Wetherby 1 hosted Wetherby 2 this evening in the Winter League. Once more dry weather greeted the players and for November temperatures were pretty decent. Captain Mike Triffitt was joined by Janine Smith who was making her first appearance of the season whilst the ever reliable Steve and Christina Plant were also in attendance. For Wetherby 2 captain Richard Franks was joined by regular partner Anne Lillywhite whilst Ann Jones teamed up with Dexter Waud for his first start of the campaign.
The Plants began on court five against Richard and Anne and were confidently into stride. They raced into a 5-2 lead and things were looking rosy. However Richard and Anne are certainly battlers and after a tremendous season together in the mixed summer league they have now built a strong on court partnership. With Franks covering every inch of court as usual and Lillywhite unleashing some lovely left handed forehand winners the pair fought back to take a share of the spoils following a 6-6 tie.
Over on court four Ann Jones and Dexter Waud started well against Triffitt and Smith. Janine was lucky to be playing after arriving home from work and jumping into her pj’s. Settling down with a glasss of wine for a cosy night in, thankfully she remembered she was due on court!!. She found herself trailing 3-1 early doors but battled back to sneak ahead before finally securing a narrow 7-5 success.
So after round one the scores were very close with Wetherby 1 leading 13-11.
The ladies did battle on court four and once again there was little between the pairs. Christina and Janine were making their first appearance at any level together but quickly gelled and were producing some terrific tennis. Both are powerful players who hit hard and with Christina serving extremely well things were looking promising. The two Anns however are both tenacious competitors and having played numerous occassions over the years are a very good partnership. This rubber ebbed and flowed before a 6-6 draw was a good reflection of events.
Mike and Steve had played very well together previously in the mens during an earlier 9-3 victory over Knaresborough and the pair looked confident of further success. However at 2-2 the rubber was tight and would need a touch of class to open it up. Thankfully for the favourites Steve Plant was just the man for the job and he started to up the tempo and produce some clever tennis to keep the scoreboard ticking over. With Mike very consistent and making some nice winners at the net alongside some impressive serving the duo kicked on and ran out 9-3 winners which suddenly gave them a nice eight point cushion as they led 28-20.
Wetherby 2 were not going down wihout a fight however and Richard and Anne were quickly out of the blocks against Mike and Janine. Franks really was proving difficut to pass as he appeared everywhere and despite a shoulder injury Anne was still hitting some excellant returns. With Triffitt and Smith struggling for consistency and a game plan to combat their opponents it was Wetherby 2 who just shaded the contest as they ran out 8-4 winners to reduce the overall gap to just four points.
However hopes of a shock were dashed on court four as Steve and Christana were showcasing their considerable talents at the expence of Ann and Dexter. As hard as they tried they couldnt match the Plants and with Steve showing some lovely touches with more clever play they made all and kicked on to run out convincing 11-1 victors. Harsh on Ann and Dexter who had many good moments but Wetherby 1 therefore ran out cosy 43-29 winners to go top of the table.
Thanks again to all who played and good luck for the rest of the season. Boston Spa play Knaresborough 1 on Thursday with the prize a top of the table position at stake.
Congratulations to Steve and Christina Plant, Janine Smith and captain Mike Triffitt.
A good effort from captain Richard Franks, Anne Lillywhite, Ann Jones and Dexter Waud who ensured a close game this evening.