Wetherby B Open Season In Impressive Fashion

After a very warm and sunny day the temperatures and sun had dipped but with no rain in sight it meant good conditions as Wetherby B hosted Starbeck C in the HDTL Division 5 which kick started the summer mixed season.

Lindsay Edgar has taken over the captaincy from Tony Culter and was joined by Anne Lillywhite whilst Tony resumed alongside Marise Richfield and Phil Wilkinson paired with Debbie Vines giving the hosts a strong feel. Starbeck had a number of new faces with Chris Metcalfe stepping down from Division two to partner his twelve year old daughter Caitlan whilst wife Mel teamed up with Mark Girling and another junior Orla McPartland was joined by John Barker.

Phil and Debbie took on Chris and Caitlan on the show court with Debbie looking to continue her fine form after an excellent 22 alongside Marise Richfield on Saturday for the ladies second team. They knew they faced a tough ask against Chris but this proved a close and absorbing rubber. Caitlan is a promising type who has focused on cricket recently but back on the tennis court was relishing the action. She has good court coverage and produces some nice touches . Chris is a big server and likes to attack from deep but Phil is equally effective with some strong forehands from the baseline and Debbie is rarely matched for enthusiasm and the ability to keep rallies going. Little between the pairs before Starbeck ran out narrow 5-7 victors.

Anne Lillywhite has been the backbone of the B team for many years and her partnership with Lindsay looked one to savor as they opened up against Mel and Mark on court two. Mark had played for Starbeck men’s in the morning and was doing well to double up here and he and Mel played with real freedom and big smiles throughout. Lindsay and Anne are certainly a tough nut to crack and showing excellent consistency proved too strong in recording a 10-2 victory.

 Tony and Marise are another very consistent duo and with Cutler having an interesting bag of tricks and Richfield always strong when returning, they looked confident against John and Orla. However this soon became apparent there would be no quarter given and a very close rubber ensured. Orla is the daughter of Morven, who is a very established and key member of the Harrogate based club, and she has her mums tenacity on court. John played his part in a super contest before Wetherby celebrated a narrow 7-5 success leaving them ahead 22-14.

Round two saw Lindsay and Anne move to court one and they continued their rich vein of form as they were smartly away against Chris and Caitlan. Moving their opponents around and mixing up the game proved useful tactics as the Starbeck top dogs struggled to contain . Caitlan was finding the big hitting from left-handed Anne a constant strain and this was a very impressive showing to secure a 9-3 win for the hosts.

Tony and Marise were gelling nicely against Mel and Mark who was starting to feel the effects of two matches and despite a brave effort it was Wetherby again in the winners enclosure with a 10-2 win.

Phil and Debbie went one better as their blossoming relationship was showing real signs of promise. They produced plenty of trickery and eye-catching tennis during a 11-1 victory over Orla and John who struggled to contain the on fire hosts.

With Wetherby nearing the finish line the lead had extended to 52-20 as the finale began. Tony and Marise were brought back to earth as a rejuvenated Caitlan and Chris showed why they could well be one of the strongest couples in the section this summer. With Chris turning up the tempo and sending down a number of unplayable serves, his crafty play around court had his opponents bamboozled. Caitlan was finding her length and timing and despite some backs to the walls defending the Wetherby pair couldn’t prevent a 2-10 reverse.

Phil and Debbie concluded a splendid evening by taking a 8-4 win against Mel and Mark who were rewarded for some lung busting recover play whilst Lindsay and Anne confirmed their status as top scorers as they defeated John and Orla 9-3 to take their tally to 28.

A winning margin of 71-37 means Wetherby will look to challenge for promotion and those credentials will be tested at title favourites Harlow next time out. For Starbeck, they must be applauded for introducing youth into the HDTL and Orla and Caitlan will certainly benefit from their outings tonight. Good luck to both teams for the rest of the season.

A nice performance from Tony Cutler, Marise Richfield, Phil Wilkinson, Debbie Vines, Anne Lillywhite and new captain Lindsay Edgar tonight.

Good work from Lindsay and Phil later in the kitchen !

Always nice to catch up with the Metcalfes and thanks to Caitlan, Mel and Chris for their efforts on court this evening and good company afterwards

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