The weather forecast offered little hope as the men’s Leeds first team set off for St Chads this evening but thankfully there was enough dry weather despite later rain to ensure the match went ahead. Both the teams had been relegated from Division Five last season but had been reprieved at the AGM with two new teams been admitted into Division Six. This was probably only fair as Pudsey and Alwoodley were far superior last season and at least Division two standard meaning clubs had little chance of surviving against those powerful outfits. Captain Mike Triffitt teamed up with Richard Franks whilst Bradley Triffitt partnered Steve Plant who was called up from the reserve list to cover for absence. Plant and Triffitt junior began at seed one and took on St Chads duo Richard and Ollie. Richard is an experienced wily veteran with a very clever game plan who delivered plenty of well executed winners while youngster Ollie has a booming first serve and took no prisoners at the net . This was a fascinating contest with Steve Plant also in tremendous serving form and Bradley hitting plenty of winners on his favoured forehand. Little between the pairs before the hosts took the opening set after a tie break 7-6. The visitors knew they needed to level and came out of the blocks quickly in the second set. However once more it became a cat and mouse affair and at 4-4 was ever so tight. Thankfully for Wetherby they took the final two games to record a satisfying 4-6 success and a share of the spoils at 1-1.
Over on court two Mike and Richard found themselves trailing 0-2 against Chads captain Adam Cresswell who was partnered by Martin. Taking a while to accustom themselves to the fast carpet surface they remained calm and began the fightback. Both players are very consistent and cleverly produced a number of nicely placed winner. Franks has really improved over the past year and after a dominant display for Wetherby A mixed team last week followed up with some eye catching play here. Triffitt was also in good form and incredibly banged down four aces to certainly help the visitors who finally won the opener 2-6. They were in no mood to let up and continuing with their well thought out crafty game plan, were happy to see the hosts make errors and deservedly followed up with another 2-6 success.
The dark clouds looked threating and drizzle was in the air. With no floodlights it was quite dark but play resumed in round two with Wetherby 1-3 ahead.
Triffitt and Franks continued with the same tactics against the hosts top seeds but with Ollie continuing to be powerful with his serving and not missing much at the net the visitors were finding things far tougher. However battling away they took the set to a tiebreak where they quickly asserted to run out 7-6 winners after a 7-2 tie break success. Over on court one Plant and Triffitt junior were making sure the points would be heading back to Wetherby as they had far too much pace and power for the Chads second pair. Showing smart play the duo celebrated their debut together in style running out impressive 1-6,1-6 winners with a number of fantastic winners from both players. With the match now won and the rain heavier Mike and Richard played a second set tiebreak rather than a full set and although beaten 7-4 were pleased to share the match at 1-1 which resulted in a Wetherby win 2-6 overall.
A good start to a campaign in which Wetherby will hope to retain their place in Division five. To give some idea of how the standard compares between the Leeds and York leagues, tonight’s match would have been similar to a York Division 4 match where they have eight Divisions and where the Wetherby men’s second team compete. Thanks to all who took part this evening and despite a poor forecast both teams were keen to play and were rewarded with a great night of exciting tennis.
Well played Steve Plant, Bradley Triffitt, Richard Franks and captain Mike Triffitt who helped the team to a 6-2 success tonight in Leeds.