Wetherby B Just shaded In Thriller At Harlow

Another evening blessed with great weather as Tony Cutler took his Wetherby B mixed outfit north to face old rivals Harlow B. Both teams had been promoted last term with Wetherby taking the title but the hosts looked keen for revenge tonight and fielded a strong team. Both clubs were unbeaten with Harlow having won both their games whilst Wetherby had beaten Masham at home in their only outing.

Felix Evans is new to the ream this season and he stepped in at seed one to partner Anne Lillywhite. Both players are hard hitting left handers but complement each other very well and needed to be in good form as they faced John Berger and Simone Carrick. John was a member at Starbeck but is useful recruit for Harlow and has been showing up well in the men’s matches recently. Simone is one of many promising female youngsters and the hosts are unearthing plenty of junior talent at present. Little between the pairs here but Wetherby seemed to shade the big points and were delighted to secure a 4-8 success. Colin and Freya Lefley have also moved over from Starbeck and this father and daughter combo are both very strong competitors. They entertained Tony Cuter and Dawn Steel. Colin is an excellent server and is lethal at the net whilst Freya was producing some memorable forehands. Tony and Dawn are very experienced and knew how to take the sting out of their opponents and with great consistency were just able to record a 5-7 victory after a close affair.

Phil Wilkinson and Ann Jones were at seed three but with Harlow featuring three strong pairs knew it would be difficult to contain Andy Carrick and Lyn Saville.   Andy has been very influential with player recruitment since joining at Harlow and the membership numbers are increasing and many players are enjoying team tennis. He had played for the mixed first team last night in division three but appeared to be showing no ill effects as he and Lyn were soon into stride. Lyn is very consistent from the baseline whilst Andy is a predator at the net and anything loose is generally dispatched. Phil and Ann were struggling to contain their opponents and despite a brave effort were on the wrong end of a 11-1 score line which left Harlow leading 20-16 after round one.

Colin and Freya then moved over to court one to try tame Felix and Anne and this match produced some high quality tennis. Plenty of big hitting and some incredible backs to the wall defending along with some eye catching retrieval work meant points were hard earned but it was Wetherby who took this 5-7 after a great tussle.

Tony and Dawn continued their good form as they played Andy and Lyn and once more a combination of efficient tactics and clever play frustrated their hosts. With Andy not dominating the net this time Wetherby were able to secure a 4-8 victory to help keep things tight overall.

Phil and Ann were hoping to improve their first round score and played very well against John and Simone. Phil was covering every inch of the court as he produced heroics whilst Ann stood firm in the face of an onslaught to produce some crafty winners of her own. Simone has a ferocious forehand and with some lovely angles made many eye catching winners whilst John is ultra-consistent. Harlow won 8-4 but the Wetherby third seeds were pleased with their reward and Harlow now only led 37-35 with everything in the melting pot.

Felix and Anne were once again looking for points as they played Andy and Lynn and in the main they were on top. However Lynn was frustrating the Wetherby duo and with her excellent returns and refusal to buckle she and Andy were not waving the white flag. The visitors took this rubber 3-9 but were left wondering if that would be enough to take the points back to West Yorkshire.

John and Simone against Tony and Dawn always looked very close to call and this was a fierce battle of whit’s with nothing between the pairs. Both can look at potential missed opportunities but it was Harlow who took the contest 7-5.

Colin and Freya were looking to outpower Phil and Ann but Wetherby were still full of running and making their higher rated opponents work hard. Despite been threatened to be blown off court the Wetherby pair produced some clever short play and disrupted the Harlow big hitters. Harlow did prevail 8-4 and this ultimately proved enough as in a real nail biter it was the Harrogate based side celebrating a 55-53 success to break Wetherby hearts.

A tremendous tussle throughout and thanks to everyone for such good entertainment that Brad and myself thoroughly enjoyed. Great to catch up with plenty of tennis friends and we look forward to the return fixture. With six points Harlow are the early pacesetters in Division Five although David Lloyd are breathing down their necks whilst Wetherby are quickly back in action as they welcome Boroughbridge on Sunday.

Wetherby Take The Bragging Rights In Derby Clash

A cool but dry evening at Castlegarth tonight meant perfect playing conditions for the derby clash between Wetherby and Boston Spa in the HDTL Division 2. Wetherby had started their campaign with victory at Thirsk last week and were able to welcome back more of their usual squad with debuts for Adrian Lobley and Andy Roberts. Boston had been beaten Wednesday night at home to Bedale and surprisingly five of the players on duty then were backing up again so they would certainly be feeling in later in the evening.

Adrian has been arguably the best player in the Bardsey men’s first team for many years and has joined Wetherby this season to play mixed. He paired with Sue Jacklin as they faced Jordan Gregory and Lorraine Pearey. Adrian and Jordan are quite similar in style with both very clever players using spin and patience to good effect. Sue has a lovely forehand and this left hander hits the ball very well indeed. Lorraine is a more than useful hockey player and one of the fittest and most competitive females on the circuit and this battle was proving very exciting. Finally a  narrow win for the visitors 5-7.

Andy Roberts had previously played at Dacre but this was his first opportunity in a Wetherby shirt and he paired with Rachel Hill who has moved over from the York 1 mixed team this season to compete in the Harrogate league. Andy is an all action style player and with great court coverage, a big serve and a potent forehand is certainly a good recruit for captain Helen Robinson. Rachel has been a leading figure at Wetherby for many years and her soft hands and lovely net play have brought her great success at the club. They took on Richard Whaley and Kate Gilman with Richard needing no introduction as he is the Wetherby men’s first team captain!. This was another good advert for division 2 with both pairs in good form but Wetherby just looked the sharper and carrying more weaponry ran out 8-4 victors.

Helen Robinson and Marc Bickers are always a good pairing to have on the team sheet and this well-established duo entertained Dan Granon and Dominique Morrisey on court three. Dan is rarely seen in mixed but this tall and ranger player was looking good and his backhand was very impressive. Dominique is often seen flying the Boston flag and she is always a tricky opponent. There was little between the pairs but with Marc covering everything and Helen finding some lovely angles, the hosts took the honours 7-5 to give Wetherby a narrow 20-16 opening round advantage.

Andy and Rachel prepared for another tough encounter as they faced Jordan and Lorraine but Andy looked determined to use his powerful game to lay down a marker. Jordan is always calm and happy to play out his patient and tricky game and with the ladies very strong this was always going to be too close to call. No one could argue a 6-6 draw was not a fair outcome after a lovely rubber.

Marc and Helen were looking forward to taking on Richard and Kate and the hosts knew their opponents would be well briefed on what to expect. Richard and Marc were enjoying their duel and some long exciting rallies ensued. Once more another close finish but Wetherby ran out narrow 7-5 winners.

Adrian and Sue both adopted excellent tactics in their game with Dan and Dominique and with great consistency and efficiency, quietly went about their business. They needed to be mentally strong as Dan was returning some lovely backhands cross court but they defended well to record an excellent 8-4 win moving Wetherby further clear 41-31.

Jordan and Lorraine welcomed Marc and Helen down to court one and they knew they needed a win to reduce the arrears as the final round began. Despite fatigue setting in Jordan was determined to take the chance and playing superbly he and Lorraine were battling away nicely. Marc and Helen continued to press but were unable to prevent a 4-8 loss.

However suddenly Wetherby made the match winning move and it was Adrian and Sue who were gelling well and now moving impeccably through the gears hitting top form. Richard and Kate were powerless to prevent the Wetherby top dogs, who hardly put a foot wrong, to record an eye catching 10-2 win after some tremendous tennis.

With the pressure now off Andy and Rachel were involved in a close affair with Dan and Dominique and considering this was the first match played by the Boston duo together they certainly did exceptionally well tonight. Nothing between the teams and a 6-6 tie meant Wetherby ran out 61-47 winners in a match played in great spirt despite the keen rivalry between the clubs.

Wetherby move up to second place alongside Bedale, who have also started with two wins, but David Lloyd top the section after three straight wins and their squad looks strong this term. No promotion or relegation this summer but a trophy to the divisional winners means plenty of incentive to aim for.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions tonight and good luck to both clubs in their remaining fixtures.

Third Win On Spin For Wetherby A

The best weather of the summer for tonight’s Division Four clash in the HDTL as Wetherby A travelled north to face Ripon B. Philip Longstaff and Debbie Vines came into the team to make their seasonal debuts and for Philip this was also a first appearance for Wetherby in the mixed after playing mens last week.

Richard and Fiona continued at seed one and faced a tricky opener as they met Tim Swiers and the league chairwomen Carol Tetlow with the pair notching an impressive 27 points at Thirsk last week. Tim is a strong server and hits hard from deep whilst Carol is extremely tenacious and like a wall is able to return almost anything!. However the Wetherby top pair made a strong start and were able to make all as they ran out 4-8 winners.

On court two Brad and Louise continued their flourishing partnership and once again they caught the eye. They took on David Latto and Colette Wilson and with great consistency were always looking good. Brad was happy to keep rallies going from deep whilst Louise was on the prowl ready to gobble any net chances that appeared. When they did she was clinical whilst Brad put many short ones in to switch things up and despite some big hitting from David and backs to the wall defending from Colette the visitors ran out 2-10 winners.

On court three there was little between the teams with Mark Bainbridge and Jo Salisbury facing Phil and Debbie. Some tremendously hard fought rallies and fittingly a 6-6 draw meant both teams came off smiling leaving Wetherby ahead 12-24.

Round two saw David and Colette move over to court one where they found Richard and Fiona in fine form and showing little mercy. This duo proved too canny for their hosts who again had their moments but were unable to convert the big points to suffer another 2-10 reverse.

Brad and Louise maintained similar tactics to the first match as they took on Mark and Jo. Mark was serving well and not afraid to put in a short one was playing well. Jo gave plenty too but the Wetherby pair dominated the net and had too much firepower to record a successive 2-10 success.

Phil and Debbie was also involved in another titanic battle but this time found the power of Tim and Carol too hot to handle. The score was harsh but Tim waited patiently to hit the right shot and often was celebrating with great accuracy as Ripon took this 9-3 which left the scores overall at 25-47.

Wetherby had one foot in the winners enclosure and Richard and Fiona wasted little time edging them nearer to the finish line. Mark and Jo once more were competitive and it needed clever play from the visitors to ensure a 3-9 success with Fiona producing some classy returns and Richard finding space out wide.

Brad and Louise knew they would need to be firing on all cylinders at they faced Tim and Carol and this clash was arguably the rubber of the night. Some endless rallies with the quartet refusing to be beaten meant this was great viewing and had everything. Wetherby led 1-3 and 4-6 but credit to the hosts who refused to lie down and as Wetherby couldn’t quite get over the line the 6-6 score line was a fair reflection of the clash which left all looking extremely drained.

Phil and Debbie produced their best tennis of the night in the last as they started to form a good understanding. Debbie covered every inch of the beautiful carpet surface as she made some amazing returns whilst Phil looked strong at the net. This really was a good clash with David and Colette also finding their form but it was a 4-8 victory for Wetherby to wrap up another impressive victory, this time 38-70.

A big thanks to Ripon for hosting and especially to captain Tim Swiers who kindly got the drinks in afterwards as the teams enjoyed refreshments outside together.

Three successive wins has taken Wetherby to the summit and they host Dacre next week, who could also have maximum points depending on their midweek match at home to fancied Harlow.

Wetherby A Mixed Team March On

At last some proper tennis weather and on a lovely evening the sun shone and the temperatures were high as Wetherby A entertained Harrogate Spa. Andrew Davis and Chantal Wilkinson missed last week’s narrow home loss against Dacre but made a welcome return in West Yorkshire for the visitors who also brought in David Whan, Mark Upton and thirteen year old promising youngster Niamh Owens for seasonal debuts. Wetherby remained unchanged after a good win at Starbeck.

Richard Franks and Fiona Chantrey began together as usual for the hosts and took on Davis and Wilkinson. A good crowd was watching with Spa bringing a number of spectators and they were entertained with a fabulous opening rubber on the show court. Andrew is a big server, strong baseliner and very dangerous at the net whilst Chantal is also lethal close in and packs a great punch with her tremendous forehand. Wetherby knew they would need to be in top form but despite their best efforts just came up short at 5-7.

On court two Christina and Jonathan entertained David and Marie and looked confident as they began strongly. The Spa duo were giving everything but the Wetherby second pair are pretty useful and with Christina dominating serve and Jonathan covering the court well they carried too much firepower to run out 9-3 victors.

Court three also witnessed a close affair with youngster Niamh Owens really catching the eye. She hits hard and serves well and the left hander has great court presence too. With Mark Upton a perfect foil with his consistency they led 3-0 before Brad and Louise found their form to scrape a narrow 7-5 success leaving Wetherby ahead 21-15.

Jonathan and Christina moved down to court one and with crowd numbers increasing they were once again treated to some high quality tennis. Some great rallies between the teams and strong net play meant there was never much between these pairs and no surprise they couldn’t be spilt at 6-6.

Brad and Louise moved over to court two and were determined to keep the pressure on. They started to click into top gear and with Brad pushing his opponents deeper, Louise was able to stamp her authority at the net and began to control proceedings. Harsh on the visitors who were not throwing in the towel but Wetherby were too strong to record an 11-1 win.

Richard and Fiona were again involved in another battle as Mark and Niamh continued in good form but frustratingly for them they were on the wrong side of another 7-5 score line which had seen Wetherby move further clear at 45-27.

With the old football chant, we can see you sneaking out, ringing out a few away supporters departed early fearing there was no way back and so it proved.

Brad and Louise knew they faced their biggest challenge but were hoping Andrew and Chantal had used up all their energy and it appeared that way as Brad was showing no sign of fatigue after helping the men’s team to victory last night. He was content to play out long rallies and Louise continued to impress at the net. She also produced some excellent angled winners but it wasn’t all one way traffic as Chantal was her equal at the net and Andrew was still fighting hard. However Wetherby knew they had their opponents on the ropes and ran out 8-4 winners to collect an impressive twenty six points on the evening.

Richard and Fiona were showing no mercy on court two and handed out a 12-0 defeat to David and Marie whilst it was a case of déjà vu for Mark and Niamh who were wonderfully consistent but unfortunately fell to a third 7-5 loss.

Therefore Wetherby secured a 72-36 victory and a sixteenth straight win as they showed they will be a force in Division Four this season. They head to Ripon next week hoping to continue their good start to the campaign. Lovely to catch up with new and old faces alike tonight and thanks to the players for the entertainment on show.

Leeds 1 Mens Secure Crucial Win On The Road

Despite a mixed weather forecast the Leeds 1 men’s team set off for their match at Whitkirk tonight looking for their first points of the campaign. Despite a spirited performance they fell to a 1-7 home reverse to title favourites Horsforth at the weekend but were looking to be more competitive against a side beaten 8-0 at St Chads on their only start. Both teams made changes with Nick Lumb replacing the unavailable Paul Godden whilst the hosts brought three new men into their quartet.

Whitkirk play on a nice carpet surface and have five courts set next to the cricket pitch. There was a cricket match on and the place seemed very popular with a good crowd watching whilst the three other tennis courts were in use all evening. Nick and Phil were making their competitive debut together and the duo were a little slow to gel during the first set which Stuart and Craig took 6-3. However they picked up in the second and with Nick bringing power and pace to proceedings they began to take control. Both Wetherby men covered plenty of ground and Nicks strong net play was proving useful. Phil is very consistent and loves his ground strokes and the duo were left celebrating a 3-6 win to level the rubber at 1-1.

On court two Mike and Brad Triffitt resumed their partnership and took on a couple of promising younger types in Liam Wood and Jacob Pitchfork. This pair were both big hitters and sending down plenty of aces and the Triffitts knew they would need to deploy some disruptive tactics to stand any chance. Brad was happy to follow Dad Mike with plenty of good defensive work and they used some crafty angles to put the hosts off their stride. There was little between the teams despite a big contrast in styles but it was the visitors who remained the more consistent as they produced an eye catching 4-6,3-6 success to give Wetherby a useful 1-3 lead at the interval.

There had been drizzle but nothing too major as the teams began round two and Nick and Phil seemed to enjoy the faster pace of their match with Liam and Jacob. Some tremendous rallies on show and this was proving a high quality affair. Nick and Phil were playing their best tennis of the evening and the duo took the opener 2-6. Back came the hosts however and in a roller coaster second, a tie break was needed to separate the teams with Whitkirk prevailing 7-6 for another 1-1 score for the Wetherby number one seeds.

Back on court two Brad and Mike welcomed Stuart and Craig knowing they needed a set for overall victory. This promised to be a close rubber but the hosts struggled with the Triffitts game plan and despite Craig hitting some lovely forehands it was the visitors who again used consistency to reap rewards. Brad was content to rally but happy to put away anything loose whilst Mike showed some deft touches at the net and his spinning returns often had the hosts on the ropes, pinned against the fence. This rubber was far closer than the score would indicate but a 1-6,1-6 success for the Triffitts was greatly appreciated and enabled Wetherby to run out 2-6 winners after an enjoyable evening.

Special thanks to Whitkirk captain David Whittaker who watched from the side-lines and who was confident the rains would stay away and right on cue the heavens only opened as the players made their way back to their vehicles. Division 4 promises to be a tough section this season and Wetherby will now move forward with more confidence to hopefully ensure safety.

Wetherby A Start Season With Road Success

After a day of rain the evening was dry with plenty of sun as Wetherby A travelled to Starbeck to open their HDTL division 4 campaign tonight. After winning the title in the previous season the team have strengthened and were looking forward to the challenge of testing themselves at a higher level.

New captain Richard Franks teamed up with regular partner Fiona Chantrey and they faced Starbeck B first pair Steve Hubbard and Katie Draper. This promised to be a close affair with Katie playing in Division 2 for Starbeck A previously and Steven a solid performer at division 3/4 level. True to form and expectations this rubber didn’t disappoint and with some tremendously hard fought rallies there was little between the pairs. It would have been harsh for either couple to have tasted defeat so fittingly a 6-6 draw was a more than fair outcome.

On court two Jonathan Tyler was finally making his competitive debut for Wetherby after seemingly been at the club for ages. He was in fact making a return to league tennis for the first time in twenty one years after last appearing in the Somerset league and looked eager for action. He and Christina Plant have been showing up well in preseason and are developing a useful partnership. They took on Starbeck captain Chris White who was partnered by Jo Douglas. Chris led his team stats last season and this classy left hander is always a tough opponent. Jo is a very accomplished player too with a decent serve and strong all round game but it was the Wetherby duo who caught the eye of the watching home support. Jonny was covering every inch of the court and showing why he is so highly rated at Wetherby. Christina is one of the best female servers at the club and she was dominating in this department tonight helping the visitors to a welcome 4-8 success.

On court three Louise Beasley teamed up with Bradley Triffitt after spending the previous campaign with Brads dad Mike. She has upgraded to a younger and fitter model now though ha ha! The pair are no strangers after playing well together in the Winter league and they looked confident ahead of their tie with Stephen Cameron and Amy Beavan. The Starbeck duo are both big hitters and certainly pack a punch but it was Wetherby who had the greater consistency as they ran out cosy 3-9 winners to establish an early 13-23 advantage.

Chris and Jo moved down to court one and knew they faced another battle against Ricard and Fiona. No surprise this was also tight but Chris was finding some nice angles and with Jo strong at the net they began to assert. Richard and Fiona gave their all as always but they fell to a 7-5 reverse thus ending an amazing thirty four rubber unbeaten run which had covered all the previous season.

Jonny and Christina then welcomed Stephen and Amy and the Starbeck third pair were happy to keep playing their shots and were getting well rewarded. The Wetherby pair had to dig deep but Jonny produced a couple of aces and his ability to control the net proved the difference as again it was success for the away team 4-8.

Brad and Louise knew they too would need to remain strong to keep Steve and Katie in check but found themselves starring down the barrel as they trailed 5-0. However showing strong resolve and commitment they refused to fold and gradually worked themselves back into contention. Louise was using her excellent spin returns to great effect whilst Triffitt was happy to play the long game and his patience often reaped reward. Amazingly the duo fought back to record an incredible 5-7 victory which extended the Wetherby lead to fourteen as they moved further clear at 29-43.

It would take a big switch of fortunes for the Harrogate side to pull off victory and Wetherby looked in no mood to surrender. Richard and Fiona were certainly showing no mercy as they piled on the points against Stephen and Amy. The Starbeck pair were unlucky to meet the Wetherby top dogs in such sparkling form and the 1-11 score was very harsh on the spirited home duo.

Jonathan and Christina were involved in another absorbing encounter as they tried to lower the colours of top seeds Steve and Katie. These seasoned cyclists both arrived on their bikes and were showing excellent fitness levels. They took advantage of this to force errors and ran out narrow 7-5 victors.

It was left to Brad and Louise to complete the innings and they were also involved in a close match with Chis and Jo. Again the Wetherby pair had to come from behind as they trailed 4-1 but another strong finish saw honours even at 6-6 after each player was able to showcase their skills.

Therefore it proved a good opening night for Wetherby as they ran out winners 43-65 and are the early leaders in the section after a surprise loss for title favourites Spa against Dacre.

As always Starbeck proved great hosts and the club looks in great shape with courts and surroundings splendid and membership healthy. We look forward to the return later in the season. Congratulations to Wetherby who now host Spa next week in a mouth-watering clash.

Thanks For The Memories Brian

Long standing Wetherby Tennis Club member Brian Thomas is heading back North after almost 30 years at Castlegarth. Brian was born in the North East and spent many years on the Toon before venturing to West Yorkshire and his great personality and lovely character will be sorely missed at the club. Brian played men’s team tennis in his youth and later was a regular at social tennis and various social tennis competitions as well as supporting many off court social events.  

It’s been an honour having Brian at Wetherby and I have played many social occasions with him and his calm and chilled personality made him a pleasure to partner. All the best for life back home Brian and you will always be most welcome at Castlegarth of course.

Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for your kind words Mike. It is a strange feeling to realise that I won’t be playing tennis any longer at Wetherby after very many enjoyable years and with the many friends I have made over the years. It has been a pleasure to partake in the life of this very well run and successful tennis club and I will treasure these memories.  We have two daughters who live on Tyneside and we have decided to spend more time with our family, not just in the north-east but also in Kent where our third daughter lives, and we look forward to seeing much more of our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. I intend to continue playing tennis of course but I’ll be lucky to find a club as good as Wetherby.Adios y muchas gracias.  Brian.

Janine Smith – Rest In Peace

It is with great sadness that we have learnt this week of the untimely passing of ex Wetherby Tennis Club Committee member and part of the Wetherby tennis family, Janine Smith. Janine was a friendly face to new members to the club, and contributed to fund raising, team tennis and many social and in house tournaments during her time with us. The Club sends its condolences and best wishes to Janine’s friends and family, who will be mourning her loss at this time.

Social Play/Singles Ladders/Beginners Coaching Opportunities

Social Tennis
Our social tennis sessions are currently on Wednesdays at 6pm and Sunday at 2pm. Open to all members who are keen to play some social doubles games. All sessions are currently run by a coach to comply with our Covid-19 guidelines. All players must pre-book to attend as spaces are limited. Book by using this link – https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/WetherbyCastlegarthLTC/Coaching

Adult Singles Ladders
For those of you who are keen to play more singles tennis, we would like to invite you to take part in our singles ladder that we started last year. It is open to all members and free to join. 

Simply copy and paste the link below, create an account and get started. 
Once you have created an account, you can log in via the website www.playwaze.com or download the app, “playwaze”, to get started.  All the rules can be found on the website/app. 

Adam Turner will be running this ladder so if you have any questions, please feel free to contact him on 07793 031184 or adamturner_16@hotmail.co.uk

I’m inviting you to join Wetherby Tennis Club. Copy and paste to sign up (https://playwaze.com/ConfirmInvitation?token=weth0329)  

Junior Singles Ladder
The coaching team at ACTC are excited to announce an all new ladder competition for junior members! It will be a free and informal competition.
There will be an 18 & Under ladder, and an 14 & under ladder (suitable for children aged 10+ years), with various prizes for different achievements. This is a great way to play some friendly matches against people you may not have played before and gain some experience!
If you are interested, please email Harry Full (hfull@ac-tenniscoaching.co.uk). Places are not limited, and the more we have, the better! Any questions, please get in touch.

Adult Beginners Coaching
The coaching team run a comprehensive coaching programme at the club with sessions for all ages and abilities. For those new to the club who may want to brush on their skills we have a Beginners Adult class on Wednesdays 12.30-1.30pm – see more info below. 
Get in touch with the coaching team at enquiries@ac-tenniscoaching.co.uk if you have any coaching queries.