We really have been spoilt recently with the weather for our mixed in house matches and tonight was no exception with conditions perfect. The Wright Stuff captained by Lucy Wright, who kindly stepped in at late notice, took on debutant Nigel Sullivan’s outfit Sullivan’s Snipers.
With court 3 not available at first the order of play was changed.
Richard Franks and Debbie Vines playing at seed One took on Philip Longstaff and Christina Plant is what looked a fascinating tussle. Backs to the wall defending from Franks and Vines but Plant and Longstaff just seemed to have a little more firepower and edged this one 5-7.
Kevin Duckenfield was teaming up with old partner Lucy Wright and the pair have enjoyed plenty of success on court together over the years. They quickly recaptured the old team work but had their work cut out against the new pairing of Fiona Chantrey and Peter Seed. This duo are very experienced and complemented each other very well. They seemed to have the edge around court and with great consistency ran out cosy 4-8 victors.
Ollie and Dawn Steel finally got underway after a short delay although a big thanks to Mike Richards who kindly finished early on court three so play could commence. They took on Steve Duckenfield and Nigel Sullivan who also was a late call up and many thanks for that. The Steels are always reliable and battle ready and Steve and Nigel would need to play well to take this rubber. There was little between the quartet and in his reduced format the visitors just nudged ahead 3-5 leaving the Snipers in the lead 12-20
Richard and Debbie took on Fiona and Peter in round two with this another difficult contest to call. Regular partners Richard and Fiona know each other’s games ever so well and many long rallies ensued . It was no surprise the teams couldn’t be split and 6-6 reflected this tie.
Ollie and Dawn knew they would need to be on top form to tackle Phil and Christina but they were always playing catch up as their impressive opponents moved efficiently through the gears. They were playing superbly and despite the great tenacity from the steels they were unable to prevent a 2-10 reverse.
Kevin and Steve took on each other in this eagerly awaited dad and son clash and the pair have enjoyed many great battles over the years. This was no exception but Kevin looked determined to show he was still king of the castle and he and Lucy really turned up the tempo. They were relentless in their attack and with consistency and efficiency handed out a 9-3 beating. Steve was still smiling throughout and Nigel was enjoying the taste of this high quality affair and this helped keep the overall match alive although the Snipers moved further ahead 29-39
Richard Franks and Debbie Vines hosted newcomer Steve Duckenfield and Nigel Sullivan in the finale. Steve is the son of Kevin who has been a long standing member at Castlegarth whilst Steve has been a difficult opponent for many Wetherby members over the years playing for Knaresborough. This looked well matched on paper and so it proved. Richard has been catching the eye in the men’s doubles where he was a beaten finalist and Debbie is always good to have on court with her tenacity and fighting spirit. Steve was serving well and hitting hard from deep and with Nigel very consistent and enjoying the step up in class, honours were even at 6-6 after an exciting rubber and the quartet were happy to finish their nights work all square.
Kevin Duckenfield and Lucy Wright were expecting a tough final round clash with Christina Plant and newcomer Philip Longstaff who has also been a great recruit to the club participating in many match and social occasions. Another thriller with little between the pairs but Christina has been terrific in recent weeks and caching the eye of many of her fellow players. She and Phil were covering every inch of the court and proved too slick for Lucky and Kevin edging the tie 5-7.
Ollie and Dawn faced Fiona and Peter and could never find their form as the visitors turned on the style. With lady luck against them they were finding the scoreboard slipping away but Chantry and Seed look an impressive duo and formed a useful pairing this evening. Peter was dominating the net to produce plenty of magic whilst Fiona used her classy style to keep rallies going and return everything. Harsh on the Steels but they suffered a 1-11 deficit.
So another enjoyable clash but the Snipers were left to celebrate after running out 41-63 winners. As always thanks to everyone for supporting and nice to be able to get more new faces on court.