At last some proper tennis weather and on a lovely evening the sun shone and the temperatures were high as Wetherby A entertained Harrogate Spa. Andrew Davis and Chantal Wilkinson missed last week’s narrow home loss against Dacre but made a welcome return in West Yorkshire for the visitors who also brought in David Whan, Mark Upton and thirteen year old promising youngster Niamh Owens for seasonal debuts. Wetherby remained unchanged after a good win at Starbeck.
Richard Franks and Fiona Chantrey began together as usual for the hosts and took on Davis and Wilkinson. A good crowd was watching with Spa bringing a number of spectators and they were entertained with a fabulous opening rubber on the show court. Andrew is a big server, strong baseliner and very dangerous at the net whilst Chantal is also lethal close in and packs a great punch with her tremendous forehand. Wetherby knew they would need to be in top form but despite their best efforts just came up short at 5-7.
On court two Christina and Jonathan entertained David and Marie and looked confident as they began strongly. The Spa duo were giving everything but the Wetherby second pair are pretty useful and with Christina dominating serve and Jonathan covering the court well they carried too much firepower to run out 9-3 victors.
Court three also witnessed a close affair with youngster Niamh Owens really catching the eye. She hits hard and serves well and the left hander has great court presence too. With Mark Upton a perfect foil with his consistency they led 3-0 before Brad and Louise found their form to scrape a narrow 7-5 success leaving Wetherby ahead 21-15.
Jonathan and Christina moved down to court one and with crowd numbers increasing they were once again treated to some high quality tennis. Some great rallies between the teams and strong net play meant there was never much between these pairs and no surprise they couldn’t be spilt at 6-6.
Brad and Louise moved over to court two and were determined to keep the pressure on. They started to click into top gear and with Brad pushing his opponents deeper, Louise was able to stamp her authority at the net and began to control proceedings. Harsh on the visitors who were not throwing in the towel but Wetherby were too strong to record an 11-1 win.
Richard and Fiona were again involved in another battle as Mark and Niamh continued in good form but frustratingly for them they were on the wrong side of another 7-5 score line which had seen Wetherby move further clear at 45-27.
With the old football chant, we can see you sneaking out, ringing out a few away supporters departed early fearing there was no way back and so it proved.
Brad and Louise knew they faced their biggest challenge but were hoping Andrew and Chantal had used up all their energy and it appeared that way as Brad was showing no sign of fatigue after helping the men’s team to victory last night. He was content to play out long rallies and Louise continued to impress at the net. She also produced some excellent angled winners but it wasn’t all one way traffic as Chantal was her equal at the net and Andrew was still fighting hard. However Wetherby knew they had their opponents on the ropes and ran out 8-4 winners to collect an impressive twenty six points on the evening.
Richard and Fiona were showing no mercy on court two and handed out a 12-0 defeat to David and Marie whilst it was a case of déjà vu for Mark and Niamh who were wonderfully consistent but unfortunately fell to a third 7-5 loss.
Therefore Wetherby secured a 72-36 victory and a sixteenth straight win as they showed they will be a force in Division Four this season. They head to Ripon next week hoping to continue their good start to the campaign. Lovely to catch up with new and old faces alike tonight and thanks to the players for the entertainment on show.