A colder evening but thankfully a dry one as defending Kendall’s Winter League champions Wetherby 1 entertained Tadcaster at Castlegarth . Taddy had lost against Wetherby 2 in their opening fixture but welcomed star man Brent Horner back and he was joined by exciting prospect Sam Benn. Jodie Goodall continued and Sue McClure made her first appearance of the campaign. Wetherby had regulars Adam Turner and Lucy Wright at seed one but with several men missing, Bradley Triffitt came in at the last minute with Gabe Mead failing a fitness test, to be joined by Louise Beasley.
Adam and Lucy had played instrumental roles helping Wetherby first team to the HDTL mixed division two title this summer and are a very useful combination. They opened against Brent and Jodie but with Brent only returning after a lay off Wetherby made an electric start and were soon turning up the tempo. Despite Brents best efforts it was the hosts who were bossing the rubber and Tadcaster were finding it difficult to get a foothold. Jodie responded with some splendid net play but the Wetherby top dogs were too clinal and recorded an 11-1 success.
On court Five Brad and Louise had also enjoyed summer mixed league success in the HDTL as they had helped the Wetherby second team to the Division four crown and they were looking to continue their fine form against Sam and Sue. Sam was a member of the Tadcaster men’s team that finished second in the Leeds League Division Six which earned them promotion in their debut season and is a hard working and all action player. Sue is consistent and is happy to play out the rallies but Brad and Louise have a strong partnership and with clever understanding began to take control. Louise is always strong at the net and mixing the pace had her opponents on the ropes whilst Brad is ultra-consistent with his ground strokes and waited patiently to strike the killer blow on many occasions. Some excellent tennis but Wetherby were able to celebrate a 10-2 victory to give themselves a useful first round advantage.
The men’s rubber promised to be close and so it proved as the quartet produced some big hitting and entertaining tennis. Brent enjoyed his cross court battles with Adam whilst Sam and Brad were playing cat and mouse looking to exploit any mistakes. However Wetherby carried the bigger threats and were able to run out cosy 8-4 winners in a rubber that everyone really enjoyed.
The ladies were doing battle on court four but Tadcaster looked to face an uphill task as Lucy and Louise often practise together and are very competitive and strong opponents. So it proved as despite a gusty effort from Jodie and Sue they couldn’t combat the strength and power of the Wetherby girls who took the honours 11-1 to guarantee Wetherby would be taking the two match points as they stretched their overall lead to 40-8.
The final round saw Adam and Lucy continue to press home the advantage and playing with great freedom the duo were in sparkling form as they defeated Sam and Sue 11-1. They really showed the benefit of a strong partnership and were able to exploit the space with some scintillating play. On court four things were tighter as Brent and Jodie were finding success against Brad and Louise. However the Wetherby second pair were still producing good moments themselves and began to take a stranglehold. Louise continued to produce some excellent backhands and with Brad finding some clever angles they moved through the gears. Brent covered every inch of the court as he looked to repel the challenge and Jodie was staying strong at the net again but it was the hosts who ran out 9-3 winners to ensure the Champions began their defence in style with a 60-12 overall victory.
Always nice to welcome our friends from Tadcaster and catch up with some familiar faces and thanks to all on show tonight. Wetherby are next in action on November 9th when rivals Boston Spa are due in town and this looks a mouth watering clash in the making. Taddy will regroup and look to open their account against Harlow next Thursday.
Some excellent tennis from Bradley Triffitt, Adam Turner, Lucy Wright and Louise Beasley tonight with Lucy holding the Winter League trophy the team had secured last season.
Thanks to Sam Benn, Sue McClure, Jodie Goodhall and Brent Horner for their considerable efforts this evening. Good luck in your remaining matches.