The rain had been incessant during the day but thankfully a dry and calm evening allowed the Winter League clash between Collingham and Harlow to go ahead as planned tonight with river levels just below the playing surface. Harlow were making their first appearance in the competition after joining this year and in Cassius Petrovan have a man mountain of a player who had helped the men’s Harlow first team to promotion from York division 7 during the summer finishing as the clubs leading performer. He was joined by Simone Carrick who had helped Harlow B to promotion from Harrogate mixed division 6 where she was the Harrogate based teams leading scorer. Andy and Anne Gillies made up the quartet and these relative newcomers had little team experience behind them so were keenly looking forward to testing themselves.
Collingham captain Tony Cutler and Bradley Triffitt were the mainstay of the team last season and were once more in action after successful summers whilst Katie Barrett and Louse Beasley joined them after also enjoying good success in mixed tennis too during the summer season.
Brad and Louise had reached the semi final of the Wetherby tennis club mixed doubles in house competition and are forging a useful partnership. They took on Cassius and Simone and this was an excellent affair with plenty of quality on show. Little between the teams but the greater team work from Collingham was the deciding factor as they ran out 8-4 winners. On court 5 Tony and Kate resumed their successful partnership and once more their super understanding allowed them to prevail 10-2 against the Gillies who improved as the rubber progressed.
With an 18-6 advantage round 2 would be crucial but the Collingham ladies once again showed their wealth of experience to play error free tennis and despite some big hitting from Simone and great court coverage from Anne the Harlow ladies couldn’t prevent a 10-2 reverse. The men’s rubber was a thriller with all four players in superb form. Brad and Tony are often seen together and they managed to just see off the spirited Harlow men 8-4 despite some ferocious hitting from Petrovan who again impressed.
36-12 ahead meant Collingham could almost celebrate but Harlow played their best tennis of the evening during the final round. Simone and Cassius were now in top form and were really upping the tempo. They enjoyed a narrow but well deserved victory over Tony and Kaitie 5-7 in a another match played in great spirit. Brad and Louise were determined to remain unbeaten but they were pushed hard by the Gillies who eventually were narrowly beaten 8-4 leaving Collingham to celebrate 49-23. Thanks to all on show for plenty of entertainment and good luck with the rest of the season to both clubs.
Well played Tony, Katie, Louise and Bradley this evening helping Collingham to success and early leaders at the summit!
A good effort from Andy, Anne, Simone and Cassius who finished runners up with Harlow.