A dry and crisp evening for the latest mixed second team in house battle tonight. Dave Rowlands captained Dave’s Dynamos and they entertained the Rachel Butterworth led Rachels Rascals.
Philip Longstaff was joined by Debbie Vines and they made their first appearance together for the Dynamos as they faced Peter Seed and Louise Beasley who were also make a first start together. This like many of the rubbers this evening was extremely close and little between the pairs. Philip has good court coverage whilst the consistency of Debbie was useful. Louise bossed the net whilst Peter made some lovely returns and eventually it was the visitors who took he honours 5-7.
Dave Rowlands teamed up with Dawn Steel for yet another debut appearance together and they took on Ben Gold and Rachel Butterworth. No surprise this was difficult to call and although the hosts raced into a 4-1 lead, the Rascals batted back. Ben has been improving all summer and with the steady influence of experienced Rachel they produced a fightback that just came up short in a 7-5 home success.
Gabe Mead had caught the eye last Sunday bagging 25 in the third team mixed contest so was upped in class and joined by the classy Fiona Chantrey. They were paired against Christina Plant and Ollie Steel in a mouth watering clash. The youngsters were happy to rally away whilst Fiona used her effective spin game to great effect and Christina relied on an excellent serve and predatory instinct around the net. This was an entertaining contest with a narrow 7-5 victory for the hosts giving them a 19-17 advantage heading into round two.
Dave and Dawn made their way over to court one to face Peter and Louise and there was some tremendous tennis on show with many long rallies producing hard fought winners. The Dynamos second pair were quickly gelling and looked a promising partnership but the Rascals duo were holding firm and this rubber went down to the wire before the hosts recorded, yes you’ve guessed it, a 7-5 victory!
Gabe and Fiona maintained their good form but were pushed all the way by Ben and Rachel. More big hitting but some lovely deft touches around the net meant a good match to watch and once more 7-5 to the hosts.
Phil and Debbie against Ollie and Christina was another tough battle with all the players covering every inch of the playing surface. No quarter given in this lung busting encounter which quite incredibly finished 5-7 to the visitors and completed six consecutive score lines of 7-5 !
The finale was going to be exciting with the Dynamos 38-34 ahead. Gabe and Fiona came down to the show court and certainly set it alight with some dazzling play. Gabe got his tactics spot on and realising placement and consistency was the order of the day carried out his game plan to perfection. Fiona was in great form too and the pair were looking extremely powerful. Louise and Peter were not going down without a fight and played some excellent tennis themselves to entertain the galleries. Gabe was pounding down some booming serves and the Dynamos ran out 9-3 winners.
This looked to have swung the tie the hosts way but on court two Ben and Rachel were saving the best till last as they were also moving through the gears. Ben was finding his range and with Rachel faultless the duo were keeping the scoreboard ticking over nicely. Debbie and Phil were chasing everything down but couldn’t match the consistency of their opponents who ran out 3-9 winners to close the gap back to four points.
All eyes therefore on court three where Dave and Dawn were involved in a titanic battle against Ollie and Christina. The Rascals were desperately trying to claw back the four points but in Dave and Dawn had two opponents who would fight for every point. Fittingly they couldn’t be split and 6-6 reflected the rubber with honours even. However that left the Dynamos victors 56-52 after an excellent evening.
Many thanks to organiser Barry Johnson who certainly must be applauded with the team selection that saw such a pulsating encounter. Great to see new faces and more flourishing partnerships and the club is looking very strong at mixed level at present.
Philip Longstaff, Christina Plant, Dawn and Ollie Steel were all involved in many close matches too.
Plenty of smiles from this quartet with the lively Dave Rowlands, Debbie Vines, Ben Gold and Rachel Butterworth enjoying themselves once more.