The Leeds men’s first team had dropped down to third in Division Four during the week after promotion rivals St Chads had won 6-2 at Grove Hill so were looking for victory today to jump back into second place. This afternoons visitors Whitkirk are struggling at the foot but are only two points from safety so both clubs were eager for success to improve their positions.
With a poor weather forecast, the players arrived at Castlegarth to mild and humid conditions and incredibly it was scorching sun and heat rather than cloud and rain that they enjoyed for their rubbers.
With players thin on the ground this week , Chris Iles came in for his debut for the club. Chris is a veteran of the Hampshire mixed leagues and still lives in that area and is heavily involved on the committee down south. He is looking to move North and we were delighted when he was available today. He paired with Roger Fawcus who stepped up from the subs bench and was of course a huge asset for the team . They began on court four against Whitkirk first pair Radomir Mazurek and Quentin Villard. This proved an intriguing contest with Frenchmen Quentin catching the eye with some booming serves and hard hitting for the visitors. Chris was content to adopt a conservative but highly consistent game plan whilst Roger impressed with his serve and volley game and the Wetherby men soon began to gel. Radomir covered the court well and this was a closer contest than the eventual score would indicate. However the power of Roger and craft of Chris proved a winning formula and they ran out 6-2, 6-0 winners.
On court five Mike and Brad Triffitt once again teamed up and faced Whitkirk captain David Whittaker and the hard hitting Craig Wood. David is one of the nicest guys on the circuit and is a gentleman both on and off court. He is very strong at the net and this left hander is difficult to read. Craig hits well from deep, covers the court well and is ultra-competitive and the Triffitt’s knew they would need to play well to compete. Thankfully for Wetherby they did and adopting their usual consistent tactics they used strong team work to grind out a 6-1, 6-3 success which left Wetherby well placed leading 4-0 at the break.
The sun continued to beat down and conditions were energy sapping as Roger and Chris moved over to court 5 to entertain David and Craig. The Leeds based duo seemed to enjoy the harder hitting and quicker tempo and Craig certainly was hitting some cracking winners. Ably supported by David they certainly made the Wetherby top dogs work hard but once again Roger proved too strong and with Chris continuing to give brilliant support it was the hosts celebrating a 6-2, 6-3 victory.
Brad and Mike were preparing for a tough match on court four and Quentin didn’t disappoint with more big serving as he kept adding to his many aces served. However the Triffitt’s have such good team work and were able to exploit the lack of understanding in the visitors ranks. Many long rallies but Wetherby were happy to play the long game and began to take control. Once again the score line was harsh on Whitkirk but with Brad starting to fire some cracking cross court and down the line winners and Mike bossing the net, they ran out cosy 6-1,6-0 winners to help Wetherby to a 8-0 victory.
Thanks to Whitkirk for proving lovely opponents and we wish them well in their relegation fight. For Wetherby many thanks to Chris and Roger for playing and your contributions were greatly appreciated. Wetherby will have one eye on the crunch match between leaders Horsforth and St Chads on Tuesday before they travel to Ilkley on Thursday looking to maintain their promotion push.