The Wetherby men’s Leeds League first team made the trip over to unbeaten league leaders Horsforth tonight and after suffering a 7-1 reverse on opening day were looking for revenge. The hosts had won all five of their division four fixtures and are strong promotion favourites. Nick Lumb and Adam Turner formed a useful looking top pair for Wetherby whilst father and son, Mike and Brad Triffitt continued at seed two.
David Sunter had only lost three games in his recent easy four set success in the game against St Chads and he was joined by the consistent Glenn Rothwell who has won all his six sets this season. This pair were the Horsforth top duo and they entertained Nick and Adam on court one in what promised to be a thriller. With conditions fine but rather muggy this certainly proved a war of attrition and there was little between the teams. Plenty of hard hitting on show but with Glenn showing some lovely touches at the net it was Horsforth who led 5-2. However Adam began to find his line and length and this excellent left hander started to show his class. With Nick now controlling the net it was Wetherby who fought back to force a tie break but agonisingly their effort came up short and the hosts took the rubber 7-6. Undeterred Wetherby were determined to level matters but once more Horsforth were so quick out of the blocks and with great consistency moved ahead 5-2. This seemed to galvanise the visitors and with Adam and Nick starting to adopt more patient tactics they once more took the set to a tie break. This time they were rewarded for a sterling fightback and a 1-1 draw was a fitting result in a contest that lasted two hours!
However this match still finished before the action on court two where Brad and Mike Triffitt were also involved in a titanic battle against the classy Ben Illingworth and crafty Mick Barrowclough. This tie saw the hard hitting Illingworth prove a very tough opponent and with excellent court coverage the Triffitt’s needed to endure plenty of long rallies to find a way past this excellent competitor. Mick was happy to patrol the net and with some fine drop shots and lovely angles the early skirmishes were tight at 2-2. However after a slow start Brad suddenly burst into life and hitting with venom , pushed the hosts deeper and allowed Mike to control the net. They produced some eye caching tennis to take the opener 2-6.
However that reverse stung Horsforth into action and they showed why they are the title favourites with some excellent tennis. It was a roller coaster affair with The Triffitts battling back to lead 3-5 and even having a set point but credit to the league leaders who stepped up the pace meaning a tie break was needed. Again little in this before the Leeds based outfit took the set 10-8 leaving the match nicely poised at 2-2 overall.
Incredibly the Horsforth first team, who lead division three, had just finished thrashing Pudsey 8-0 on courts three and four and were amazed we were only just starting the second round. They opened a few cans and settled down to watch the action unfold. Adam and Nick were starting to gel and looking comfortable together with team work improving, they looked confident against Mick and Ben. Ben has played twice for the first team in the division higher this season and his huge hitting and easy on the eye style mark him a player to follow. The Wetherby men knew they would need to target Mick and nullifying Ben they began to turn up the power. Nick was playing arguably his best tennis of the season and with Adan purring alongside, the Wetherby top dogs had a bit too much in the tank as they ran out cosy 3-6,2-6 winners which meant Wetherby were on the brink of causing an upset.
On court two Brad had the viewing gallery in stitches as he twice aced David with is famous ‘in and out’ serve which hit the fence, which is so close to the courts, before a startled David could react. Glenn had tormented Wetherby at Castlegarth but the Triffitt’s knew what to expect this time and were eager to take the initiative in a quick opening bust. With Mike having plenty of success both at the net and with his famous lobs and Brad mixing power with creativity, the Triffitt’s looked inspired and playing their best tennis of the campaign were on fire. They took the opener 1-6 and before the hosts could get a foothold took control of the second with some fantastic tennis. Showing incredible team work and understanding they continued to surprise their shell shocked opponents who could offer little resistance and finally fell to a whitewash set losing 0-6.
This was an amazing performance from Wetherby that has really opened up the promotion race which now has Wetherby jumping above St Chads into second place and only two points behind Horsforth. With Horsforth squad strength they still remain firm favourites for the title but with little between the chasing pack it promises to be an exciting second half of the season.
Thanks to all on show this evening and the watching crowd who certainly inspired Wetherby.