It may have still been cold but temperatures were decidedly warmer than Tuesday and the courts were far better allowing tonight’s Winter League clash between Wetherby 2 and Boston Spa to go ahead. Wetherby fielded a young team featuring three juniors and new member Jonathan Tyler with all four making their competitive debuts for the club in this competition. Boston arrived with a strong quarter featuring star man Richard Whaley who teamed up with Pauline Belt whilst captain Kate Gilman was joined by Marc Mottershead.
Jonathan paired with Sophie Hunt who has been showing up well in the junior coaching on Saturday mornings and was delighted to get the call up to feature this evening. They took on the Boston top seeds Richard Whaley and Pauline Belt on the show court. They had only met shortly before the start but made a promising opening. Jonathan has also looked a canny player at social and with some lovely ground strokes and confident net play will be a useful acquisition to the summer teams. Sophie has great energy and a confident personality and can hit a tremendous forehand and is not worried about venturing to the net either. At 3-3 they had their opponents worried but the Spa pair suddenly began to step on the gas and slowing great consistency began to move through the gears in impressive fashion. Richard is no stranger to many at Wetherby and his lighting court speed made it difficult for the Wetherby duo to make many winners. Pauline is vastly experienced and a key member of the ladies first team and she produced some quality play and some deft touches in making some eye catching winners. This was an entertaining affair that drew plenty of applause from an appreciative crowd but Boston were worthy 3-9 winners at the conclusion.
Ed Grogan and Elizabeth Hewett are both promising sorts with Elizabeth the holder of the ladies singles crown that took place in the recent in house championships. She is another who is catching the eye on Saturday morning and certainly gives the lads plenty to think about with her all action court coverage. A big server she is certainly someone with a good future ahead of her. Boyfriend Ed is a very laid back individual but can also cream his forehand and can produce plenty of aces when on song. They would enjoy their opener against Kate and Marc . Kate is a regular in the ladies first team whilst Marc was instrumental in helping the Spa second team to title success in the York men’s division six during the summer. They formed a hard working duo and with good teamwork proved strong opponents. This was a very close match and the Wetherby juniors were very much in the race for long periods. Ultimately they couldn’t match their opponents for consistency but were unlucky to lose narrowly 5-7.
So Boston went into round two ahead 8-16 and looked determined to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Richard and Marc were in fine form together in the men’s on court two and Richard used all the tricks in his repertoire to outfox his opponents. Jonathan and Ed were hitting big but again couldn’t match the ever so consistent Spa pair and despite a big effort were defeated 3-9.
On court one friends Elizabeth and Sophie were eagerly looking forward to testing themselves against highly rated opponents Pauline and Kate but Elizabeth suffered an early hip injury which affected her serving and movement. Soldiering on she started to find her form and with Sophie happy to chase many lost causes the Wetherby girls were battling hard. Unfortunately they were unable to close out enough games and the crafty Boston ladies were a little too match savvy running out cosy 3-9 winners.
So with victory almost assured the final round began and this proved to be the most successful for the hosts. Hewett and Grogan were on court one and enjoying their match with Pauline and Richard. Great credit to Elizabeth who defied her injury to make some astonishing winners from deep, even managing to surprise Richard on a couple of occasions. Ed too impressed and they took the rubber to the final game before losing 5-7. To only lose both mixed rubbers 5-7 was a tremendous achievement and both can be applauded for a super effort thanks.
Sophie and Jonathan were starting to gel on court two and with better understanding were starting to forge a nice little partnership together. Playing with a freedom they looked keen to finish the evening on a high and covering the court well were looking solid. On the back of some hard hitting from Jonathan , Sophie gobbled up plenty of winners at the net and despite some long rallies the Wetherby duo were beginning to win plenty of crucial points. Again this rubber went down to the wire but fittingly Sophie once again made a great winner at the net so she and Jonathan could celebrate a 7-5 victory.
Well played Boston who deservedly took the spoils 26-46 but plenty of positives for the hosts who showed enough to suggest we have four nice and promising players on our books. Thanks to everyone for playing and to the fans for watching and look forward to catching up again soon.
Congratulations to Richard Whaley, Pauline Belt, captain Kate Gilman and Marc Mottershead tonight.
Well played Ed Grogan, Elizabth Hewett, Sophie Hunt and Jonathan Tyler for your considerable effort this evening.
Sophies mum Victoria enjoyed the action whilst Bradley Triffitt tucked into Fish n chips and coach Steve Plant was analysing the players!