Despite a mixed weather forecast the Leeds 1 men’s team set off for their match at Whitkirk tonight looking for their first points of the campaign. Despite a spirited performance they fell to a 1-7 home reverse to title favourites Horsforth at the weekend but were looking to be more competitive against a side beaten 8-0 at St Chads on their only start. Both teams made changes with Nick Lumb replacing the unavailable Paul Godden whilst the hosts brought three new men into their quartet.
Whitkirk play on a nice carpet surface and have five courts set next to the cricket pitch. There was a cricket match on and the place seemed very popular with a good crowd watching whilst the three other tennis courts were in use all evening. Nick and Phil were making their competitive debut together and the duo were a little slow to gel during the first set which Stuart and Craig took 6-3. However they picked up in the second and with Nick bringing power and pace to proceedings they began to take control. Both Wetherby men covered plenty of ground and Nicks strong net play was proving useful. Phil is very consistent and loves his ground strokes and the duo were left celebrating a 3-6 win to level the rubber at 1-1.
On court two Mike and Brad Triffitt resumed their partnership and took on a couple of promising younger types in Liam Wood and Jacob Pitchfork. This pair were both big hitters and sending down plenty of aces and the Triffitts knew they would need to deploy some disruptive tactics to stand any chance. Brad was happy to follow Dad Mike with plenty of good defensive work and they used some crafty angles to put the hosts off their stride. There was little between the teams despite a big contrast in styles but it was the visitors who remained the more consistent as they produced an eye catching 4-6,3-6 success to give Wetherby a useful 1-3 lead at the interval.
There had been drizzle but nothing too major as the teams began round two and Nick and Phil seemed to enjoy the faster pace of their match with Liam and Jacob. Some tremendous rallies on show and this was proving a high quality affair. Nick and Phil were playing their best tennis of the evening and the duo took the opener 2-6. Back came the hosts however and in a roller coaster second, a tie break was needed to separate the teams with Whitkirk prevailing 7-6 for another 1-1 score for the Wetherby number one seeds.
Back on court two Brad and Mike welcomed Stuart and Craig knowing they needed a set for overall victory. This promised to be a close rubber but the hosts struggled with the Triffitts game plan and despite Craig hitting some lovely forehands it was the visitors who again used consistency to reap rewards. Brad was content to rally but happy to put away anything loose whilst Mike showed some deft touches at the net and his spinning returns often had the hosts on the ropes, pinned against the fence. This rubber was far closer than the score would indicate but a 1-6,1-6 success for the Triffitts was greatly appreciated and enabled Wetherby to run out 2-6 winners after an enjoyable evening.
Special thanks to Whitkirk captain David Whittaker who watched from the side-lines and who was confident the rains would stay away and right on cue the heavens only opened as the players made their way back to their vehicles. Division 4 promises to be a tough section this season and Wetherby will now move forward with more confidence to hopefully ensure safety.