An overcast forecast but as usual the Sunday mixed started in glorious sunshine to keep our great record intact. Lindsay Edgar captioned Lindsay’s Lieutenants who faced Sophie Hunts team Sophies Stars.
Lindsay was backing up from a men’s match this morning and despite carrying an injury was happy to play dosed up on painkillers!. He teamed up with Judith Crossley and the pair had been influential for the third team last year in the Harrogate league. They faced Bradley Triffitt and Sophie Hunt who was making a welcome return after a few months away . Hunt was slowly away in this rubber as she took time to regain her form and it was the Lieutenants who were 3-1 ahead before the Stars began a fightback. Sophie made some excellent winners at the net and with Triffitt bossing the baseline they moved into the lead. Lindsay and Judith are both consistent and there were many long rallies with points hard earned. Finally a 4-8 success for the visitors.
On court two Tony Cutler and Anne Lillywhite are often seen on court together and they entertained Jeremy Branton and Ann Jones. The jovial Scotsman and Jones are always eager and never give in and both were defending for their lives. Jeremy must have covered every inch of the court but Tony and Anne are a crafty duo and made some impressive winners. This was a good battle however and with Jones making some incredible angled winners with her soft hands the hosts had to pull out all the stops to record an 8-4 victory.
Gabe Mead has risen through the youth ranks and this left hander is a big hitter and useful player. He was joined by the bubbly Claire Carvis who is enjoying her Sunday teatime outings. The pair gelled instantly and soon developed a lethal partnership. They had opponents Arun Manoharan and Bev Lyn on the back front with some attacking and hard hitting tennis. The Stars duo were ensuring the rallies were well contested but Mead was showing his class and finding the gaps with great accuracy. The hosts ran out 10-2 winners to give the Lieutenants a 22-14 opening round advantage.
Brad and Sophie knew they needed a big score and made a tremendous start as they led Tony and Anne 5-1. However they rallied and with Anne finding her line and length and Tony pulling out some trickery began to get a foothold. Sophie was producing some big serves and she and Brad were looking stronger in this rubber. However it was a repeat score from the first round as the youngsters ran out 4-8 winners.
Jeremy and Ann Jones were next to take on Gabe and Claire but they too found the third pair too hot to handle. Once more no quarter given and the Stars duo were competitive but they couldn’t find the weaponry of their opponents who clinically found gaps which they exploited. Claire was in very good form and hardly putting a foot wrong and with Gabe happy to hit hard they managed to run out 10-2 winners once more.
Arun and Bev were involved in an excellent contest with Lindsay and Judith and this was extremely tight. Both pairs played well and dug deep but it was captain Lindsay leading his team to a narrow 7-5 success which kept his charges well placed for overall success leading 43-29.
The match of the evening took place on the show court as Bradley and Sophie took on Gabe and Claire. This was a fantastic rubber with hard hitting, strong serving and some lovely net play ensuring a very competitive finale. Little between the duos throughout but finally the Stars top dogs celebrated a narrow 5-7 win which gave them a creditable 23 points . However Gabe and Claire finished with an excellent 25 to take the top scoring honours tonight.
Tony and Anne enjoyed their last round as they took on Arun and Bev. The Stars third pair were starting to form a useful partnership and this would be a test for Cuter and Lillywhite. They did have more match savviness eventually but not before a few shocks along the way but 8-4 reflected the contest.
With Jeremy Branton succumbing to his long day of tennis he departed but thankfully super sub Mike Triffitt hopped on to court to ensure the match between himself and Ann Jones against Lindsay and Judith would take place. He quickly realised wearing glasses under these lights was not advisable but with Ann equally as dazzled this turned out to be a hoot of a contest. Plenty of unorthodox shots but some eye catching winners coupled with the customary deuces meant a tight affair but it was the Lieutenants with the greater consistency as they ran out 8-4 winners giving them an overall winning margin of 64-44.
Thanks to all tonight’s participants and as usual plenty of smiling faces throughout.