Wetherby U16 were in action at Castlegarth tonight as they hosted Whitkirk U16. Overcast weather greeted the players and rain later meant for some difficult conditions. Wetherby were able to field a strong side although Whitkirk started slight favourites after the team news was confirmed.
Court one was to witness a tremendous singles contest between Bradley Triffitt and Zak Dobney which had a good sized crowd on the edge of their seats thoroughout and very appreciative of the very high standard on show. Triffitt has really improved this term and his performances in the adult teams have certainly made him far more match savvy. Dobney is a big server and huge baseline hitter and one of the strongest in the league this season. He was unbeaten in singles and was threatening to blow Brad off court early doors. The Wetherby number one could only stand and admire as a host of winners whizzed past him and it was looking like a tough evening ahead. However he dug in and showing super consistency and playing well began to get a foothold. With a crafty serve keeping the ball off Zak’s incredible forehand, he was hitting very deep and pushing his opponent back. Brad is rated 9.1 and Zak 7.2 so this was a big stet up in class for the Wetherby youngster but he bravely took the opener 4-2. Triffitt started the second well and putting Zak under pressure was able to force the Whitkirk youngster into errors. Sensing a shock Brad turned up the power and was delighted to be the first opponent to beat Zak in this season U16 Leeds league. Well done both players for such a high quality rubber.
Henry Brown was on court two and he was also in great form. Finding some lovely angles, he used the full width of the court to great effect in his clash with the exciting Joe Charlesworth. Both boys were serving well and hitting with power but Henry remained calm throughout and this mental strength saw him prevail 4-1,4-2.
On court three Gabe Mead and Sam Spencer were both in action and have been ever presents this season. They took on Isabelle Dobney and Olivia Boag who are both leading female competitors in the competition. This was a battle of styles with Sam and Gabe digging deep and defending for their lives whilst the stylish ladies were hitting with real venom. Gabe is a useful left hander and with Sam chasing every lost cause in a younger version of Richard Franks style, the Wetherby chaps were frustrating their Whitkirk opponents. Both sets were ever so close before a 5-3,5-4 success gave the hosts an excellent start leading 3-0.
Isabelle and Olivia got their revenge however in the singles where both girls continued to rein down some powerful forehands. They are both really strong players and despite backs to the wall defending from both Wetherby chaps they couldn’t find enough reserves to break through. Gabe finally succumbed 4-2,1-4 then 7-10 in an energy sapping third set tiebreak whilst Sam went down 4-5, 1-4 as Olivia maintained great consistency in the slippy conditions.
So at 3-2 all eyes were on Bradley Triffitt and Henry Brown as they took on Zak Dobney and Joe Charlesworth to settle the contest. Brad and Henry have partnered on many occasions and with great understanding looked confident of victory. However they knew they would have to negate Zak and with Joe also hitting firmly and the rain coming down this would be a difficult mission. There was little between the pairs in the opener which Wetherby finally took 5-4. With Whitkirk heads starting to drop, Brad and Henry seized the moment and playing some lovely tennis kicked on. Both put away some lovely winners at the net and the hosts looked delighted to clinch the second set 4-2 to give the team an amazing 4-2 overall victory.
A match played in great spirit and at such a high tempo was real credit to the junior game and both teams must be applauded for their considerable efforts.
This win moves Wetherby above Whitkirk and jumping three places into third position. The lads are quickly back in action as they travel to Otley to play Grove Hill on Sunday looking for a win to join Rawdon at the summit.
Well played Gabe Mead and Sam Spenser who fought ever so hard to secure victory in their doubles clash which helped swing the match Wetherbys way.
Henry Brown and Brad Triffitt were all smiles after winning their crucial doubles match after also winning singles rubbers earlier.