Ladies 2nd Team Celebrate Survival

The ladies second team made the long trek to Pocklington for a morning start today ready for what would be a hugh relegation battle. With numbers light due to injury and holiday commitments, Janine Smith and Emma Fraser came off the subs bench.

Fiona Chantrey was still missing so Rachel Butterworth took over the captains armband  and she was joined by debutant Fraser who has been showing promise in the ladies coaching sessions. It would be a baptism of fire for her but she was thankful that the calming influence of Butterworth meant she paired up with one of the nicest ladies at the club. Pocklington are hot on the heels of Wetherby at the foot and knew victory today would close the gap to just a solitary point.

Angie Bell and Janine Smith formed a strong looking top pair and they opened against Fiona Lambert and Josephine Nutman who would prove a tough nut to crack. With Bell content to hit big from deep and Smith dominant at the net this proved a useful combination. However the hosts top duo were proving good opposition and this proved a very close rubber.Ultimately they couldn’t be spilt and a 6-6 draw was a fair reflection. Fraser and Butterworth began at seed two and they faced the rather useful Louise Durkin and Andrea Bland. It took a while for the Wetherby girls to gel and by then the hosts had kicked on and building on a strong start were able to run out impressive 10-2 winners. Ginny Hinds and Jill Abel completed the team and formed a more than useful strong third pairing. Hinds overcame her recent injury problems to play some excellent hard hitting tennis and her ability to pin opponents deep was having great benefit. The experienced Abel is just the type of character needed for such a battle and her organisational skills on court were reaping rewards. The Wetherby girls were quickly out of the traps against Sheila Williams and Debbie Gleig and proved far too match savvy. They completed an excellent 2-10 success which left the scores level at 18-18 after round one.

Hinds and Abel moved down to play Lambert and Nutman and buoyed by their opening success were confident of further glory. They found the Pock top dogs much tougher but in a close contest just prevailed 5-7 for a tremendous victory. Bell and Smith took on Durkin and Bland and quickly realised their opening round victory was no flash in the pan. Arguably the hosts strongest pair were going along nicely and the Wetherby girls were having to dig deep to keep the score close. Finally they succumbed 8-4 which proved a decent effort. Fraser and Butterworth were far more comfortable against Williams and Gleig and with Emma now finding her feet on debut the pair started to reel off some lovely winners. Fraser produced some great angled forehands and was confident at the net with some excellent smashing. Butterworth was hitting well from deep and with great consistency the pair were delighted to record a welcome 3-9 success.

So with the final round underway it was all to play for with Wetherby ahead 34-38. Emma and Rachel managed to add a further 3 from a 9-3 reverse against Lambert and Nutman but thankfully Bell and Smith were putting Williams and Gleig to the sword where their power proved too hot to handle and they eased to a comfortable 2-10 win. This meant the key rubber was taking place between Durkin and Bland against Ginny and Jill and once more it was the Wetherby girls digging in deep to prevent the hosts running away with matters. Playing some backs to the wall tennis, Jill and Ginny maintained their excellent form and were narrowly defeated 7-5 which proved more than enough to see the team run out narrow but worthy 52-56 winners.

This could prove one of the biggest wins of the season as the team are now safe with the hosts five points behind and only two games left meaning they can’t overtake our ladies and Poppleton are also too far adrift at the foot. A great effort from all on show in an excellent team performance and congratulations on survival. A big thanks to Emma Fraser for stepping in on debut in such a crucial clash and a special word for Angie Bell who was making it a hat trick of wins this week for the teams she has represented. All three matches had big relegation implications for the teams involved and she has shown nerves of steel to complete a very impressive treble.

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Wetherby A Secure Crucial Victory

There was a hugh game at Castlegarth this evening with Wetherby A facing Dacre in a match with massive implications at both ends of the table. Wetherby had been thrashed 81-27 on their visit North earlier in the campaign and were delighted that star man Adam Swecker had returned to the States after he demolished Wetherby with an eye catching 32 points that evening. The visitors still travelled with a strong team and were looking to keep their promotion push on track as they sit handily in second position in Division 4. Wetherby had been beaten narrowly by Boroughbridge last week when failing to hold onto a lead going into the last round and those two along with Thirsk look likely to be the teams battling it out to avoid the dreaded drop.

On another wonderful balmy summers evening conditions were glorious as the teams began play. With all four regular squad ladies missing for the hosts Louise Beasley, Jo Coverdale and Angie Bell kindly stepped in tonight.

Beasley who has played twice with a 100% record teamed up at seed one along with wily veteran Walter Skubiak and they faced another seasoned campaigner in the very impressive Dacre captain Sue Welch who was assisted by the powerful Tim Harper. This proved a good rubber with some excellent tennis on show. Walter is always a terror on court and with good court coverage and some big hitting was producing some useful winners. Beasley is a classy player and with a good reach she was proving hard to pass at the net and returning well with her lovely forehand. However the visitors are a match for most at this level and with Welch finding some incredible angles and Harper serving well they ran out 4-8 winners. Mike Triffitt and Jo Coverdale teamed up at Seed two for their competitive debut and enjoyed the contest on court two against Andy Roberts and Linda Savage. Triffitt and Roberts have locked horns in both the mixed and men’s this year and Roberts is a powerful hitter and big server who covers every inch of the court impressively. With Savage returning well this would be a real test for the Wetherby duo. After a slow start they found themselves trailing 0-2 but they battled back to lead 3-2 and with Coverdale providing a touch of class with some excellent cross court returns the duo were enjoying themselves. In truth there was little between the pairs but in the end the greater consistency of the hosts saw them prevail 7-5. Captain Barry Johnson was delighted to have the hard hitting and very powerful Angie Bell alongside him this evening and the duo raced out of the traps as they stormed into a 6-1 lead against Andrew Balsdon and Di Burton. However the Dacre duo battled back well and with Burton dominating the net and Balsdon covering the baseline they started to make inroads into the Wetherby advantage. Finally the hosts ran out narrow 7-5 winners which left the score all square at 18-18.

Round Two began with Triffitt and Coverdale moving down to the showcourt and leading 3-2 they seemed happy. However in what turned out to be the longest match of the evening they were left frustrated as with every game going to endless deuces they were unable to add to their score and finally succumbed 3-9. Thankfully results elsewhere had been positive with Skubiak and Beasley running out 7-5 winners over Baldson and Burton whilst Johnson and Bell had played particularly well to beat Roberts and Savage 8-4 which meant the scores still remained deadlocked at 36-36.

A great crowd were certainly doing their best to cheers the hosts on to success and with the wine flowing and even the ice lollies proving much appreciated, the scene was set for a final round classic.

Walter and Louise knew they faced a big ask against the Dacre second seeds and they gave their all in battle. With plenty of defending they attacked when appropriate and although losing 4-8 this was certainly a useful contribution. Johnson and Bell moved down to court one and were happy to slug it out with the Dacre top dogs in an enthralling contest. With big hitting and great net play from both pairs this rubber had the crowd on the edge of their seats and eventually honours were even after a fantastic 6-6 tie. This left Wetherby trailing by 4 and all eyes moved to court three where Triffitt and Coverdale were going along nicely against Baldson and Burton. A key feature for Wetherby here was that Triffitt and Coverdale only had two double faults between them all evening and the pair quickly realised a consistent approach would reap dividends here. Coverdale continued to produce some lovely forehand winners mixing cross court with down the line which left the visitors bamboozled whilst Triffitt was happy to keep pegging his opponents back with some excellent lobbing which often had the visitors glued to the spot. Wetherby kept the scoreboard ticking over nicely and despite some more great net play from Burton the hosts put behind the disappointment of their second round to run out cosy 11-1 winners which left the team celebrating an excellent 57-51 success.

A match played in great spirit and hard fought throughout but it was Wetherby who gave themselves a real boost in their bid to avoid the drop. With three games left a further win may prove enough with two wins guaranteeing survival. Dacre will hope three wins from their last games may see them promoted and with the club facing Thirsk and Boroughbridge in that run Wetherby will certainly be cheering them on.

A big thanks to Louise, Jo and Angie for stepping in tonight and keeping the men in check and it made a welcome change to actually be in bar three afterwards toasting a rare win!

The team are back in action on Monday night away at another promotion chaser in Bedale where another big effort will be needed to bring home the points.

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Well done to Louise Beasley, Jo Coverdale , Walter Skubiak, Mike Triffitt and Barry Johnson pictured above with Angie Bell absent after dashing off home ready for an early start tomorrow.

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Ladies Charity Tennis Day Goes Down A Treat

Today’s Ladies Charity Tennis Day proved a great success with the sun shining and plenty of ladies in attendance. It was great to see the courts filled with females as they enjoyed a warm up session with personal trainer Emma Youldon who also gave a speech and informative talk on nutrition.

Head coach Angela Crossley ran a competitive but light hearted tennis tournament which was played in a happy spirit whilst Jill Abel and a guest speaker gave some excellent medical advice on Alzheimer’s.

Louise Williams had been busy in the kitchen baking her speciality bread which was well received and a big thanks to her for helping with the food, Pimms and Cake stall.

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Thanks also to the club for a £50 donation which covered the cost of the catering.

 

Lesley Haley from Boston Spa ran the clothing section which was appreciated whilst Judith Crossley who runs Gifted and Little Gifted in Boston Spa will donate 10% on purchases any time before July 15th which is a lovely gesture.

 

A fantastic day with proceeds rocketing through the £500 barrier and a really tremendous effort to hit that amount in an event well attended and supported.

 

Wine Evening A Rip Roaring Success

Saturday saw the return of this ever popular event and what an epic night it proved to be as a capacity crowd enjoyed no less than thirteen different alcoholic beverages. Doug Harrison our regular entertainer was this year joined by Roger Fawcus as dual hosts. The evening had a World Cup theme with the club duly decorated with flags of all the competing countries and the standard was set with no less than four different welcome offerings, namely Cava pink, Prosecco gin, tonic and Icelandic beer.

Roger and Doug then opened proceedings and the wines started to flow as the noise levels grew higher. Doug never makes the choice easy and so it proved again with the three whites gradually being revealed as Muscat from Argentina, Chardonnay from England and finally a Vino Verde which is a Arinto grape from Portugal. Nine points up for grabs so far and miraculously two outfits had eight points with Gary Saunders, Diana Lang and Katie Draper from our friends at Starbeck tennis club joined at the top of the leader board by Nicki and Mark.

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Roger now passed round his smell tests which asked teams to identify five different wine odours. This proved difficult and would challenge the participants for sure! With relief possibly from the drinking perhaps as Roger announced the excellent cold buffet was now available but not a bit of it as Doug introduced a New Zealand White and an Italian red that would keep palates going until the next round. Before then another surprise from Roger in the form of heads up hips down wine quiz at £2 a head with Janine Smith doing an excellent job collecting the entry fees. Much hilarity followed before a member of the Goodall family was declared the winner and with special thanks to Janine’s money extraction efforts, the club achieved an astonishing £130 which will be much appreciated in the club coffers. Onto the reds with Doug having extreme difficulty talking above the raucous din. Eventually the reds were revealed as an Argentine Malbec, a French Pinot noir and an Australian Impertivo with Nicki and Mark maintaining their excellent early form to win by just a single point. For their considerable efforts their richly deserved prize being an evening for ten at the evenings wine suppliers Majestic.

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Roger then sprung his final surprise tots of three different whiskies, one blended, one single malt and one Japanese all of which were readily downed leaving a few hardy souls to mop up the remnants of the wine with the last standing leaving at 11.30pm!  Roger floated the idea of a gin evening which attracted plenty of positive interest so watch this space! So a tremendous evening concluded and one of the best if not the best such event the club has held. Many thanks to these who attended in this record breaking crowd and to Roger Fawcus, Doug Harrison and Janine Smith for all their hard work both during the event and on the night.
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Honours Even In U14 Battle

The sun was missing but it was still a pleasant evening at Castlegarth tonight as Wetherby U14 entertained their Roundhay counterparts. The hosts had won one and drawn two and knew victory tonight would guarantee a top two finish and a semi final place. Gabe Mead was a late withdrawal due to illness so George Brown stepped in at seed two to replace him. With the luxury of four courts the singles took place simultaneously.

On Court Four Brook Sutton played Charlie Locket and despite a spirited effort the Wetherby youngster, who was making only his second ever start in this his debut season, found the going hard work. He was unable to compete with some accurate tennis from the Roundhay chap and fell 0-4,1-4.

On Court Three Nathan Spencer was playing Seamus Jackson Braydon and there was some big hitting from the duo. However once more the Roundhay player was showing more consistency and gave the visitors a 0-2 lead following a 1-4,0-4 success.

George Brown had played an instrumental part in the sides away win at Sandal and the left hander was soon showing some impressive form against James Howling on Court Two. Both players were content to play from deep and some long rallies ensued from the baseline. Brown however was mixing things up and moving his bigger opponent and gradually began to take control running out a 4-0 first set winner. However James was far more lively in the second and increasing the tempo this set went to a tie break after a 4-4 stalemate. However showing great temperament young George romped to a 7-0 win and a 4-0,5-4 success to reduce the overall arrears to 1-2.

Captain Bradley Triffitt was on Court One and he took on Roundhay top seed Lewis Stirling. What Lewis lacked in stature he made up for in effort and the visiting player was hitting some booming returns from the back of the court. Triffitt was happy to rally however and producing some big hitting of his own created some wonderful angles to run out a cosy 4-0 first set winner. With Bradley serving well and keeping the pressure on he even had time to advance to the net to finish some excellent volleys and a further 4-0 second set meant the hosts were back in the contest at 2-2 with the doubles to follow.

It was now odds on a draw however if the singles were an accurate reflection and Seamus and Charlie were looking even stronger in the doubles with some eye catching tennis . This duo combined great teamwork with some real quality and left Nathan and Brook struggling. The Wetherby youngsters were however still battling manfully with Spencer once more hitting some cracking winners whilst Sutton showed some clever touches at the net. Ultimately they couldn’t match the visitors who ran out 2-4,1-4 winners to give Roundhay a 2-3 lead.

Triffitt and Brown knew therefore that victory was imperative to salvage a draw and they quickly set about securing victory. With Triffitt once more serving with venom and Brown a rock alongside his older player partner the pair were in sparkling form running out 4-0 winners in the opener. However the Roundhay pair were not going to lie down and started to turn the screw early in the second set as they opened up a quick 0-2 lead. There were a number of long rallies to entertain the galleries and many were finished with impressive winners as each pair gave everything. Triffitt and Brown had five match points but couldn’t convert any as the Leeds based outfit drew level at 4-4 to take the second set to a tie break. You could cut the tension with a knife as the crowd eagerly watched the action unfold and thankfully for Wetherby Bradley and George showed nerves of steel to run out 7-4 winners and a 2-0 win levelled a very even contest.

Well played to both teams with a draw a fair result on the evening. Wetherby move onto nine competition points but must now sit and wait to see if that will be enough to secure a semi final berth. After an unbeaten group stage they will feel aggrieved to miss out so fingers crossed other results fall their way.

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Well done to George Brown and Bradley Triffitt who took the final doubles rubber to secure a welcome 3-3 draw tonight.

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Thanks to Nathan Spencer and Brook Sutton who played with a smile and in a great spirit tonight.

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The parents were in good spirits tonight too although it was strictly tea and biscuits on the sidelines!

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Good Effort From Wetherby Youngsters

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Sam Spencer, Gabe Mead and Bradley Triffitt were representing Wetherby this morning in the Harrogate and District U14 boys event held at Harrogate Spa. Mead and Spencer were eliminated at the quarter finals and Triffitt was beaten in the semi-final in a very competitive competition. Leo Poulton who defeated Bradley will now play George Brown in next weekend’s final at the Harrogate 2018 Annual Tournament finals day held at Harrogate Racquets. Bradley and his dad Mike are playing in the restricted men’s doubles during the week whilst Triffitt senior and Louise Williams are in the restricted mixed doubles hoping to make the finals next weekend although according to bookie Mike it’s a big price either happening lol!

For those wondering when Wetherby last tasted success in this event the record books show that current member Paul Hill won the restricted men’s singles in 2006 whilst Rachel Hill and Sue Jacklin were triumphant in the restricted ladies doubles back in 2012. Current chairman Steve Jones won the restricted men’s doubles with R Osbourne back in 2004 whilst all the way back in 1996 Ian Teasdale, who still captains our Wetherby B outfit in Division five of the Harrogate league, paired up with A Cooper to lift the restricted mixed doubles!.

 

Mixing With The Famous!

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Head coach Angela Crossley was in Scotland during the week at the ‘She Rallies’ training event which aims to attract and retain more girls and women in tennis across the UK. Angela is seen above with Andy Murrays mum Judy, who along with the LTA, is helping to grow the female workforce in tennis.