickly away in the second set and forcing the pace they were beginning to take a strangle hold before finally running out cosy 1-4 winners for a 0-2 success.
Gabriel Mead is a lovely left hander with a nice temperament and he faced Joseph Charlesworth on court two. Serving well and placing some excellent winning shots the Wetherby youngster was playing well and he looked calm and assured in taking the opener 4-1. Charlesworth tried to rally and with some good scrambling was trying to stay in the tie. However Mead was moving through the gears and not allowing his opponent time or space ran out a 2-0 winner after another 4-1 second set to level the overall match score at 1-1.
On the show court Bradley Triffitt was taking on the highly rated Diego Van and it was easy to see why as the Whitkirk boy was unleashing some ferocious shots from the baseline. Triffitt responded and with some delicate back hand play tried to mix things nicely . However Van was equal to anything Triffitt could offer and took the opener 2-4. The second set turned into an epic with both players trading blows and exciting a large crowd with some eye catching tennis. Triffitt knew he would be unable to out rally his opponent and found success hitting deep and charging the net where he finished well on many occasions. The contest was end to end and at 4-4 a tie break to seven as needed. Despite the heat Triffitt looked confident and with some exquisite tennis managed to hold his nerve to win 7-5 and take the match into a decider. However all the effort took to take the match to a third set caught up with him and in fairness Van composed himself to clinically despatch the Wetherby man 2-10 for a 1-2 success after a tremendous spectacle with both players roundly applauded off court.
Nathan Spencer then took on Charlie Wilson in his singles rubber and playing with confidence after a good effort in the doubles Nathan was certainly well in this. However Charlie always appeared to have the upper hand and with less errors began to forge ahead to run out a 2-4,2-4 winner and leave the visitors well placed leading 1-3.
Triffitt and Mead knew that only victory in their doubles would keep Wetherby in the tie and they renewed a partnership that had been clinical at Rawdon. With left hander Mead complementing Triffitt the duo looked sharp and organised and not allowing Van to dominant played some lovely tennis to take the opener 4-2. The Whitkirk men looked in trouble and with the Wetherby game plan working a treat they piled on the pressure with many well executed winners. Mead was returning well and with Triffitt a menace at the net and gobbling up numerous chances they ran out impressive 4-0 winners for a 2-0 success to reduce the arrears to 2-3.
All attention then turned to court two where Sam Spencer was battling to save the match for the hosts. Young Sam is no stranger to pressure having won his singles in last year’s semi final and showing nerves of steel was playing really well. Opponent Jake Sterling too was in good form and the pair traded an amazing amount of rallies on numerous occasions with the crowd on the edge of their seats. Spencer took the opener after a tie break but Sterling levelled at 1-1 following a 2-4 win so a third set tie beak would now decide this tie and the overall match. A hushed crowd watched excitedly as Sterling took an early lead before a patient Spencer rallied to forge clear at 9-4 needing a single point for victory. However with great determination the Whitkirk boy would not go away and reeling off four straight points to close to 9-8 the tension was now unbearable. Sam knew he still had match point and realised this was his time to shine. Another hugh rally with both players giving everything before a delightful lob from Sam proved unrecoverable and Wetherby could celebrate a 2-1 victory and a share of the spoils from an exciting 3-3 stalemate.
Once again great credit to all on show for a wonderful evening of tennis and a big thanks to an excellent support from the side lines who all appreciated the tennis on show.
Wetherby are top of the table but have played more games than their rivals but know a win over Roundhay in their final game would secure a top two finish and a place in the end of season playoffs. That match is not until June 15 though so the chaps have almost a month to wait until battle recommences.
From left to right Nathan Spencer, Sam Spencer, Gabriel Mead and Bradley Triffitt celebrate a great come from behind draw tonight.
Great support from the galleries with the Meads and Triffitt’s watching their boys complete a dominant display in the doubles.
Well done to Ellie Triffitt who manned the kitchen serving drinks and passing around biscuits this evening. She even did the washing up in a man of the match performance!!!!