Wetherby B were in action this evening away at Harrogate Spa A looking to make it two wins from their opening three games played. A pleasant dry evening with no wind made for good tennis conditions.
The visitors had usual top seeds Bradley Triffitt and Anne Lillywhite on duty whilst captain Tony Cutler made a return alongside Katie Barrett and there were seasonal debuts for Lindsay Edgar and Judith Crossley.
Spa captain Mark Upton paired up with Ruth Whaling and this duo had scored an impressive 30 points during an opening day win over West Tanfield. Their battle with Triffitt and Lillywhite would prove one of the highlights of the evening with some very impressive tennis on show. As expected there was little between the quartet and this was a very close affair throughout. Upton is a good all rounder and was able to dispatch a number of impressive winners with an array of fine shots. Whaling is one of the hardest hitting ladies in Division Six and was absolutely creaming her returns back and the Wetherby pair had to fight hard to stay in the contest. Bradley was reliant on an ever improving forehand which offers such a threat and was hitting very hard and with great accuracy. Anne is another big hitter and her left handed forehand returns were sizzling over the net providing many winners. Many long rallies ensued and it was great entertainment for the watching crowd. Finally a 6-6 draw was very fair with neither pair deserving to lose.
Over on court two Tony Cutler and Katie Barrett made a welcome return after missing last weeks loss against West Tanfield. This duo also play well together and have a great understanding on court. Tony was his all action self and with great consistency was certainly keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Katie was superb at the net dispatching some killer smashes and the pair were enjoying themselves. Jamie Sigsworth is a strong man for the hosts and certainly impressed with his ferocious hitting whilst Margaret Jackson is very consistent and was able to keep many rallies alive with some nifty work around the court. It always promised to be tight and Wetherby were delighted to emerge narrow victors 5-7. Judith Crossley and Lindsay Edgar had looked useful in pre season but this was their first opportunity to make their debuts. Crossley is great to have around at the net as she often dominates that area and this evening was no exception. Lindsay was serving well and left no part of the court uncovered as he chased down many a seemingly lost cause in a terrific all action display. Chairman Steve Reffitt was arguably the strongest server on show this evening and he was really booming down some beauties whilst Sarah Bates is super fit and proved electric around the court. However it was the visitors who would have the greater consistency and prevailed 4-8 to give themselves a slender 15-21 opening round advantage.
Jamie and Margaret moved over to the show court where Bradley and Anne were itching to keep the Wetherby momentum building. The Wetherby pair are also developing a good partnership this season and with both aggressive hitters are very difficult to contain at this level. Anne was finding more lovely angles whilst Bradley was happy to hit deep and often come in so make some cracking smashes at the net and the pair were quickly on top. Jamie was often involved in some titanic battles with Brad and certainly held his own whilst Margert was not giving up without a fight either. Eventually consistency did win the day for the Wetherby pair and showing great mental strength they prevailed 2-10. Cutler and Barrett continued their good form from round one as they took on Reffitt and Bates. Steve was proving too hot to handle in his service games whilst Sarah was hitting some excellent winners too. It was a big ask for Tony and Katie to stay in the tie but once more Tony appeared to relish the carpet surface and he glided around impressivly making may eye catching winners. Katie looked calm and assured and the pair finally recorded another 5-7 success to keep the visitors ahead. Lindsay and Judith were enjoying their debut and quickly built up a good partnership. They knew only a maximum effort would contain the Spa top dogs and this was certainly proving a big ask. They fell behind earlier but were not throwing in the white towel. They fought for every point and were rewarded with a 7-5 loss which proved a fantastic effort.
Round three began with Wetherby extending their advantage to 29-43 and with a useful 14 point lead the visitors looked confident of completing the task. Bradley and Anne wasted little time keeping the scoreboard ticking over and they raced into a 0-4 lead. Steve Reffitt then played out one of the longest service games of the evening but after 10 deuces finally held serve to put the third seeds back in the rubber at 1-4. However this only fired up Triffitt and Lillywhite and playing with freedom and confidence they turned on the style to record a consecutive 2-10 success to almost put Wetherby in the winners enclosure after accumulating a lovely 26 points on the night.
Tony and Katie maintained their unbeaten evening with a fantastic 6-6 draw against Mark and Ruth. Another great rubber with lovely tennis and once more a draw a fair reflection of events. They finished with 20 and looked delighted. Lindsay and Judith rounded off a debut full of promise with another hard fought tie as they drew 6-6 with Jamie and Margaret. Both couples were determined to take the win but again a draw meant four happy faces and 19 was a super effort from the Wetherby third seeds.
Showing great team spirt Wetherby ran out 43-65 winners to move alongside Harlow B and West Tanfield at the summit. This section looks intriguing this season and with no team unbeaten expect many hard fought tussles along the way.
Spa were great hosts and a credit to their club and we thank them for that. Once again Bradley was top scorer when it came to the cake eating and really enjoyed those on offer!
Wetherby make the long trip north to Bedale next Tuesday looking to maintain their good start before hosting Thirsk a week on Sunday.
Well done to both teams for great entertainment and good luck for the rest of your campaigns.
Well played Katie Barrett, Lindsay Edgar, Bradley Triffitt, Tony Cutler, Anne Lillywhite and Judith Crossley whilst great support from Archie and Ellie on the sidelines as they cheered their heroes on to victory!
From left to right captain Mark Upton, Jamie Sigsworth, chairman Steve Reffitt, Margaret Jackson and Ruth Whaling provided tough opposition.
A train passes as Katie Barrett unleashes another big serve on court two whilst Bradley Triffitt tries to impress Anne with a drop shot backhand!