Collingham Maintain Impressive Winter League Form

The weather gods were smiling Friday evening allowing the rearranged Winter League fixture between Wetherby 2 and Collingham to go ahead. Both teams endeavored to retain their same quartet from the original fixture and with only Debbie Vines absent that was almost possible. Collingham regular Katie Barrett returned in her place to partner Jonathan Tyler whilst Bradley Triffitt and Louise Beasley continued their blossoming partnership. For Wetherby captain Richard Franks teamed up with Anne Lillywhite whilst the exciting Dave Rowlands joined forces with youngster Iris Greaney who is enjoying her Winter League outings.

Brad and Louise are a confident duo and have shown excellent team work supporting Collingham this season. They took on Richard and Anne and this always looked a keen affair. Brad and Richard were trading some tremendous baseline rallies whilst Louise was ready to pounce at the net given the chance. Anne has always been a big hitter and her tremendous left handed returns have won her countless points during a long distinguished career representing Wetherby. Brad was producing some solid serving and with Collingham beginning to dictate matters the visitors moved ahead. However Richard is a fierce competitor and ensured this would stay close throughout. Finally a 4-8 success for Collingham after an entertaining rubber.

On court two Jonathan and Katie were making their debut together as were Dave and Iris. Dave joined Wetherby in the summer and his great personality makes him a popular chap. He is all action on court as he chases every ball down and covers every inch of the surface. Always wearing a smile he is great to have around. Iris has come through the junior ranks but is now stepping up to competitive action and is already reaping the benefits of this. She is a strong hitter from deep and confident with her service. She is looking to improve her short game and become more involved at the net. Jonathan is another new recruit and has already caught the eye at the club with his relaxed attitude on court and very efficient game. He serves well, hits hard and crucially is very effective at the net. He and Katie were soon into stride and gelling well. However things were tight early on before the visitors managed to forge clear to run out cosy 3-9 victors at the conclusion.

So with Collingham leading 7-17 round two began. The men’s rubber looked mouthwatering on paper and so it proved. This really was a great advert for men’s tennis with each player making a significant contribution. Plenty of thrilling points had to be hard won before Collingham just shaded the contest 5-7.

The ladies event however proved the main difference on the evening and it was Louise and Katie who put their experience and league game class to good use. Anne battled hard and Iris was returning with venom but they couldn’t match their opponents for consistency and with Collingham dominating the net they eventually won 0-12, albeit that was very harsh on the hosts.

So with the match almost won and a little drizzle in the air the final round began quickly. This proved to be the closest of the evening and both rubbers were always ever so close. Richard and Ann had enjoyed success together in the mixed two seasons ago and they were having fun back together in partnership. Jonathan and Katie continued their promising start together and in fairness it was the quality finishing that settled many of the games. Eventually a 6-6 draw was a fair result after a good battle.

On court one things were equally as tight and Dave and Iris certainly upped the pace with a really impressive performance. Dave is a left hander and his serves were causing real problems for Collingham. With Iris strong the pair were always ahead and the Collingham top seeds were left chasing the game. Louise couldn’t make her usual impact at the net and despite Brads excellent cross court returns, the amazing reactions from Dave saw him intercept on several occasions. At 5-6 down Brad served strong to level the tie and again no one could argue that 6-6 was a fair reflection of events.

Tonight really summed up the spirit of Winter League with all eight players enjoying their evening and playing the game with smiles and good sportsmanship. This can only be of benifit to Wetherby and with new players now on board and youngsters continuing to improve after been given chances, the future is looking very bright for the club.

Congratulations to Jonathan Tyler, Katie Barrett, Louise Beasley and Bradley Triffitt who braved the cold conditions to help keep Collingham at the top of the Winter League table.

An encouraging performance from Dave Rowlands, Anne Lillywhite, Iris Greaney and Richard Franks who contributed plenty to an excellant evening of tennis in a gallent Wetherby display.

Whistle Down The Wind

Leeds ladies first team captain Bev Lyn will once again be showcasing her acting skills along with husband Fred, who has been a member at Castlegarth for many years. Anita and Ellie Triffitt are also involved this year along with Megan Mead in the production of Whistle down the Wind performed by the Wetherby Musical Theatre Group held at Wetherby High School. Four evening performances from Tuesday February 18 to Friday February 21 inclusive with ticket details enclosed below.

Classy Wetherby 1 Back In Winter League Title Hunt

After a filthy day of wind and rain, there appeared little hope of any action in the Winter League this evening but thankfully the improved forecast proved spot on and with the wind reducing and the evening staying dry Wetherby 1 hosted Rufforth 2 without a drop of rain on view!

Wetherby fielded a strong quartet with Lucy Wright partnering Steve Jones and Helen Robinson with Roger Fawcuss giving them two equally strong couples. Rufforth captain Philippa Page was absent so vice-captain Dan Russell took over the duties and was joined by Christine Place whilst Andy Ivell and Judith Evans formed a very experienced pair.

Lucy and Steve had been successful last season when playing influential roles helping the club to the title and they teamed up for their first match of this campaign. They took on Judith and Andy. This was also a clash of the chairmen with Steve and Andy holding that role at the respective clubs. Lucy has been a regular this term whilst Steve was making his first appearance but the pair were quickly into stride and looking strong as always. You wont find many more competative females than Lucy on the circuit and she was giving everything, especially with some consistent hitting from deep. Steve is a canny player and his famous spin game was been used to great effect. The Wetherby duo were calm and playing some well-constructed tennis just had the upper hand. They needed to be on form however as another wily veteran Andy was showing why he is still a force to be reckoned with. After an opening service game that was won without a ball been retuned in play, he was producing some excellent crafty shots and ably supported by the impressive Judith Evans they ensured this rubber was competative and close throughout. In the end Wetherby were victorious 8-4 but this proved an excellent and absorbing affair.

On Court two Roger Fawcuss was back on court for his first appearance of the season and he looked fresh and ready for action. Helen Robinson is a regular in the Winter League and the ladies first team player is always a crucial player for the club. Roger was booming some highly impressive serves that quite frankly looked impossible to return and with his excellent serve and volley approach was looking in mean form. Helen has a lovely backhand and some of her exquisite volleys were a delight to watch. Dan has been a big improver in the last two years in the Winter League and he hits big from deep and has superb court coverage. Christine Place is a standing dish in the Rufforth ladies first team and it’s easy to see why as her keen eye is used to create some clever angles and her drop shots are a killer tool. With Roger showing his men’s first team form to unleash a heavy artillery of firepower the hosts ran out cosy 9-3 winners in another contest that was closer than the score line would indicate.

A solid start for the reigning winter league champions saw them move ahead 17-7 after the opening round and they were keen to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Roger and Steve are a strong partnership and these old friends offer a range of attacking options and work well together. Roger was once again on fire and was proving difficult to contain such was his power. Steve was providing a number of excellent finishes with his ‘soft hands’ approach reaping dividends. However Andy and Dan were not going down without a fight and maintained a big effort during this quality clash. Dan was able to chase down most returns and with Andy’s strong anticipation skills the visitors were enjoying the challenge. Ultimately Wetherby ran out 9-3 winners after a good tussle.

Helen and Lucy are regulars in the ladies first team and have a good rapport on court. They started strongly against Judith and Christine and were clinical with their finishing. Lucy was content to rally from deep but often produced her best moments at the net where, leaping like a salmon, she was dominating. Helen returns very low and she often caught the visitors unaware with some amazing shots that floated over the net and angled away for plenty of winners. Rufforth battled ever so hard and were unlucky to be on the end of a 10-2 reverse but credit the Wetherby big guns for an efficient display.

So the champs were almost over the line and looking to boost their points difference as the final round began. Roger and Helen were on the show court but had to dig deep to keep Andy and Judith at bay. There was a contrast of styles on show but the Rufforth duo were happy to defend against their big hitting opponents and strike when an opportunity arose. Andy was rolling back the years with some impressive running and court coverage and made many eye catching overhead smashes which are worthy of mention. Judith plays with a smile and is a good competitor. She made some lovely winners at the net and the Rufforth pair were playing well. But of course it was still an uphill task facing Fawcuss who maintained his excellent evening form with another polished performance. Helen was also in good form and the pair finally secured a 8-4 victory.

On court four Steve and Lucy were moving through the gears and they were keeping the score moving along nicely against the spirited Dan and Christine. Using the width of the court Wetherby exploited the gaps and with craft and guile were racking up some lovely winners. This was a good contest and a 10-2 success for the Wetherby top dogs ended a very good evening with the hosts prevailing 54-18. This moves them to within two points of Rufforth 1 who do look the team to beat having won all five of their fixtures. The battle between the big two will be significant with only a win keeping Wetherby in the hunt to retain their crown whilst a victory for Rufforth 1 would see them putting the champagne on ice. The two meet on Tuesday February 4th

Thanks to all on show this evening for providing  good entertainment on a chilly evening and we look forward to seeing you all back in action sooner rather than later.  

Well played Steve Jones, Lucy Wright, Helen Robinson and Roger Fawcuss who guided Wetherby to an impressive success tonight.

A big thanks as always to our friends from Rufforth who are great supporters of the Winter League. Andy Ivell, Judith Evans, Christine Place and Dan Russell played ever so well in a battling display.

Winter League Favourites Rufforth 1 Show Their Class

The top two teams in the Winter League were in action this evening with both Rufforth 1 and Collingham having opened their campaigns with four straight wins each. Collingham captain Tony Cutler was without regular playing partner Katie Barrett so Anne Lillywhite stepped in whilst with Louise Beasley and Bradley Triffitt absent, Andy Roberts and Christina Plant took over at seed one.

Rufforth were missing James Edmonds and captain Kate Lewis but still fielded a very strong four with acting captain Sue Yoward partnering Tom Shouksmith and Kathryn Elliott Smith and Ed Ziegler making up the quartet.

Sue and Tom have been the cornerstone of the Rufforth team for many years and they faced Andy and Christina on court one in the opener. This proved a very competative affair with the Collingham duo making a cracking start and leading 5-2 were threatening an upset. With Andy serving quick and hitting well from deep they were forcing Rufforth into early errors and Christina was producing a solid effort with some impressive net play. The power of Tom however loomed large and finally he began to get his eye in as he produced some thunderous returns and unplayable serves. Sue is a good all rounder and showing strong mental strength Rufforth finished the better to record a narrow 7-5 success.

On court two Tony and Anne had enjoyed a great title winning season for Wetherby in Harrogate mixed league division six but facing Kathryn and Ed was a huge rise in class. They looked determined to give everything but the big guns were soon into stride and quickly moved ahead 6-0. The duo were making their competitive debuts together after impressing at social and looked comfortable . Ed has a lovely forehand and quick serve and he moves effortlessly around court. Kathryn is a real battler and with great court coverage she is happy to chase any seemingly lost cause down and often makes the return. She actually covered 5 km this evening she informed me at the conclusion which was certainly a terrific effort. Not looking downhearted Tony and Anne managed to secure their opening game and with some hard hitting from Anne they were certainly causing problems during the second half. Tony’s trickery using his famous spin was seen to good effect and the pair were delighted to close the final margin to 9-3.

Rufforth began round two leading 16-8 and looking every inch the Winter league title favourites. The men’s rubber produced some more hard hitting with Tom and Ed showing the form that had seen them play crucial roles in helping Appleton Roebuck to a mid table finish in the York men’s division three. Tony was enjoying the challenge but left applauding many incredible shots that were whizzing past but he prevailed to produce plenty of memorable moments of his own. With Andy matching Rufforth for pace and power Collingham managed to stay competitive throughout but were on the wrong end of a 9-3 score line.

The ladies rubber on court two promised to be intriguing and so it proved. Anne Lillywhite has a super left handed forehand and when she makes contact the ball certainly flies. Borrowing a racket after breaking a string in the opener, she powered some wonderful winners past the bemused Sue and Kathryn and with Christina remaining strong Collingham led early. Sue is a very calm and clinical competitor and with Kathryn’s amazing energy the Rufforth girls began to take control. An excellent affair resulted in a narrow 7-5 success for the favourites but all four ladies were excellant.

So Rufforth led 32 16 and looking to finish the evening well and regain outright leadership of the table. Sue and Tom were now moving through the gears clinically and with some huge hitting Tom was unplayable. Sue was dominating the net and Tony and Anne were having to give everything to stay in the contest. To their great credit they never stopped trying and were delighted to take a couple of games with Rufforth running out 10-2 winners.

The best rubber of the evening was perhaps reserved for the last match on court one where Andy and Christina looked keen to hand Collingham their only rubber. Andy was playing Harrogate mixed division four at Dacre last season and Leeds men’s division five but he looks better than that and is a player full of promise. He and Christina are already forming a useful partnership in this their second match together and they were always ahead against Ed And Kathryn. Some clever play from Andy had him using the width of the court to place some lovely winners and Rufforth were unable to match the Collingham top seeds. Kathryn continued her amazing all energy display with some backs to the wall defending and I don’t think I have witnessed anyone put in the work this season that she did tonight. With Ed finding gaps the score line remained tight but a 7-5 success was much deserved for the Collingham duo.

At the conclusion Rufforth had run out cosy 47-25 winners and with five straight wins are the team to catch at the summit. Once again a match played in great spirit and thankfully with only light occasional drizzle, conditions were pretty pleasant despite the cold.   

Congratulations to Tom Shouksmith, Sue Yoward, Kathryn Elliott Smith and Ed Ziegler who helped Rufforth maintain their 100% record in this seasons Winter League with victory this evening.

A tremendous effort from Tony Cutler, Anne Lillywhite, Christina Plant and Andy Roberts who ensured the match was ever so exciting.


Image result for wimbledon tennis images

You have until FEBRUARY 14th to opt in for the Wimbledon ballot ! Remember the clubs allocation of tickets reflects the numbers of our membership opting in and linking to Wetherby Tennis Club. To qualify for our ballot you must be a paid up member for the 2020-2021 season and have opted in so if you love your live SW19 action….opt in before 14th February. Simply log in to your Member’s Area using your LTA username and password and select OPT IN* – there are links if you have forgotten one or both, and there is a very helpful LTA telephone Helpline 020 84877000.

Good luck!


Steve Jones – Chairman

Wetherby 1 Prove Too Canny In Winter League Derby Clash

With Temperatures soaring the Winter League derby match between Wetherby 1 and Wetherby 2 was played in Mediterranean conditions and I even managed to ditch the hat and gloves for tonight’s exciting encounter!. Regulars Lucy Wright and Adam Turner were joined by Louise Beasley and Richard Franks for the first team with the second team able to send out four juniors. Ed Grogan and Elizabeth Hewett had to withdraw with Illness and with females short on the ground, Gabe Mead and Henry Brown formed one pair with Bradley Triffitt and Sophie Hunt the other.

Sophie is a relative newcomer to the club and has been showing up well in training. She has played twice previously in the Winter League and was partnering Bradley for their debut together tonight. They faced a tough task against Adam and Lucy who are one of the form couples of the Winter League this season and have a great understanding on court together. It was quickly evident that Wetherby 1 would have plenty of firepower and Adam served very impressively in the opening game whilst Lucy was hitting hard from deep with great consistency. This proved a very enjoyable contest on court 1 for the watching crowd with Brad also looking good from the baseline and using great court coverage to keep in many of the rallies. Sophie was also showing great strength at the baseline and eager to intercept at the net. She has a very decent service game which caused both her opponents trouble but couldn’t match the overall consistency of the higher rated first team duo. Adam was a joy to watch as he unleashed plenty of incredible forehand winners and his impressive net play always meant the favourites were ahead. Lucy is a very competitive player and showing great mental strength was intent on securing a big win. This was evident during her final service game where she saved six break points before finally securing success. With great credit the juniors ensured they took many of the games to Deuce but struggling to contain Adams pace and power they finally succumbed 10-2 .

On court two Henry Brown kindly filled in as lady 2 and he was joined by Under 16 partner Gabe Mead who at just fourteen is the youngest player seen in this seasons Winter League. Mead is a lovely left hander and often catches the eye at coaching with his aggressive hitting. Henry is also a decent prospect and the two would make life difficult for Louise and Richard. The Wetherby 1 pair are always confident and with a great freedom they were playing well. Richard bases his game on consistent returns and knowing when to strike whilst Louise is happy controlling the net and rarely serves a double fault. The boys were also enjoying themselves and happy to try hit hard they ensured this rubber would go down to the wire. However as has often been the case this season, Franks wont be beaten and he and Louise ran out slender 7-5 victors after a tremendous battle.

Brad teamed up with Gabe on the show court and they faced Adam and Richard in the men’s contest. Some exhilarating tennis followed which had the crowd on the edge of their seats with plenty of long rallies . Adam however proved the class and the standout performer as once more he shone. His service game was unplayable with many aces whilst the steady play of Richard kept the pressure on the juniors. Brad and Gabe have enjoyed plenty of success together at junior level and were enjoying the challenge raised in class but any error was punished and they couldn’t again match the consistency of their opponents, They battled manfully and were happy to secure 4 games but fell 8-4 at the finish.

On court 2, Henry and Sophie had started well against Lucy and Louise and were hoping to surprise the first team with some enterprising and free flowing tennis. This was certainly working in the early exchanges as they led 3-2 and threatening an upset. But Lucy and Louise are far too experienced to worry and remaining calm the duo worked themselves back into a lead they would never relinquish. Using the width of the court they had the boys on the back foot and with many a canny shot proved too strong running out cosy 8-4 winners.

So with Wetherby 1 now leading 33-15 it meant the finishing line was almost in sight as the final round began. It was so refreshing to not have to deal with any rain and although the wind was getting stronger the players were enjoying their evening. Lucy and Adam are one of the clubs leading mixed pairs and when they are on song the team always have a great chance of winning. They had to contend with some more big hitting from the juniors but Adam seemed to have an ability to second guess where his opponents were returning and with Lucy a powerful presence at the net they were looking impressive. Gabe and Henry were enjoying this battle however and were certainly not outclassed as they often produced some stunning winners of their own. An 8-4 victory for the top seeds was a fair refection after a good battle.

The last match on court one featured Sophie and Brad against Louise and Richard and this would prove a close and intriguing affair. The youngsters sensed they could perhaps produce a surprise win and there was little between the teams throughout. It’s always extremely difficult to place a winner past Richard Franks but working hard Brad and Sophie were keeping the score line close. Louise can be clinical at the net and with her lovely touch produced some exquisite winners. Sophie continued to impress with some booming serves and is certainly one of the most promising girls at the club. At 5-5 it was in the melting pot but Wetherby 1 were not to be beat once more as they took the last two games to record a narrow 7-5 success ensuring an overall winning margin of 48-24.

I must congratulate all on show tonight who provided great entertainment for the watching crowd which I also must add, is always boosted by watching parents when we have the juniors on show. They will have been highly impressed watching their sons and daughter produce some really encouraging play and one that bodes well for both their futures and the hope that they come through to challenge the adults in the summer teams. Lucy, Adam, Louise and Richard showed why they are so impressive however and once again a special mention for them all as they continue to support the Winter League with great enthusiasm.

Wetherby 1 move into third place on six points and with unbeaten pair Collingham and Rufforth 1 meeting on Thursday, it is certainly proving an exciting season at the summit this time around.

Well played Adam, Lucy, Louise and Richard for a very professional performance tonight.

A great effort from the juniors with Gabe, Sophie, Henry and Brad a real credit to the club following a tremendous evening of tennis thanks.

Happy parents watching their offspring this evening in much warmer conditions than usual too!

Wetherby Tennis Club Summer season 2020 Teams.

Happy New Year to all ! We are starting to plan the 2020 Match tennis summer season ! Hard copies of a form to complete to register your interest are now available in the clubhouse and on the website . Please complete by FEBRUARY 21st .

I am aware those new to the club may need further details so feel free to call me, I have tried to simplify the form for this year so have implemented some small changes.

If anyone would like to be considered as a team captain please call me directly to discuss and apply . (Closing date end of January .)

The link on the website is below and has details for those wishing to volunteer as captain as well as the team form to complete for those wanting to play only.

Many thanks in anticipation

 Jill Abel Match secretary