The sun was missing but it was still a pleasant evening at Castlegarth tonight as Wetherby U14 entertained their Roundhay counterparts. The hosts had won one and drawn two and knew victory tonight would guarantee a top two finish and a semi final place. Gabe Mead was a late withdrawal due to illness so George Brown stepped in at seed two to replace him. With the luxury of four courts the singles took place simultaneously.
On Court Four Brook Sutton played Charlie Locket and despite a spirited effort the Wetherby youngster, who was making only his second ever start in this his debut season, found the going hard work. He was unable to compete with some accurate tennis from the Roundhay chap and fell 0-4,1-4.
On Court Three Nathan Spencer was playing Seamus Jackson Braydon and there was some big hitting from the duo. However once more the Roundhay player was showing more consistency and gave the visitors a 0-2 lead following a 1-4,0-4 success.
George Brown had played an instrumental part in the sides away win at Sandal and the left hander was soon showing some impressive form against James Howling on Court Two. Both players were content to play from deep and some long rallies ensued from the baseline. Brown however was mixing things up and moving his bigger opponent and gradually began to take control running out a 4-0 first set winner. However James was far more lively in the second and increasing the tempo this set went to a tie break after a 4-4 stalemate. However showing great temperament young George romped to a 7-0 win and a 4-0,5-4 success to reduce the overall arrears to 1-2.
Captain Bradley Triffitt was on Court One and he took on Roundhay top seed Lewis Stirling. What Lewis lacked in stature he made up for in effort and the visiting player was hitting some booming returns from the back of the court. Triffitt was happy to rally however and producing some big hitting of his own created some wonderful angles to run out a cosy 4-0 first set winner. With Bradley serving well and keeping the pressure on he even had time to advance to the net to finish some excellent volleys and a further 4-0 second set meant the hosts were back in the contest at 2-2 with the doubles to follow.
It was now odds on a draw however if the singles were an accurate reflection and Seamus and Charlie were looking even stronger in the doubles with some eye catching tennis . This duo combined great teamwork with some real quality and left Nathan and Brook struggling. The Wetherby youngsters were however still battling manfully with Spencer once more hitting some cracking winners whilst Sutton showed some clever touches at the net. Ultimately they couldn’t match the visitors who ran out 2-4,1-4 winners to give Roundhay a 2-3 lead.
Triffitt and Brown knew therefore that victory was imperative to salvage a draw and they quickly set about securing victory. With Triffitt once more serving with venom and Brown a rock alongside his older player partner the pair were in sparkling form running out 4-0 winners in the opener. However the Roundhay pair were not going to lie down and started to turn the screw early in the second set as they opened up a quick 0-2 lead. There were a number of long rallies to entertain the galleries and many were finished with impressive winners as each pair gave everything. Triffitt and Brown had five match points but couldn’t convert any as the Leeds based outfit drew level at 4-4 to take the second set to a tie break. You could cut the tension with a knife as the crowd eagerly watched the action unfold and thankfully for Wetherby Bradley and George showed nerves of steel to run out 7-4 winners and a 2-0 win levelled a very even contest.
Well played to both teams with a draw a fair result on the evening. Wetherby move onto nine competition points but must now sit and wait to see if that will be enough to secure a semi final berth. After an unbeaten group stage they will feel aggrieved to miss out so fingers crossed other results fall their way.
Well done to George Brown and Bradley Triffitt who took the final doubles rubber to secure a welcome 3-3 draw tonight.
Thanks to Nathan Spencer and Brook Sutton who played with a smile and in a great spirit tonight.
The parents were in good spirits tonight too although it was strictly tea and biscuits on the sidelines!