Collingham Edge Knaresborough 2 In Winter League Thriller

After the disappointment of the previous evening where two winter league games were lost to the weather, tonight was a crisp, cold but dry night allowing Knaresborough 2 and Collingham to play their rearranged clash. Captain Paul White led his Boro troops into battle and was joined by Andy Little , Jan Blogg and Jeanette Bowden who are all great supporters of the Winter League. Collingham captain Tony Cutler was joined by Fiona Chantrey, who kindly stepped in at late notice, whilst youngsters Bradley Triffitt and Sophie Hunt were given an outing together after showing promise at coaching and various social events.

Brad and Sophie began on court one and they faced Paul and Jan. This would be a good test with Paul having been a regular in the Boro first team who had played in Harrogate division two last summer whilst Jan competed in both division two and three for the North Yorkshire outfit. Brad is a regular for Collingham and Sophie has been catching the eye with some impressive performances and the juniors were hoping to cause a shock. Brads game is built on hard hitting from deep and creating some good angles he was playing well. Sophie has great court coverage and enjoys the net. She has a great two handed backhand which was unleashing plenty of winners too. With Paul not able to get his favoured forehand into gear it was Collingham who made all as they led from pillar to post under the watchful eye of dads Mike and Doug on the sidelines. They were certainly impressed with what they saw as Brad and Sophie formed a more than useful partnership here. Jan is a crafty player and with speed around court and good anticipation she was proving a very difficult opponent. Paul is lethal given half a chance at the net and with some big serving this was a hard fought battle. However Collingham were not to be denied and a 8-4 victory was a very impressive result.

Tony and Fiona were making their competitive debuts together and they faced Andy and Jeanette. This duo were regulars with Harlow and now Knarsborough and have an excellent understanding and on court relationship. Andy has a crafty swinging serve whilst Jeanette will run down every ball with her all action style. Andy is also a big hitter and he was certainly punishing Tony and Fiona with some well positioned forehands. Fiona is a classy player whilst Tony uses his unorthodox shot selection to good effect. However Collingham were always on the back foot and couldn’t prevent Boro from running out impressive 9-3 winners.

Round two commenced with Boro ahead 13-11. The men’s rubber looked well matched and both teams looked confident. Brad and Tony have played many times together and they made a cracking start to move into a 4-1 advantage. Brad was having great success with his outswing serve from the advantage side and with Tony showing soft hands at the net the Collingham chaps were gaining in confidence. Paul and Andy are far too experienced to down tools however and they fought back strongly and with some exciting tennis on show this was a close affair. However showing great character Collingham managed to record the win with a narrow 7-5 success.

On court two Fiona and Sophie were also competing together for the first time after meeting at the Ladies second team practice last week. This would be a good challenge for them ahead of hopefully a successful summer season and they soon gelled together. There was plenty of long enthralling rallies with Sophie happy to play the long game and hit from deep whilst Fiona waited to pounce at the net. Fiona used her exquisite backhand to produce some clever winners whilst Sophie dictated the pace and wasn’t afraid to hit big when required. Jan and Jeanette were proving tough cookies though and with some amazing recovery shots and clinical winners ensured this was another close match. Finally Collingham celebrated a 8-4 victory which eased them into a narrow 26-22 lead with the finale to come.

Round three commenced and thankfully with no wind, conditions were perfect for tennis. The show court saw Brad and Sophie entertain Andy and Jeanette and it was the youngsters who were quickly out of the blocks as they stormed into an early 4-0 advantage. However Andy and Jeanette were not concerned and playing some great tennis of their own fought back to 6-5 down with the crucial last game to be served by Jeanette. It was another close one but fittingly as her mum arrived, she hit an incredible two handed backhand winner from out wide to clinch the point and ensure Collingham took the honours 7-5 after a real thriller.

With a six point lead things were looking rosy and with Tony and Fiona showing improved form from their opener against Paul and Jan it was looking like Boro would struggle to reduce the deficit. Now developing some understanding and upping their game, the Collingham due were proving a real handful and with Fiona content to make some lovely returns and Tony hovering at the net, they were certainly in no mood to lose this rubber. Paul and Jan gave everything but neither couple deserved to lose and a 6-6 draw was a fair reflection of events.

Therefore Collingham made in six wins and twelve points on the season so far as they ran out 39-33 winners moving them back into joint second in the table. A thoroughly entertaining evening and once again great credit to all the players for some outstanding tennis.

Despite the challenges of the season with bad weather and flooding ,hopes are high we will complete and these Friday night clashes are proving popular and a useful way of catching up on the schedule despite a few players mentioning it stops their regular wine and curry Friday night relaxation !!!

A great team performance from Tony Cutler, Fiona Chantrey, Sophie Hunt and Bradley Triffitt helped Collingham to victory this evening.

Many thanks to Andy Little, Jeanette Bowden, Jan Blogg and Paul White who, playing with wide smiles and good banter, ensured a cracking match tonight.

Double Delight For Wetherby In Winter League Tonight

With the courts back in action following court cleaning and the weather dry, Castlegarth hosted a Winter League double header this evening. The top two teams, Wetherby 1 and Rufforth 1 met in what promised to be a mouthwatering clash with both chasing the title. Wetherby 2 were also in action as they hosted Harlow.

Rufforth arrived with six straight wins under their belt and James Edmond teamed up with Kathryn Elliot Smith at seed one with Tom Shouksmith and captain Sue Yoward at two. For Wetherby Jamie Perkins and Angela Crossley made their seasonal debuts whilst regulars Adam Turner and Lucy Wright were at seed two.

Wetherby knew only victory would give them a chance of remaining in the hunt for the crown and Angela and Jamie looked confident ahead of their clash with James and Kathryn. The Wetherby duo are one of the strongest on the York mixed league circuit but hadn’t featured together since the summer. They started brightly however with Jamie oozing class as he covered the court seemingly effortless and hitting hard and finding the gaps. He advanced to the net with real authority and was certainly impressing. Angela has a lovely backhand and her consistent returns and strong volleys meant the hosts were soon racking up the points. James is arguably the strongest man at Rufforth and has been a great supporter of the Winter League over the years. He and newcomer Kathryn had caught the eye during the summer together and the club have high hopes for the pair. Kathryn had been excellent in helping Rufforth 2 to success last week over Collingham but this was a sharp rise in class which she was certainly enjoying. The visitors were chasing everything and James was producing some lovely deft touches from close in. However Wetherby were not to be denied and entertained a good crowd running out cosy 9-3 winners.

Over on court two Adam Turner and Lucy Wright resumed their successful partnership as they faced powerful duo Tom Shouksmith and Sue Yoward. Lucy had struggled with injury during the last month but seemed far easier around court tonight as she was quickly into top gear. Adam was hitting some amazing two handed backhand winners and the aggressive tennis was reaping reward. Tom and Sue and a very strong paring but were struggling to combat the Wetherby duo. Tom has a very strong serve and hits some ferocious returns from deep whilst Sue uses her tall frame to be extremely difficult to pass at the net. Wetherby seemed fired up and remained ever so consistent running out 9-3 winners to give themselves a useful 18-6 advantage after the opening round.

The men’s rubber was one of the best matches ever witnessed at the club with both teams producing some sizzling tennis which left the crowd royally entertained. The balls took a hell of a beating as each player hit with so much venom. Some astonishing rallies followed and a full repertoire of shots were on show. Wetherby were performing well with left hander Adam complementing Jamie and the duo produced many jaw dropping winners. James and Tom were equally as aggressive for Rufforth but perhaps lacked the consistency of the hosts. This really was a superb exhibition however and although Wetherby were 9-3 winners each player deserves rich applause.

The ladies contest was also played to a high standard and there was no quarter given here either. Angela and Lucy have a good understanding and with excellent on court communication were very organised. Kathryn was chasing every ball still and her energy and enthusiasm around the court was certainly very helpful for Ruffoth. Sue was booming down plenty of very quick serves and again she was dominant at the net. There really was little between the pairs but once again it was Wetherby left celebrating after a narrow 7-5 victory.

Wetherby were almost over the line as they led 34-14 but there was no letup in the quality on show. The air was starting to turn decidedly chilly with a slight frost but this didn’t stop the entertainment either.

Lucy and Adam knew they couldn’t take the foot off the pedal if they were to beat James and Kathryn and this proved a titanic tussle. James was producing some amazing shots around the net with his soft hands ensuring many winners whilst Kathryn showed no sign of slowing down despite her energy sapping court coverage. Adam and Lucy were playing well but Rufforth looked determined to take a rubber and they just had the narrowest of advantages as they ran out 5-7 winners in another enthralling encounter.

Over on court two Jamie and Angela were putting the icing on another superb performance as they were enjoying themselves against Sue and Tom. Plenty of end to end rallies but the consistency of the hosts had to be seen as they found the space with some sharp angles to keep the visitors at bay. Showing no signs of fatigue they completed a great nights work with a rousing 10-2 success which left Wetherby victorious 49-23.

Wetherby move four points clear of Rufforth at the summit although the York based side have two games in hand and remain slight favourites for the title with the potential to improve their points difference. Wetherby have one match left against Tadcaster next week them must sit back and await their fate!

Thanks to Jamie Perkins, Angela Crossley, Lucy Wright and Adam Turner for some breath taking tennis tonight.

Gallant runners up James Edmond, Kathryn Elliot Smith, Sue Yoward and Tom Shouksmith who gave everything tonight.

Thanks to Helen Robinson, Guy Wood and Sue Perkins for their support in the stands tonight and not forgetting young Charlotte, who was as good as gold and enjoyed supporting mum Angela on the court!

Wetherby 2 were in action against Harlow who have been a welcome addition to the Winter League this term led by captain and organiser Andy Carrick. This looked to be a very tight affair once the teams were announced with Jill Abel and Andy Roberts at seed one and Sophie Hunt and Dave Rowlands at two for the hosts. Andy was a late call up after withdrawals and he played with Pauline Knight at two with the gentle giant Cassius Petrovan joining up with Rosemary Carter at seed one for Harlow.

It would take a brave man to call this match and so it proved.

Jill and Andy were meeting for the first time but they needed little introduction as they were quickly away against Rosemary and Cassius. Andy has been a great signing from Dacre and already been a regular at the club with a number of Winter League appearances under his belt. Jill was certainly enjoying herself too and the pair quickly developed a good understanding. Cassius is one of the leading men at Harlow playing a significant role in the men’s teams promotion last summer. He is a commanding player using power and strength to good effect. Rosemary is a classy veteran and she used great skill and craft to produce many winners. However Andy was starting to exert and with some big hitting and clever positional play he and Jill were able to celebrate a debut success running out 9-3 victors.

On court four Sophie Hunt and Dave Rowlands were also playing together for the first time but knew they would have a tough tie against Andy and Pauline. The Harrogate clubs pairing have many years’ experience in mixed tennis and this would prove significant against their young and inexperienced opponents. Sophie has been a breath of fresh air at the club as she has shown great improvement throughout the winter. Dave is another newcomer and this happy chappy is also showing signs that he will be useful in the future. However league tennis can be a tough learning curve and the Harlow duo were showing no mercy as they efficiently went about their business. Despite a gallant effort the hosts were no match as they succumbed 1-11 leaving Harlow ahead 10-14 after the opener.

Andy and Dave became quickly acquainted and started their men’s rubber against Andy and Cassius. Dave was enjoying the big hitting and looked far more comfortable than in the mixed. With Andy showing his class the pair were playing well and putting their opponents under pressure. With Cassius hitting hard from deep and Andy as always a danger at the net,there was some cracking tennis on show but Wetherby ran out 8-4 winners to level the match overall.

In a night of debuts, Jill and Sophie met and this proved a canny partnership. Jill used all her experience and guile to ensure the pair were well organised and with Sophie serving plenty of winners and using her court coverage to good effect the Wetherby girls started brightly. Rosemary and Pauline are a tough nut to crack but they were unable to cover as much ground as their opponents who ran out 8-4 winners to give Wetherby a narrow 26-22 lead with one round to play.

Sophie and Dave were looking to improve on their first round effort but Rosemary and Cassius are a confident duo and surged into an early 0-6 lead. However credit the Wetherby pair for not throwing in the towel and they suddenly hit a purple patch where they began to settle and play some super tennis. Rolling off five wins on the bounce they were on fire and although unable to complete a remarkable comeback, a narrow 5-7 defeat was a pleasing and a much appreciated effort.

All eyes were on Jill and Andy who knew the hosts lead was now just two points. However showing no fear they continued an impressive nights work as they were always ahead against a battling Andy and Pauline. The Wetherby top guns carried far too much weaponry and were 8-4 winners thus ensuring a home victory by 39-33.

Thanks to everyone for participating this evening.    

Andy Roberts, Jill Abel, Sophie Hunt and Dave Rowlands helped Wetherby 2 to a great come from behind victory tonight.

Thanks to Cassius Petrovan, Rosemary Carter, Pauline Knight and captain Andrew Carrick for a terrific battle this evening.

York 3 Mixed Development Team

Thanks to all those who returned team forms ahead of the Summer 2020 season. Trials and sessions will be arranged by the various captains over the coming weeks. This year we have entered a third mixed team in the York league aimed primarily as those who were unable to play in league teams previously. Harry Full will kindly captain and organise this team and would appreciate it if those keen to get involved would sign the sheet in the clubhouse. A copy of that sheet is below thanks.

Boston Spa Tennis Club Save The Day!

After two recent floods and with the courts currently awaiting cleaning at Wetherby , we were once again indebted to our near neighbours at Boston Spa who kindly hosted tonight’s Winter League match. Boston took on Knaresborough 2 and thankfully the weather gods were smiling allowing for the match to take place.

Boston ran out impressive 49-23 winners with Jordan Gregory and Pauline Belt once again catching the eye after a strong performance at Wetherby 1 last week. The duo are certainly one of the form couples in the Winter League and with great understanding and a calm demeanor are efficiently clinical. Peter Smith was partnered by Dominque Morrisey who was making a rare appearance in the Winter League but thoroughly enjoyed her evening.

Boston move back up to joint second alongside Rufforth 1 on twelve points although the title favourites have two games in hand.

Peter Smith, Dominque Morrisey, Pauline Belt and Jordan Gregory were in terrific form this evening.

A big thanks to Knaresborough quartet Fran Bakes, Matt Hindle, Sherrie Ashman and captain Paul White for agreeing to the switch and your considerable efforts were greatly appreciated both on and off the court thanks.

Wetherby Tennis Club Suffer Further Flooding

Wetherby Tennis Club was flooded once more during Saturday as the rising river Wharfe breached and covered all five courts. The water level was high in the early morning and around noon had encroached on to the courts and soon engulfed them.

Sunday morning brought better news as the water had receded and was fairly clear on courts four and five which had been recently cleaned. There was plenty of standing water on courts 1-3 inclusive but those were still awaiting cleaning prior to the weekend floods. With silt and debris on those courts the water gathered but no apparent new silt was added thankfully. We will liaise with the court cleaning company and monitor weather reports to decide when the next cleaning will commence but for now all courts are closed and unplayable.

The latest reports are that courts 4 and 5 are been cleaned today, Wednesday Feb 26th, but with more rain and snow on the horizon the remaining courts will more than likely be cleaned next Monday weather permitting thanks.