The ladies second team were also at Castlegarth this afternoon as they took on rivals Boston Spa. With temperatures soaring this would be a gruelling afternoon for all on show. Wetherby have had a good start in Division 2 following three wins and just a solitary loss and captain Fiona Chantrey has been pleased. Spa arrived having won two of their four matches and a close match looked on the cards. Louise Williams, Ginny Hinds and Rachel Butterworth were absent today
Trish Bell had recovered from injury to partner daughter Angie at seed one and the duo were watched by Trish’s mum on the side lines who is becoming a bit of a recent regular! The Bells took on Kate Butterfield and Lesley Haley in what turned out to be an entertaining match on the show court. Angie has been in impressive form for the mixed second team in York and as usual was delivering some big blows from the baseline. Trish was covering the court and producing some deft touches at the net. Lesley Haley is a top performer at this level and was showing her class with some great recovery play as well as numerous winners. There was little between the pairs but Wetherby eventually just edged home 7-5. Fiona Chantrey and Jill Abel have produced plenty of heroics over the years and resumed their partnership at seed two. However the elements probably didn’t do the couple any favours today and they struggled to combat the heat. They entertained the wily Margaret Lindley and the competitive Anne Milne. This was another close encounter and with some punishing rallies the Boston ladies were having good success. Chantrey responded with some trademark returns whilst Jill battled away showing good energy to keep the hosts in the rubber. A 6-6 tie was the final outcome which may have left the visitors slightly the happier on reflection. Louise Beasley has been an important recruit to the club and after starring for Wetherby A in midweek during their win at Boroughbridge she was back in action here partnering Marise Richfield. This couple had a classy look and both looked comfortable and calm under pressure. They played Sandy Clough and Alison Ward on court three. Richfield is a very accomplished player on the backhand and was happy to maintain a good consistent level of returns whilst Beasley adopted the same tactics on the forehand. They needed to be strong as the Spa duo were playing well and hitting hard and volleying strongly this was yet another very close fought battle. With points hard earned the quartet couldn’t be separated and a 6-6 draw was the result leaving Wetherby slightly ahead 19-17 after round one.
Plenty of fluids taken on board the second round commenced with the sun showing no signs of abating.
The Bells were keen to keep the home scoreboard ticking over as they played the Spa third seeds but credit to the visitors who were not overawed and who played some tremendous tennis in the face of some powerful hitting from the hosts. A war of attrition ensued but Wetherby had to be content with an 8-4 winning margin which actually was the widest seen all afternoon. Abel and Chantrey took on the Spa top dogs who always just held the upper hand in this tight and gruelling match up. Spa were consistent and determined to close the gap and they ran out narrow 6-7 winners. Beasley and Richfield were enjoying their blossoming partnership and knew a big effort was needed to combat Lindley and Milne. Nothing between the pairs early on but it was Spa who finished the stronger to record a narrow 5-7 success which left the score line at 37-35 in Wetherby’s favour.
So round three promised to be edge of your seat stuff and the watching crowd settled to watch the action unfold.
The Bells took on the crafty Spa second seeds and just couldn’t manage to put daylight between themselves and their opponents. Battling away they still managed a win but not surprisingly it was close at 7-5 in Wetherby’s favour. This left Wetherby leading by four and Abel and Chantrey were hoping to edge the hosts a little further clear. But Clough and Ward had other ideas and disrupting their higher rated opponents they dug deep to keep the match very much in the melting pot with a tremendous 5-7 success to close the margin back down to just two points. All eyes therefore turned to the final match and suddenly Boston sensed a come from behind win with top seeds Butterfield and Haley looking for blood. Wetherby knew it would take a big effort from Beasley and Richfield to combat the threat from the big guns and thankfully this was yet another close rubber. Fittingly in such a close match it came down to the final game and with the Wetherby ladies doing unbelievably well and trailing 5-6 the final game became the decider. Perhaps it was only fair on such a day that honours were ultimatley shared as the Spa ladies ran out 5-7 winners which left the match tied at 54-54 and both therefore took a point.
A great effort by all on show who entertained a thoroughly appreciate crowd .Wetherby take a break next week and entertain Pocklington back at Scott Lane on June 2nd whilst Spa play Fulford at home the same day.
The ladies first team travelled over to Dunnington for a late afternoon start but were missing Sue Jacklin, Helen Robinson and Jo Coverdale. Janine Smith kindly stepped in. This was always going to be a tough ask as the hosts are one of the stronger teams and so it proved with the York side holding too many aces today. A 74-34 score line was harsh on Wetherby for their considerable efforts but the team have still made a positive start with two wins from five in Division one which is very unforgiving. With Bishopthorpe struggling at the foot with 5 successive defeats hopefully Wetherby can secure enough wins to avoid the bottom two places . The next two matches are unfortunately against the top two clubs with an away trip to Pocklington followed by a home match with title favourites York 1 but we wish our ladies well in those two tough assignments