Wetherby B made the trip to Almscliffe A tonight and were delighted that a dry and even sunny evening greeted them. Almscliffe is a lovely location for playing and watching tennis set just off Harrogate road behind the village hall. As you walk under the railway bridge you find yourself transported into another world of peace and tranquility with lovely views across fields. The sound of the trains horn as a number passed close by gave the evening a real English countryside feel as well.
Wetherby retained the majority of the team that had beaten Thirsk in their last encounter with the only change been Ann Jones in at seed one with Bradley Triffitt as Anne Lillywhite was away.
Triffitt and Jones took on Susan Gosling and Simon Bryant for the hosts and this looked a well matched rubber on paper. Gosling is Almscliffe’s leading lady whilst Simon, despite not topping the male charts, is clearly the best man the club have at this level. He was serving well and hitting hard from deep, often finding space to exploit. Susan is a crafty player who battles well and the pair are a useful duo. Bradley was happy to cover plenty of ground too and hitting some terrific forehands kept the visitors in the tie early doors. Ann was making a welcome return and looked thrilled to be playing competitive tennis once more. She gave her usual 100% and with some lovely cross court winners was clearly relishing the task ahead. There was little between the teams until a crucial hold from Triffitt put the visitors 3-6 ahead. They then played vey well to take the following four games for a fantastic 3-9 success. On court two Tony Cutler and Katie Barrett continued their partnership and both looked comfortable against Barbara and Tim Jackson. The Jacksons were proving tough opponents but coundn’t handle Katie’s net dominance and with Tony turning on the style with some eye catching spin, Wetherby were 2-10 winners. Court 3 is found near Weeton in a residential property which by all accounts affords more spectacular views. Lindsay Edgar and Judith Crossley are a useful duo and improving each week. They took on Barbara Macauley and seasonal debutant Dave Corkill. According to reports the visitors were in splendid form with Judith a force at the net and Lindsay scampering around returning everything the hosts could through at him. A 2-10 success meant an incredible start for Wetherby who led 7-29 going into round 2.
Almscliffe are in fourth , 4 points behind second placed Wetherby so this really was a crucial game for both teams. However with the foundations now laid, Wetherby knew it would take a big comeback to thwart them. Brad and Ann now took on the Jacksons but this proved a tough affair with the hosts looking sharp. Tim was hard to pass and despite Bradley hitting some thunderous returns, many seemed to come back with interest!. Ann was battling hard and keeping the visitors in with a shout. They were always behind, however a good finish enabled them to take a share of the spoils at 6-6. Tony and Katie also had to settle for a 6-6 draw as they were left frustrated against the consistent Macauley and Corkill. The Wetherby duo were never allowed to settle into stride with the crafty Almscliffe pair thoroughly deserving the draw. It was left to Judith and Lindsay to ensure Wetherby remained well clear as they played extremely well to take the scalp of the hosts top seeds Susan and Simon 5-7 which meant the margin increased to 24-48.
It was now a case of just staying close and competitive in the last where in fairness Almscliffe took the honours. Bradley and Ann were struggling in this rubber and defeat was looking likely against Barbara and Dave . However a late surge from Bradley reduced the arrears before a speculator finish from Ann Jones rescued a well earned 6-6 tie after she made a number of memorable winners. The pair finished on 21 points to cap a good nights work. Tony and Katie finally saw their unbeaten start to the campaign ended when they could not stop Susan and Simon from running out 8-4 winners. The Wetherby couple struggled to find their usual form but the Almscliffe duo played ever so well so there was nothing lost in defeat and they added 20 points to the visitors total.
However Lindsay and Judith were certainly not slowing down and in a real cracker with Barbara and Tim Jackson just managed to nudge ahead 5-7 which gave them three wins and an excellent 24 points to help Wetherby run out 43-65 winners. That was enough to take them two points clear of Harlow B at the summit with Harlow facing third placed West Tanfield on Thursday. Wetherby then play at Harlow on Friday June 28th which looks like been the clash of the season so far in Division 6.
A big thanks to tonight’s lovely hosts and once more a tasty supper and another contender for cake of the season which Bradley duly demolished!
Captain Tony Cutler and Katie Barrett take a well earned rest following their big effort.
Bradley Triffitt and Ann Jones were all smiles after a great evening of tennis together.
With playing partner Judith leaving early, Lindsay certainly looked relaxed with his cuppa!
The two lovely courts sit alongside a splendid bowling club with an impressive club house the two codes share.