Wetherby B Reach Semi Final In Autumn Knockout Cup

Tuesday had seen windy weather but dry conditions as Wetherby B and Thirsk B did battle for a place in the semi final of the Autumn Cup restricted competition. Wetherby had won 4-0 at Harrogate Racquets D last week but with Dawn Steel and Marise Richfield absent Rachel Butterworth and Louise Beasley stepped in to partner Kevin Duckenfield and captain Mike Triffitt.

Thirsk had received a bye into the quarter final and sent a strong team. Captain Guy Baragwanath had been the clubs leading points scorer for Thirsk B in Division 5 of the summer leagues whilst Anne Titchmarsh had been a regular in that section too. Becky Robson had been one of the leading ladies for the Thirsk A team which had narrowly failed to gain promotion from Division 3 whilst Dave Johnston had seen plenty of action in that same section. This left the visitors as slight favourites in what looked an intriguing clash.

With the wind slowing down and the sun shining, Kevin Duckenfield and Mike Triffitt opened proceedings on court two against Guy Baragwanath and Dave Johnson and as they say in footballing terms, this was certainly a game of two halves. The Thirsk pair were quickly out of the traps and with some big hitting from deep and some tremendous court coverage Guy was certainly looking very impressive. Partner Johnson produced some clever play and in all honesty the Wetherby pair were struggling for a foothold. In what seemed like a flash they had been well beaten 0-6. A pep talk from ladies first team player Lucy Wright playing on court one however seemed to spur the chaps into action and they came out fighting in the second. Duckenfield began to let loose and serving with venom and hitting big from deep Wetherby began to click into gear. Triffitt was happy to play a consistent game with plenty of well executed returns and covering the whole of the court he and Kevin were playing some impressive tennis. The shell shocked visitors had no answer as the hosts levelled after a 6-1 success. This set up a Championship third set tie break to 10 to determine the rubber. Thirsk moved 1-4 clear but Wetherby battled back to lead 7-5 and with the winning line in sight held their nerve to record an unlikely 10-6 victory.

 Over on court three Rachel Butterworth and Louise Beasley were enjoying one another’s company and playing exceedingly well. They had taken the opening set against Anne Titchmarsh and Becky Robson after a cosy 6-3 win but the Thirsk ladies had battled back well to level following a 3-6 success. This left the rubber to be decided on another third set championship tie break. This turned out to be a real thriller with both pairs producing some memorable tennis. A number of long rallies were played out and with Butterworth paroling the baseline and hitting well from deep Wetherby looked determined to seal victory. Beasley was producing some lovely smashes at the net and was proving difficult to lob. However Robson and Titchmarsh were equally tenacious and the watching crowd were certainly enjoying the action. In all honesty there was very little to separate the teams and both had chances to clinch victory. Finally after a marathon the hosts prevailed 16-14 in a classic encounter.

 That looked to give Wetherby a massive boost as they led 2-0 going into the mixed doubles final round. Kevin and Rachel now moved to court one to take on Becky and Dave whilst Mike and Louise entertained Guy and Anne on court two. The lights were on and the rain was now beginning to fall which would make conditions difficult but none of this appeared to disrupt the players. No surprise that both matches would be fought tooth and nail with no quarter given . Kevin continued to serve well whilst Rachel was hitting so many lovely forehand returns but the classy Thirsk pair were matching them and at 4-4 the first set was in the balance. However Dave produced some impressive net winners and with Becky ever so consistent Thirsk took the opener 4-6.

 Things were equally as tight next door where the teams battled it out and with no pair taking control the opener would see a tie break after a 6-6 stalemate. Once more it was hard to split the teams but Wetherby just stayed ahead and finally took the honours 7-4 after Beasley really turned on the style with some clever cross court winners.

 Kevin and Rachel were looking to level matters on the show court and just like the first set the second was just as competitive. The tennis on show was testament to all concerned especially as the rain and wind were playing havoc and controlling the ball and moving were becoming quite a task. It was going to take a moment of magic to break the deadlock but once more after a 6-6 deadlock another tie break was needed. A brilliant performance from Butterworth and Duckenfield saw them level the tie and they knew a championship tie break to 10 was now needed to settle the outcome.

 Back on court two Triffitt and Beasley were going along nicely and if anything the conditions were helping the hosts as their clever and slower short game was proving difficult to handle. Guy was certainly not giving up the ghost and in such wet conditions his court coverage was incredible. Louise was continuing to dominate the net and some of her smashes were out of this world. Triffitt pinned the visitors back with lobs and deep balls and with some clever spinning cross court returns the pair were moving ahead. They led 5-1 with the winning post in site but back came Thirsk to take the next . However a final last push saw Wetherby clinch the rubber and the match with a 6-2 success. As news filtered through to Kevin and Rachel there was much relief and they narrowly lost the tie break 8-10 which thankfully was now immaterial.

 Wetherby therefore clinched a 3-1 victory to set up a semi final with opponents as yet unknown. A big thanks to tonight’s gallant runners up from Thirsk who never threw the towel in and in all honesty there was very little between the sides as the number of tie breaks confirmed along with a finish time that was almost 10pm!

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Well done to Kevin Duckenfield, Louise Beasley, Rachel Butterworth and Mike Triffitt on tonights fantastic win.

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A great effort from Anne Titchmarsh, Guy Baragwanath, Becky Robson and Dave Johnston who ensured tonights match was ever so close.

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Mike Park Completes Coast To Coast Walk

Just over a week ago I walked down a steep, narrow road that led into the heart of the fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay and duly dipped my boots in the north sea.  Completing the Coast to Coast walk is one of the most rewarding achievements in my life and will live long in my memory.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone, not least because of the fantastic scenery, but also because of the people we met along the way.

I’d like to thank everyone who donated to St Leonard’s Hospice for your generosity and for your words of encouragement.  In total my friend Ian and I have raised over £1100 for the hospice.

Thank you

Mike Park

Finals Day 2018 Report

Well thankfully the weather blessed finals day and all matches were completed in dry conditions. The day had begun at 10am when Richard Franks and Katie Barrett defeated Mike Triffitt and Louise Beasley in a close three setter to advance to the mixed doubles final. Those four all returned later in some capacity.

The Men’s singles opened proceedings on court one with the top two seeds Jamie Perkins and Josh Bayliss doing battle. Josh was looking to retain his crown but a match for the men’s first team in the morning left him looking jaded and despite a big effort he couldn’t contain the impressive tournament favourite Jamie. Perkins was serving big and hitting hard from deep and with some lovely forehand winners and clever backhand returns he was making things extremely tough for the champion. In a match which was very high on quality the pair entertained a good sized crowd before Perkins ran out a 6-1,6-2 winner to lift the crown.

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Meanwhile over on court two Katie Barrett was taking on Anne Lillywhite and these two friends who are team mates in both the ladies and mixed teams were certainly giving it everything . Anne was using the width of the court well to stretch her opponent and with Katie unable to dominate the net like she can Lillywhite was moving ahead on the scoreboard. She took the opener 6-2 but Barrett was keen to ensure she didn’t run away with things and the second set was close throughout. Eventually Anne recorded a 6-2,6-4 success after a narrow second set success.

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The show court then witnessed the ladies doubles which featured Janine Smith and Sue Perkins who took on Mary Fidler and Louise Beasley. Smith crawled off her sick bed but was looking sharp at the net especially as partner Perkins was producing some ferocious shots from deep. However Mary and Louise didn’t look fazed and the opener was very tight indeed. Eventually the favourites just edged it 7-5. Beasley made some crucial winners at the net and with Fidler battling away they were giving it everything to bounce back. However Smith and Perkins remained calm and focused and with some quality took the title after a 7-5,6-3 victory.

 

Richard Franks and Walter Skubiak were over on court two playing Kevin Duckenfield and Greg Vince in the final of the Men’s doubles. This turned out to be a real war of attrition with a number of long rallies dominated by the baseliners. However Kevin and Greg made the better start and with Duckenfield producing some lovely net play took the opener 6-2.

Richard ‘Duracell battery’ Franks however has a habit of winning three set matches and been one of the fittest players at the club didn’t look overly concerned. He was right to be confident as showing a very patient approach alongside the consistent Skubiak they bagged the second set 6-4. The Championship tie break to ten couldn’t have been closer and as the match swung both ways the crowd were kept on the edge of the seats watching in excitement. Finally Richard and Walter prevailed 11-9 after a real thriller.

There was no rest for Richard and Greg however as after a short rest they were back on the show court to finish the day off in the Mixed doubles. Richard paired with Katie and Greg with Anne as the girls renewed rivalry after the singles. It was no surprise to those left watching that the first set would go down to the wire with Richard and Katie taking it on a tie break for 7-6. By now the floodlights were on and as the rallies remained well contested and hard fought the match was going on well into the evening. Both pairs were fighting for their lives and finding extra energy reserves produced some tremendous play. However with another tie break looming and 8pm fast approaching, Franks and Barrett finished the stronger for a 7-5,7-5 success after a memorable display.

A big thanks to organisers Mike Triffitt and Helen Robinson who were assisted by Ellie Triffitt this afternoon.

 

Well done to all those on show and to everyone who came to support today. Many of the players made a big effort to complete matches during the last five weeks and that is greatly appreciated.

 

Wilson Tie Break 10’s

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From left to right Gabe, Luke, Max, Henry, Brad and Nathan with organiser Josh in the background.

Friday evening saw six 14 & 15 year olds compete in the Wilson Tie Break 10’s competition. There were two groups of three players with the winners of each group contesting the final and the runners up competing for 3rd/4th and the third place finishers contesting for 5th/6th.

 We witnessed some tremendous tennis with the standard really high. Nathan Little from Knaresborough beat Luke to secure fifth place whilst Gabriel Mead just got the better of Max  Svenson to take bronze. The final proved the most competitive and closest finish of the evening with the match going down to the wire. Henry Brown took on Bradley Triffitt and what an epic it turned out to be. Triffitt took the opener 10-7 before Brown levelled with a 10-6 success. Bradley looked poised for victory when holding a 9-7 lead in the final set before a tremendous comeback saw Henry home 10-9 to clinch the title in front of an appreciate crowd. Henry now qualifies to play at the National Tennis Centre in London hosted by Kyle Edmund but before then is back on court Saturday to face Josh Bayliss in the quarter final of the Men’s singles in the Wetherby event.

 A big thanks to Josh Bayliss for organising and the players and parents who supported. The future looks promising judged on the quality we witnessed tonight for sure.

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Congratulations to Henry and Bradley for a well fought final with some superb tennis on show.

 

Finals Day Sunday September 16 2pm Start

After five weeks of competition we are eagerly looking forward to finals day this Sunday. We have been fairly lucky with the weather although still await the outcome of games in the Men’s singles and Mixed doubles . Josh Bayliss is meeting Henry Brown Saturday morning at 9-45am with the winner then advancing to a semi-final with Tom Warburton at 4pm. The winner of that will play Jamie Perkins in the final scheduled for 2pm Sunday on court one. Also at 2pm the ladies final between Katie Barrett and Anne Lillywhite will take place on court two.

 Barrett will have an early start as she partners Richard Franks against Louise Beasley and Mike Triffitt in the Mixed doubles semi final 10am Sunday morning. The winner progresses to play Greg Vince and Anne Lillywhite later that afternoon. The Men’s doubles is scheduled for 4pm and will feature Greg Vince and Kevin Duckenfield v Richard Franks and Walter Skubiak. The ladies doubles will involve Sue Perkins and Janine Smith v Louise Beasley and Mary Fidler.

 Fingers crossed the weather gods are smiling and we have a dry day although sure the wine will be flowing off court!. Hope to see a good crowd to support the players who have battled hard to reach this stage.

Thanks

Mike Triffitt & Helen Robinson – Tournament organisers.

 

Wetherby B Progress In Autumn Cup

Wetherby B were hoping to emulate Wetherby C ,who had shocked David Lloyd C on Tuesday, and win their opening round in the Autumn Cup when they travelled to Harrogate Racquets D this evening. Captain Mike Triffitt was joined by Kevin Duckenfield, Dawn Steel and Marise Richfield who had all been part of the Wetherby team that had just been unable to avoid relegation from Division Four during the summer. Racquets fielded players from a division below so Wetherby began as favourites.

Lovely conditions greeted the players and with the carpet courts in fine fettle and the floodlights at Racquets one of the best in the Harrogate League there would be no excuses.

Duckenfield and Triffitt opened on court one and faced Racquets captain Neil Bostock and Brian Quinn. Bostock is a tall player and hits with power and creates some lovely angles whilst Quinn is a tricky opponent with a consistent serve and great court coverage. However the Wetherby men were content to adopt a consistent game plan themselves and ease into the contest. At 2-2 there was nothing to split the pairs but then Duckenfield began to turn up the heat and started to boom some quick serves down to put the hosts on the back foot. Triffitt made some nice smashes and volley’s at the net and with Kevin firing some nice winners from deep the visitors stated to gain control. Despite a battling performance from Racquets Wetherby took the opener 2-6 and didn’t give the hosts much of a look in during the second as they completed a 0-6 success for a 0-2 victory.

Over on court two Dawn Steel and Marise Richfield were teaming up in the ladies rubber and they took on Ann Tunstall and Bex Barclay. The Wetherby girls are more than happy to play the long game and with a number of nice returns were enjoying the extended rallies. Tunstall is a great fighter and was all over the court whilst the rangy Barclay certainly looked the part and with some powerful hitting was finding plenty of success thanks to her lovely deep forehands. Steel was also covering every inch of the court and ensuring Wetherby would not be found wanting and with the classic easy flowing style of Richfield the duo formed a nice partnership. In a lovely rubber the visitors finally proved a little more match savvy to run out 2-6,2-6 winners and give Wetherby a 0-2 advantage going into the final round.

Kevin and Dawn then took on Neil and Ann on court one. The Wetherby duo have been regulars during the summer and in truth were Wetherby’s top performers. They have a great on court relationship and used this to good effect tonight. Once more Duckenfield was serving with real venom and with Steel happy to do the running they were going to be a tough nut to crack. Bostock was doing his best with some more astute angled returns and Tunstall was giving everything to the cause but in fairness the higher rated couple proved too strong and they ran out cosy 0-6,1-6 winners.

Triffitt and Richfield had played twice in the summer and with Marise a natural backhand she was able to complement the forehand of Mike. They took on Quinn and Barclay. The opener started very competitively and at 2-2 both teams were feeling they had a chance of victory. The crucial game came on Brian’s serve when, after what seemed at least ten deuce games, the visitor’s managed to break and kicked for home. They reeled off a further three games to win 2-6. The hosts were certainly not throwing in the towel however and with Brain chasing everything and Bex cleverly avoiding Triffitt at the net with some terrific angles, the second set was once more hard fought. Eventually the greater consistency from Wetherby was the main difference and they managed another 2-6 success which completed a 0-2 victory.

Another great contest and not a dispute in sight in a match played in a great spirit. Although a final 0-4 victory for Wetherby may have looked comfortable they were certainly made to work extremely hard and great credit to the hosts for not rolling over.

Wetherby now travel to face Thirsk A which I suspect will be a tough ask as Thirsk narrowly missed out on promotion from Division three in the summer leagues. For now Wetherby will enjoy victory and think about Thirsk later of course!

Thanks to Racquets captain Neil Bostock for organising and been a great host.

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From left to right Captain Mike Triffitt, Dawn Steel, Marise Richfield and Kevin Duckenfield celebrate victory.

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Gallant runners up representing Harrogate Racquets from left to right were captain Neil Bostock, Ann Tunstall, Brian Quinn and Bex Barclay.

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