A crisp evening at Castlegarth as Boston Spa and Collingham met in their last Winter League match of this season. Boston had captain Kate Gilman leading them and she was joined by Marc Mottershead, who was making a belated first appearance of the campaign. Regulars Richard Whaley and Pauline Belt formed a strong duo. Collingham captain Tony Cutler was also in action and joined by his regular side kick Bradley Triffitt whilst Fiona Chantrey and Sophie Hunt were back on court after been regulars this winter too.
Boston were looking for the two points that would see them join Wetherby 1 at the summit and this would be a tough challenge for Collingham to hold their higher rated opponents.
Bradley and Sophie have been forming a useful partnership recently and helped Collingham to success against Knaresborough as well as starring in the Seniors v Juniors clash. However facing Richard Whaley and Pauline Belt meant a serious rise in class. It was soon evident this would be a bridge too far as Richard was his usual imperious best whilst Pauline produced her strongest Winter League performance of the year with some brilliant decisive play and clinical finishing at the net. Richard used spin to great effect and the youngsters were unable to put any balls out of his incredible reach. There was some cracking rallies still and plenty of close games but the Boston duo were incredibly consistent and ran out cosy 11-1 winners.
On Court two Fiona and Tony were playing extremley well and had forged ahead 5-3 against Kate and Marc on the back of some super teamwork. However their experienced opponents are a wily pair and Marc played a crucial role helping the Spa men’s second team to promotion from York division six last summer. He has a very useful and accurate serve and with Kate strong at the net the pair began a comeback. Tony and Fiona couldn’t find the space from earlier and despite a valiant effort were unable to prevent a narrow 7-5 reverse.
Brad and Tony knew the men’s rubber would be a another big challenge and at 3-0 down they were already starring down the barrel. However the duo rallied and won the next two games to give themselves hope. This proved only the signal for Richard to move through the gears and he completely dominated with some breath taking tennis. Marc was excellent at the net and the pair turned on the style to run out 10-2 winners.
Fiona and Sophie had won 8-4 against Boro in their previous match but Kate and Pauline proved a far different proposition. This pair are extremely consistent and easy going on court and they were in no mood for mercy. However this proved a really enjoyable and exciting affair as Fiona battled away at the baseline and Sophie executed efficiently at the net. Once more plenty of long punishing rallies but it was the Spa ladies who had a touch of class and a 9-3 success confirmed that.
With Boston already in the winners enclosure the final round was a chance to relax but Richard and Pauline were in no mood to let up. Continuing their fine form together they produced some more high quality tennis although Tony and Fiona were certainly not waving the white flag. The Collingham pair gave everything and were rewarded with three hard fought games during a 9-3 loss.
Brad and Sophie knew the only way was up and they came out all guns blazing for the last. They both suddenly found their form and raced into a 4-0 lead. However Kate and Marc showed little panic and in no time had leveled up at 4-4 before Brad showed great character to save a bundle of break points to regain the Collingham lead at 5-4. This seemed to spur the juniors on and with Sophie stepping in at the net to make some very accomplished and punishing smashes the pair were playing with big smiles and enjoying themselves. They took the next three games to run out 8-4 winners and end the season on a high.
Boston however ran out 50-22 winners to move into joint first although Wetherby 1 and Rufforth 1 have games in hand. Its always a pleasure welcoming Boston and a big thanks to our near neighbours for all their help and support once more during the season. Collingham finished with a respectable twelve points from their ten games and certainly enjoyed plenty of giant killing moments. Tony Cutler was delighted to introduce promising youngsters to the fold and seasoned campaigners from Wetherby and his sides showed great team spirit throughout. Thanks to Tony for all his support and help once more too.
A great performance from Richard Whaley, Pauline Belt, captain Kate Gilman and Marc Mottershead secured victory for Boston tonight.
Thanks to Bradley Triffitt, Sophie Hunt, Fiona Chantrey and captain Tony Cutler for their considerable efforts this evening.