There were fireworks both on and off the court in tonight’s exciting Winter League clash between Collingham and Knaresborough 1.Bradley Triffitt and Katie Barrett returned for the hosts after missing last week’s thrilling success over Wetherby 1 whilst David Hewson made a welcome return to Winter League as he led a Boro side that also featured Jeanette Bowden for her first appearance of the campaign.
Louise Beasley and Bradley Triffitt resumed their flourishing partnership as they took on Andy Little and Jeanette Bowden who are regulars for Knaresborough in the summer mixed leagues. Beasley is in the form of her life at present and once again produced another eye catching and accomplished performance. Happy to dominate the net with some terrific smashes, this allowed youngster Brad to spray some lovely forehand winners around the court and the pair were looking confident. Little is a committed and tough battler and took many opportunities to hit hard and produce some excellent winners. Jeanette was covering every inch of the court as she produced some amazing backs to the wall recovery shots but the Collingham top dogs were drawing away and showing excellent team work ran out cosy 10-2 winners.
On court five regular partners Tony Cutler and Katie Barrett took on David Hewson and exciting youngster Izzy Wilson. With Barrett running late and lacking in equipment she managed to borrow a pair of tennis shoes from Winter League organiser Mike Triffitt who also supplied the racket!. The Collingham duo were slowly away and Hewson was hitting incredibly hard and showing why he is one of the leading men at Knaresborough. Izzy loves hitting big from deep too and the Boro duo were starting to move the scoreboard along nicely. Tony and Katie however have great understanding and with some dogged defending managed to force their way back before finally succumbing 3-9.
So as round two began the hosts took a narrow 13-11 lead. Tony and Brad were like rabbits caught in the headlights as the men’s rubber began and Hewson and Little were playing some majestic tennis to forge ahead 6-0. Thankfully for Collingham they fought back and with Triffitt beginning to find his line and length, hitting some quality winners, and Cutler frustrating his opponents with some super spin, they managed to take four of the next six games to close the gap to 4-8.
On court four the Collingham ladies also made a slow start and Boro led 2-4. Sensing the men were also struggling, Louise and Katie turned up the tempo and with Katie content to prolong the rallies and Louise still razor sharp at the net they produced an excellent comeback to run out 8-4 winners.
With the fireworks providing a lovely backdrop and the smell of bonfires in the clear sky the scene was set for the final round with the hosts clinging to a narrow two point advantage leading 25-23.
Brad and Louise knew they would probably have to win big and they began brightly against Dave and Izzy. Showing great patience they were happy to force errors although anything short was smartly dispatched by the impressive Hewson. Mindful that Andy Little and Jeanette Bowden were enjoying themselves on court four and moving clear of Tony and Katie, the Collingham top seeds realised every point would be crucial and they fought tooth and nail to maintain their advantage. Eventually they managed to secure a wonderful 9-3 success which gave them a strong chance of overall success. Tony and Katie had rallied and the match was now very much in the melting pot. A crucial third game meant Collingham could relax and although Andy and Jeanette were worthy 3-9 victors it left the scorecard showing 37-35 in Collinghams favour.
A thoroughly entertaining and well fought match played in excellent spirit leaves Collingham at the top of the table after three consecutive wins. A big thanks to all on show again this evening and looking forward to welcoming you all back during the season.
Congratulations to Collingham with delighted captain Tony Cutler, Katie Barrett, Louise Beasley and Bradley Triffitt.
A brave effort from Andy Little, Jeanette Bowden, Izzy Wilson and David Hewson just coming up short for Boro.