After rain postponed last weeks mixed third team match, today saw lovely sunshine as the majority of the players lined up here again . Anne Lillywhite returned and with Alex Comerford suffering injury this morning, organiser Mike Triffitt stepped in after unsuccessfully trying to find a replacement!.
Mike and Brad Triffitt had helped Knaresborough men’s team to a win at Harlow this morning and youngster Brad was handed the captains armband as he skippered Brads Bandits. He was joined at seed one by Ann Jones with the pair often seen in action together over the last few years. They took on Dawn and Ollie Steel with Dawn captaining Dawns Dynamos today. Young Triffitt soon clicked into gear and his big hitting and clever net play had the Bandits quickly out of the box. Ann was defending resolutely and with soft hands was producing some lovely winners of her own. Dawn and Ollie were struggling for a foothold and with lady luck against them couldn’t quite mount a late comeback as they fell to a 3-9 reverse.
Organiser Mike teamed up with Judith Crossley at seed two and they took on Tom Harrington and debutant Emma Youlden. Emma had enjoyed a tremendous run in the recent ladies doubles where she reached the final and this rubber turned out to be a laugh a minute played in jovial spirit. There was little between the quartet who all enjoyed moments of excellence but Mike and Judith dug in towards the end to finally run out 4-8 victors.
David Rhodes and Bev Lyn completed the line-up for the Dynamos and entertained Arun Manoharan and Anne Lillywhite who were making their first start together. This contest had plenty of deuces and some incredible long rallies , so much so that the players resorted to sudden death deuce long before the end!. The score line was ultimately harsh on the visitors but David and Bev are a crafty duo and celebrated a 10-2 win leaving the Bandits just ahead 17-19
Tom and Emma moved down to the show court and Emma was enjoying the harder hitting after struggling with the slower pace in the opener. She was certainly giving young Brad the run around with some lovely play and with Tom covering most of the court this was developing into a keenly fought contest. Ann Jones is the ultimate professional however and steadying the ship was making sure the Bandits top pair would not run aground. In an end to end affair it was the visitors who narrowly took the honours 5-7.
David and Bev moved over to court two to face Mike and Judith and Bev was in sensational form at the net as she despatched many clinical winners with a minimum of fuss. This was another rubber that would go the distance and with Judith fighting for everything and Mike pushing his opponents out wide with clever spin, it was going to be hard to call. Finally a 5-7 victory for the Bandits.
On court three Dawn and Ollie were starting to click and showcasing their many talents. With Ollies power and Dawns guile the pair were impressive although backs to the wall defending from Arun and Anne ensured this would never be easy. However the Dynamos took it 9-3 and heading into the finale the teams couldn’t be split at 36-36.
This was the round where Arun and Anne would finally be rewarded for their tremendous enthusiasm and persistence as suddenly they found their form and played some superb tennis. Anne was in scintillating form from deep with Arun describing her baseline rallies as amazing and Emma and Tom couldn’t find the consistency to repel them . Emma produced some nice serves and bullet winners and Tom was a willing runner but it was a 9-3 win for the Bandits which suddenly turned the tie in their favour.
On court one Brad and Ann were showing no mercy as they began to wear down David and Bev who were finding the going tough with conditions lung busting and extremely hot. Brad was enjoying himself and he and Ann produced good teamwork to run out 2-10 victors.
As usual the Steels were involved in the longest and last rubber of the evening with every game seemingly going to deuce. The rest of the squad had long departed and with the night beginning to darken this contest was going down to the wire. Fittingly after such an epic battle the spoils were shared at 6-6 leaving Brads Bandits to celebrate a 47-61 victory.
Another successful evening therefore and a personal triumph for me after finally getting Emma Youlden into a competitive mixed match where she more than held her own and thoroughly enjoyed her evening!. Thanks to everyone and roll on next weekend!