Tadcaster have been a welcome addition to the Winter League under the captaincy of Will Woodrow this season. He is also the new chairman at the club and this forward thinking individual has also entered a men’s team in the Leeds League next season where they will begin in Division Six. Its great to see tennis in Taddy flourishing and tonight they were at Castlegarth to play the hosts Leeds first team led by captain Mike Triffitt. Under Mikes leadership the team have secured two promotions in three seasons and will be playing in Division four next term. Tonight Mike was partnered by son Bradley with Richard Franks joined by debutant David Warner, who has been improving at social and various other practice and coaching sessions.
Mike and Brad had been the leading pair in Leeds Division five last year but knew they faced a strong challenge against Will, who was joined by Brent Horner. Brent is a very strong player and was competing for St Chads in Division Two recently until his move back to North Yorkshire. As is the norm these days the weather was pretty poor with strong winds and constant drizzle most of the evening but the players were happy to continue and battle commenced. It was soon evident that the conditions would be extremely challenging but the players responded and using the elements were playing some impressive tennis. Mike and Brad had not played together since last season although Brad is a regular in the winter league. The pair would appreciate the run and were a little sluggish during the opener. Will has been a big improver in the Winter League and was thoroughly enjoying the experience of Brent alongside him. With some punishing serving, hard hitting baseline play and deadly accuracy at the net the Triffitts knew they would need to play well to stand any chance against him. The opener was close but at 5-5 the visitors stepped up to claim the first point of the evening following a narrow 5-7 success. In Leeds each set is worth a point with eight available in each match.
Brad was starting to find his rhythm as set two began and with Mike comfortable at the net they took an early 3-1 lead. Tad battled back and at 4-4 the set was in the balance. A crucial break for the hosts allowed Bradley to serve for the set and he continued his good form in that department to secure a 6-4 win and a share of the spoils at 1-1.
Over on court five Richard and David entertained Lindsay Edgar and Sam Benn. Lindsay is no stranger to Wetherby members as he played a crucial role in helping the Wetherby B mixed team to the Harrogate Mixed Division Six title last summer. Sam caught the eye during the Winter League and this promised to be an intriguing contest. Richard had a fantastic season during the summer and was highly influential in the Leeds men’s title success. He also impressed for the York men’s second team and is a very useful player to have at the club. He is mega consistent and with an improved serve was forcing the pace in the early stages. David was also serving well and using his giant frame to dispatch several winners from close range. Lindsay is a tremendous battler and Sam has a very good backhand and there was plenty of good tennis on show. Wetherby took the opener 6-3 and looked confident. However the visitors dug deep and started to exert pressure of their own and with errors creeping in on the Wetherby side suddenly the tie swung Tadcaster’s way. They kicked on to record a useful 2-6 victory so with a 1-1 scoreline the overall scoreboard read 2-2 as the teams swopped opponents.
Mike and Brad moved over to court five and probably knew only two points would suffice. They started very well and with Brad hitting with great venom moved into a 4-0 lead. Perhaps taking the foot off the pedal too early they opened the door and Sam needed no second invitation as he produced a number of back hand winners that left the Triffitts aghast. Lindsay is a very calm and collective figure and with two games it was back to 4-2. However the Triffs regained their composure and battled away to record a 6-2 first set success. They looked keen to complete the double and reducing their error count and finding some wide angles, Brad layed the platform with some excellent groundstrokes. Mike was back to his old self at the net and despite a dogged rearguard action Tadcaster were unable to prevent a 6-0 loss as Wetherby moved 4-2 ahead in the match.
All eyes were now on court four where Will and Brent had taken the first set 3-6. The second was extremely close and with Wetherby leading 5-4 and Richard next to serve excitement was mounting. At 40-15 they had victory almost in sight but two huge winners from the Tad pair forced deuce and they broke to level at 5-5. Another game apiece and a tie break was needed. Brent used all his experience and class now to ensure the visitors would come through as he and Will took the tie break 2-7 and with a 2-0 win they leveled the overall result which finished in an honorable 4-4 tie.
The match finished just in time as the heavens had really opened but this had proved a useful exercise all round with plenty of positives on the evening. Tadcaster have invited us for a return match over at their ground before the summer begins so lets hope for some better weather on that occasion. Tadcaster can certainly look forward to their debut season and in Brent Horner they should certainly have the star man in Division Six.
David Warner, Richard Franks, Bradley Triffitt and Mike Triffitt were all smiles after a 4-4 draw with Tadcaster tonight.
Likewise Brent Horner, Sam Benn, Will Woodrow and Lindsay Edgar had also enjoyed their evening representing Tadcaster.