Another warm and dry afternoon for the Leeds men’s first team who welcomed Grove Hill to Castlegarth today for this Division four clash. The team had started with two wins from three whilst the visitors were mid table after a win, a draw and two losses so far.
Philip Longstaff had impressed for Wetherby A in the mixed at Thirsk on Thursday and he resumed his flourishing partnership with Paul Godden whilst Bradley Triffitt was also in mixed action at Thirsk and was joined by captain Mike Triffitt. With Grove captain Adam Haigh absent, regular player Damon Boxer took over duties and was joined by Stefan Esnow whilst Toby Fawkes and Haynes Collins were making seasonal debuts
Phil and Paul met Toby and Haynes on court four and this turned out to be a very long but thrilling encounter with little between the pairs. Phil is very fit and uses his great court coverage well whilst Paul is a strong server and net player and can be clinical in both disciplines. Toby has an incredible forehand and was hitting with venom whilst American born Haynes Collins is a crafty customer and was quick around court and produced plenty of nice returns. The Wetherby first pair took the opener 6-4 and looked well on their way in the second as they moved towards the finish line. However Toby and Haynes were not waving the white flag just yet and with the Grove pair growing in confidence they fought back to level at 6-6 to force a tie break. No surprise this was also tight but it was the visitors who held their nerve to record an 8-6 success and ensure the rubber was shared.
Brad and Mike were entertaining Damon and Stefan on court five and as always were adopting consistent tactics to frustrate their opponents. Damon hits well from deep whilst Stefan is returning to tennis after a few years at University and looks promising. However the Triffitt’s combined the power of Brad with the craft of Mike and began to take control as they ran out cosy 6-0,6-0 winners to give Wetherby a 3-1 lead at the halfway stage.
Phil and Paul moved over to court five with both having used plenty of energy after their opener but they began brightly against Damon and Stefan who certainly looked to have benefited from their first match. The Hill duo were starting to find their range and produced some nice moments of quality to threaten an upset. However Paul stayed firm at the net and with Phil happy to keep the rallies going they proved a little too match savvy and celebrated a 6-2, 6-1 success to ensure the match points were staying with the hosts.
Brad and Mike looked to take advantage of their long rest whilst Toby and Haynes had giving so much in their energy sapping encounter in their first match that it was no surprise the Triffitt’s were quickly out of the blocks. Giving their opponents few chances to shine they took the opener 6-1. However the second set was a different matter altogether and Toby began to unleash some missile like bullets which had the Triffitt’s on the ropes. However they steadied the ship and despite Haynes continuing to run down many lost causes, Brad stepped on the gas to hit some fine winners and with Mike useful at the net it was victory for Wetherby 6-2 and running out overall match winners at 7-1.
Credit to both teams in humid conditions and a match played in a good spirit with no incidents always makes for a pleasant afternoon. Wetherby move up to second place on six points and will hope they can maintain this good early season form.
Thanks to Damon and his troops and look forward to catching up in Otley for the return.
Well played Brad Triffitt, captain Mike Triffitt, Paul Godden and Philip Longstaff for a fine victory this afternoon.