Going Up!!

The Leeds men’s first team had entered the season after promotion hoping to be competitive and retain their Division 4 status but after an excellent campaign they found themselves in second position and knowing a win over third placed St Chads would see them secure consecutive promotions.

Captain Mike Triffitt once more paired with son Bradley whilst due to absence the ever reliable Paul Godden was joined by exciting youngster Zak Watson for his debut. It was only last week that Zak had made his debut in Division 6 for the second team but such was his impressive performance in bagging all four sets that captain Mike Triffitt had no hesitation selecting him today for such a huge clash.

Paul and Zak began on court four and faced Chads captain Justin Carveley and newcomer Tom Wignall. Paul has played a significant role in the team this year after spending many years playing in the York league and would a useful partner for 15 year old Zak. The youngster is a big hitter from deep and with an improving service and net game is certainly a star of the future. The Wetherby duo did initially struggle and Tom caught the eye for the visitors with some big serving and ferocious hitting whilst the steady influence of Justin saw the Leeds based team secure the opener 3-6. However the Wetherby men began to settle and finding their rhythm moved up the gears and began to dominate. With good team work they reversed the opening set score to secure a well-earned point following a 6-3 win.

Over on court five there was little between the teams with father and son duo Mike and Brad having to dig deep against the experienced Richard Brown and exciting youngster Ollie Manners. This pair are a standing dish for Chads and work very effectively with a good understanding. However the Triffitt’s remained composed to take the opener 6-3 but found themselves playing catch up in the second. Trailing 5-3 then 6-5 they managed to force a tiebreak which proved to be a real rollercoaster affair. With tensions high both pairs looked nervous but thankfully for Wetherby the Triffitt’s held firm to take the tie break 9-7 after saving set point and with it a crucial looking 3-1 first round advantage.

Despite the long drawn out match both Richard and Ollie came out firing against Paul and Zak and looked determined to take the match down to the wire. Once more they had to suffer a tie beak but this time proved a little too match savvy as they took that and despite another classic second set, the Wetherby men couldn’t match the consistency of their opponents. Plenty of deuce games and long rallies but the craft and guise of the Leeds pair proved crucial and they celebrated a 4-6 victory to level up the overall scores at 3-3.

It was now down to the Triffs to see whether they could force a win to guarantee promotion and they looked determined to complete the task. With great consistency they made sure their error count was low and with Brad hitting more lobbed winners than Mike the duo began to take control. Mixing big hitting with delicate short play they took the opener 6-0 and refused to take the foot off the gas in the second. Tom was serving exceptionally however and the Triffitt’s couldn’t break him so the second set was very tight. However Brad ensured any loose balls were dispatched for winners whilst Mike controlled the net and they ground out a 6-2 success to ensure Wetherby would indeed be gracing the giddy heights of Division 3 next term.   

A big thanks to all the ten players who have represented the team this season. Brad hasn’t missed a game whilst Mike has only missed one and its great to see Brad and Zak playing at this level. I have seen them play at junior level and driven them all across West Yorkshire in the junior leagues so feel very proud they can now make such an impact in adult men’s tennis.

Two matches to play but it would take a mathematical surprise to prevent Horsforth from been crowned champions although they have and will be worthy winners in all honesty.

Thanks to chads for a cracking couple of matches this season and captain Justin Carveley remains one of the nicest in the league and has a good set of chaps to work with. We wish them well to go one better next term.

Leeds Men’s First Team March On

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.

Well Done Brad and Gabe

Congratulations to Wetherby Juniors Bradley Triffitt and Gabriel Mead who completed their LTA Level 1 coaching qualification after attending three sessions at Goole tennis club. The pair have risen through the ranks making a big contribution on the junior circuit and now play influential roles in our adult league teams. Well done chaps and thanks for being great ambassadors for the club.

Wetherby Men Produce Inspired Performance To Shock League Leaders

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.

York 3 Mixed Make Winning Debut

Our new team in York, the mixed York 3 outfit, began their debut season in York Division 10 with a game at Rufforth this evening. Conditions were ideal and with the hosts a lovely group the game was played in a marvellous spirit. It was nice to see some new faces on the scorecard too.

Suzanne Harte has been a good supporter of the in house events and tournaments we run but was finally persuaded to try her hand at league tennis and she didn’t disappoint. Paired with exciting Junior Gabe Mead, who has done well in Winter league and in house friendly matches, the duo looked superb all evening and certainly caught the eye. Suzanne was strong at the net whilst Gabe bossed the baseline and his strong positional play ensured he covered the court well and picked the right shot to often hit a winner off. The duo adopted perfect tactics and formed a great partnership and they were rewarded with an excellent 33 points on the evening. Suzanne claimed they would have got even more but for my constant talking with Kate Lewis from Rufforth on the side-lines but I had to remind her it wasn’t Wimbledon and anything goes at this level lol!!.

Nigel Sullivan can often be found at social and is an active member at Wetherby. He stepped up for this league encounter and was partnered by the exciting Laura Delafield whose bubbly character made her an ideal partner. Nigel is very crafty and canny at the net whilst Laura caught the eye with some big hitting from deep and her willingness to cover plenty of ground. The duo enjoyed their evening and a 20 point haul left them happy and smiling throughout.

Carole Womersley has been at Wetherby for many years and has played numerous matches in the Harrogate league mixed and ladies league games. She teamed up with another promising junior in Henry Brown who, like Gabe, has been a Winter league and inhouse regular. Henry has enjoyed a great junior campaign at Wetherby over the years and always gives everything on court. He enjoyed patrolling the baseline and was clinical when approaching the net whilst Carole produced moments of brilliance at the net and her short game ensured the pair were difficult to beat. They secured an impressive 24 points and helped Wetherby run out cosy winners 77-31.

A big thanks to Rufforth for hosting. The score line was harsh on their undoubted effort and they played with a smile and laughter during the evening and we wish them well for the rest of their season. Wetherby now host Sutton on Derwent 4 at Castlegarth on Friday July 9th and with the visitors having recorded two big victories themselves so far this season, a big challenge awaits.

Wetherby Men Too Sharp For Grove Hill

Another warm and dry afternoon for the Leeds men’s first team who welcomed Grove Hill to Castlegarth today for this Division four clash. The team had started with two wins from three whilst the visitors were mid table after a win, a draw and two losses so far.

Philip Longstaff had impressed for Wetherby A in the mixed at Thirsk on Thursday and he resumed his flourishing partnership with Paul Godden whilst Bradley Triffitt was also in mixed action at Thirsk and was joined by captain Mike Triffitt. With Grove captain Adam Haigh absent, regular player Damon Boxer took over duties and was joined by Stefan Esnow whilst Toby Fawkes and Haynes Collins were making seasonal debuts

Phil and Paul met Toby and Haynes on court four and this turned out to be a very long but thrilling encounter with little between the pairs. Phil is very fit and uses his great court coverage well whilst Paul is a strong server and net player and can be clinical in both disciplines. Toby has an incredible forehand and was hitting with venom whilst American born Haynes Collins is a crafty customer and was quick around court and produced plenty of nice returns. The Wetherby first pair took the opener 6-4 and looked well on their way in the second as they moved towards the finish line. However Toby and Haynes were not waving the white flag just yet and with the Grove pair growing in confidence they fought back to level at 6-6 to force a tie break. No surprise this was also tight but it was the visitors who held their nerve to record an 8-6 success and ensure the rubber was shared.

Brad and Mike were entertaining Damon and Stefan on court five and as always were adopting consistent tactics to frustrate their opponents. Damon hits well from deep whilst Stefan is returning to tennis after a few years at University and looks promising. However the Triffitt’s combined the power of Brad with the craft of Mike and began to take control as they ran out cosy 6-0,6-0 winners to give Wetherby a 3-1 lead at the halfway stage.

Phil and Paul moved over to court five with both having used plenty of energy after their opener but they began brightly against Damon and Stefan who certainly looked to have benefited from their first match. The Hill duo were starting to find their range and produced some nice moments of quality to threaten an upset. However Paul stayed firm at the net and with Phil happy to keep the rallies going they proved a little too match savvy and celebrated a 6-2, 6-1 success to ensure the match points were staying with the hosts.

Brad and Mike looked to take advantage of their long rest whilst Toby and Haynes had giving so much in their energy sapping encounter in their first match that it was no surprise the Triffitt’s were quickly out of the blocks. Giving their opponents few chances to shine they took the opener 6-1. However the second set was a different matter altogether and Toby began to unleash some missile like bullets which had the Triffitt’s on the ropes. However they steadied the ship and despite Haynes continuing to run down many lost causes, Brad stepped on the gas to hit some fine winners and with Mike useful at the net it was victory for Wetherby 6-2 and running out overall match winners at 7-1.

Credit to both teams in humid conditions and a match played in a good spirit with no incidents always makes for a pleasant afternoon. Wetherby move up to second place on six points and will hope they can maintain this good early season form.

Thanks to Damon and his troops and look forward to catching up in Otley for the return.  

Well played Brad Triffitt, captain Mike Triffitt, Paul Godden and Philip Longstaff for a fine victory this afternoon.

Wetherby A Show Their Class

Overcast but humid conditions this evening as Thirsk B entertained Wetherby A in Division four of the HDTL mixed. Both clubs had been promoted last season but are enduring very different campaigns in the higher section with Wetherby sitting at the summit after four wins whilst Thirsk are bottom after failing to win any of their opening three matches. Leading pair Richard Franks and Fiona Chantrey were absent for the visitors so Philip Longstaff stepped in and was accompanied by the evergreen Marise Richfield.

Thirsk picked their usual suspects so there were no surprises once the team sheet was in and it was Ben Watson and Louise Morgan Williams entertaining Jonathan Tyler and Christina Plant on court one to start proceedings. The Wetherby duo are enjoying a good first season together and are a quiet yet very efficient pairing. Ben has just returned from injury and is one of the hardest hitting men in this section whilst Louise is very consistent and has good court coverage. An exciting and well fought rubber with the power and consistency of the visitors giving them the edge to secure a 4-8 success.

Bradley Triffitt and Louise Beasley moved up to seed two and faced youngsters James Brading and Kitty Brown. I sat with Kitty’s parents who enjoyed their evening watching the action unfold and were very proud of fifteen year old Kitty’s never say die performance. She showed great promise and hit some lovely forehands but she and James couldn’t find the consistency to trouble their higher rated opponents. James is a left hander and found some incredible angles on his returns but all too often didn’t have the patience to keep the scoreboard ticking over. With Brad mixing pace, power and craft and Louise as sharp and clinical as ever at the net it was Wetherby celebrating a 2-10 victory.

Philip and Marise were making their debuts together although Marise has many years of experience in league tennis and her calm and easy going nature meant she always looks comfortable on court. Phil hits hard and is happy to cover large areas of the court but the pair had their work cut out against Dan Magee and captain Amanda Page. Dan is a more than useful cricketer and captains the Thirsk first team and he was ultra-fit chasing down many lost causes with eye catching speed. He has featured twice for Thirsk in Division two this season and can be a handful. Amanda leads from the front and produced some excellent retrieval work and this rubber was close throughout. No complaints at 6-6 to leave both pairs happy.

Round two started with Wetherby holding a 12-24 advantage and looking to build on that. Jonathan and Christina now faced James and Kitty and once again it was a repeat of the opener with Wetherby carrying too much weaponry and securing victory 3-9. Brad and Louise enjoyed their match with Dan and Amanda and there were plenty of long enthralling rallies before the visitors prevailed 4-8. Philip and Ben were also enjoying their duel on court three with many wonderful cross court battles whilst Louise and Marise showed some lovely touches. It was another rubber for Wetherby however who extended their lead to 23-49 with the winners enclosure firmly in site and very apt with the tennis courts located in the centre of Thirsk racecourse!

 Credit to Dan and Amanda who once again gave everything in an eye catching performance for the hosts against Jonny and Christina. Little between the pairs but with Christina bossing the serve and Jonny hitting hard from deep they wore down their opponents to secure a narrow 5-7 victory and an excellent twenty four points for their efforts.

Brad and Louise continued to impress and the understanding between the duo improves each week and they are a force at this level. It was tough going against Ben and Louise though as the Thirsk couple made their opponents work hard for victory but a 3-9 success wrapped up a good nights work and with it the reward of twenty seven points. Phil and Marise had improved each round and the finale was no different as they turned on the turbos and really excelled. It was tough on James and Kitty who were smiling till the end but couldn’t prevent a 2-10 reverse leaving the Wetherby third seeds celebrating a very impressive twenty four points in total.

A great evening and a match played in a super spirit but Wetherby’s 33-75 victory sees them move four points clear at the summit, although second placed Harlow do have a game in hand. Wetherby now have a week off as the nature of the divisional structure with seven teams means two bye weeks for clubs this summer. They are next in action away at Harlow on Monday June 28th and face arguably their toughest test to date as Harlow were seen as many people’s preseason title favourites and this promises to be a cracking encounter.

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.