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.

Wetherby and Tadcaster Play Out Exciting Draw

Tadcaster have been a welcome addition to the Winter League under the captaincy of Will Woodrow this season. He is also the new chairman at the club and this forward thinking individual has also entered a men’s team in the Leeds League next season where they will begin in Division Six. Its great to see tennis in Taddy flourishing and tonight they were at Castlegarth to play the hosts Leeds first team led by captain Mike Triffitt. Under Mikes leadership the team have secured two promotions in three seasons and will be playing in Division four next term. Tonight Mike was partnered by son Bradley with Richard Franks joined by debutant David Warner, who has been improving at social and various other practice and coaching sessions.

Mike and Brad had been the leading pair in Leeds Division five last year but knew they faced a strong challenge against Will, who was joined by Brent Horner. Brent is a very strong player and was competing for St Chads in Division Two recently until his move back to North Yorkshire. As is the norm these days the weather was pretty poor with strong winds and constant drizzle most of the evening but the players were happy to continue and battle commenced. It was soon evident that the conditions would be extremely challenging but the players responded and using the elements were playing some impressive tennis. Mike and Brad had not played together since last season although Brad is a regular in the winter league. The pair would appreciate the run and were a little sluggish during the opener. Will has been a big improver in the Winter League and was thoroughly enjoying the experience of Brent alongside him. With some punishing serving, hard hitting baseline play and deadly accuracy at the net the Triffitts knew they would need to play well to stand any chance against him. The opener was close but at 5-5 the visitors stepped up to claim the first point of the evening following a narrow 5-7 success. In Leeds each set is worth a point with eight available in each match.

Brad was starting to find his rhythm as set two began and with Mike comfortable at the net they took an early 3-1 lead. Tad battled back and at 4-4 the set was in the balance. A crucial break for the hosts allowed Bradley to serve for the set and he continued his good form in that department to secure a 6-4 win and a share of the spoils at 1-1.

Over on court five Richard and David entertained Lindsay Edgar and Sam Benn. Lindsay is no stranger to Wetherby members as he played a crucial role in helping the Wetherby B mixed team to the Harrogate Mixed Division Six title last summer. Sam caught the eye during the Winter League and this promised to be an intriguing contest. Richard had a fantastic season during the summer and was highly influential in the Leeds men’s title success. He also impressed for the York men’s second team and is a very useful player to have at the club. He is mega consistent and with an improved serve was forcing the pace in the early stages. David was also serving well and using his giant frame to dispatch several winners from close range. Lindsay is a tremendous battler and Sam has a very good backhand and there was plenty of good tennis on show. Wetherby took the opener 6-3 and looked confident. However the visitors dug deep and started to exert pressure of their own and with errors creeping in on the Wetherby side suddenly the tie swung Tadcaster’s way. They kicked on to record a useful 2-6 victory so with a 1-1 scoreline the overall scoreboard read 2-2 as the teams swopped opponents.

Mike and Brad moved over to court five and probably knew only two points would suffice. They started very well and with Brad hitting with great venom moved into a 4-0 lead. Perhaps taking the foot off the pedal too early they opened the door and Sam needed no second invitation as he produced a number of back hand winners that left the Triffitts aghast. Lindsay is a very calm and collective figure and with two games it was back to 4-2. However the Triffs regained their composure and battled away to record a 6-2 first set success. They looked keen to complete the double and reducing their error count and finding some wide angles, Brad layed the platform with some excellent groundstrokes. Mike was back to his old self at the net and despite a dogged rearguard action Tadcaster were unable to prevent a 6-0 loss as Wetherby moved 4-2 ahead in the match.

All eyes were now on court four where Will and Brent had taken the first set 3-6. The second was extremely close and with Wetherby leading 5-4 and Richard next to serve excitement was mounting. At 40-15 they had victory almost in sight but two huge winners from the Tad pair forced deuce and they broke to level at 5-5. Another game apiece and a tie break was needed. Brent used all his experience and class now to ensure the visitors would come through as he and Will took the tie break 2-7 and with a 2-0 win they leveled the overall result which finished in an honorable 4-4 tie.

The match finished just in time as the heavens had really opened but this had proved a useful exercise all round with plenty of positives on the evening. Tadcaster have invited us for a return match over at their ground before the summer begins so lets hope for some better weather on that occasion. Tadcaster can certainly look forward to their debut season and in Brent Horner they should certainly have the star man in Division Six.

David Warner, Richard Franks, Bradley Triffitt and Mike Triffitt were all smiles after a 4-4 draw with Tadcaster tonight.

Likewise Brent Horner, Sam Benn, Will Woodrow and Lindsay Edgar had also enjoyed their evening representing Tadcaster.

Wetherby 1 Run Out Narrow Winter League Winners Over Boston Spa

The river Wharfe was rising, the rain was lashing and the wind was howling but despite all those elements the show must go on and thankfully Wetherby 1 and Boston Spa were determined to ensure tonight’s Winter League match between these close rivals went ahead. The hosts were looking for a quick double this week after beating Knaresborough 1 on Tuesday and welcomed Roger Fawcus and Helen Robinson back into the fold. Lucy Wright had been nursing injury but passed a late fitness test to pair up with Andy Roberts who had been impressive against Boro.

Spa captain Katie Gilman was joined by Peter Smith with the duo having helped Boston to success the previous evening in Starbeck whilst standing dish Pauline Belt is once of the classiest ladies on the Winter League circuit and she was joined by Jordan Gregory who has been a great supporter of the event for many years.

This promised to be an intriguing affair with both clubs having tasted defeat just once and still both in the title race. Helen and Roger have done well together recently and are forming a strong partnership. Roger had managed a pass out even on his wife’s birthday and he was in good form tonight, once again relying on a very powerful serve and some dominant net play. Helen is very confidence from the baseline and her consistancy was excellent tonight. The Wetherby top dogs would need to be at their best however as Pauline and Jordan are a match for most. Pauline is a tremendous competitor whilst Jordan uses his slice game to great effect and is also very useful at the net. This tie certainly lived up to expectations with no quartet given but the hosts managed to grab the final two games to run out very narrow 7-5 winners.

Lucy Wright and Andy Roberts were meeting for the first time but after a short warm up and quick introductions the pair were soon into stride against Kate and Peter. Lucy is extremely competitive and always gives her all whilst Andy has a strong serve and lovely backhand. Kate and Peter couldn’t match the enthusiasm of the Wetherby couple who looked determined to shine on debut together. They were gaining in confidence as the tie progressed and with some clinical tennis ran out impressive 10-2 victors to give Wetherby a handy 17-7 advantage going into round two.

Drizzle was proving frustrating but the players continued and managed to adapt well to the wind. Roger and Andy were also introduced for the first time and this duo looked to form a powerful pairing. Peter and Jordan have been partnering together for as long as I can remember and their contrasting styles has seen them enjoy great success over the years. This was a very good match with both pairs showing excellent form to entertain the watching crowd. Most points were hard fought and often finished off with aplomb. Little between the sides but again Wetherby managed to take the final two games for another narrow 7-5 victory.

Over on court five and aware that Boston were now trailing 24-12, Kate and Pauline knew they needed a big win to reduce the arrears and they set about achieving just that. There was some mammoth rallies and some outstanding play as each player covered every inch of the court as they desperately searched for points. Both pairs have played together many years and this was evident with some tremendous team work from both couples. There looked to be little in this rubber but Boston were nailing the crucial points and despite Lucy and Helen running themselves ragged, it was the visitors who prevailed 3-9 meaning the scoreboard read 27-21 with the last round to follow.

The temperature was dropping off court but increasing on it as the players were really fired up for battle in the finale. Lucy and Andy were finding the going much tougher against Pauline and Jordan with the Spa pair playing some vintage tennis. Jordan’s error count was incredibly low and Pauline continued to find extra reserves of energy. Andy was struggling to stamp his authority and the tie was slipping away from the hosts. Some more clinical finishing from Boston saw them run out 3-9 winners and suddenly the match was all square at 30-30.

Roger and Helen were entertaining Kate and Peter and thankfully for Wetherby were showing no sign of fatigue. The pair have really shone in Winter League this season and with super teamwork were like a well oiled machine as they clinically went about business. They had the uncanny knack of always finding space and making the right option and despite Boston’s huge effort it was ultimately to no avail. With a 9-3 success they ensured Wetherby would go two points clear at the summit following a nail biting 39-33 victory.

Considering the testing conditions this was a superb match and all eight players must be richly applauded for their outstanding efforts. Wetherby may have a two point lead but Rufforth have two games in hand so the clash between the pair on March 5th will surely be pivotal in the destiny of the crown this season.

Well played Roger Fawcus, Helen Robinson, Lucy Wright and Andy Roberts who guided Wetherby 1 to a crucial success this evening.

A great effort and some excellant smiles from Peter Smith, Kate Gilman, Pauline Belt and Jordan Gregory who pushed their hosts all the way this evening.

https://wetherbytennis.org.uk/winter-league/

Wetherby 1 Maintain Winter League Title Push

After recent flooding and the worry of further flooding following court clearing on courts four and five, it was with much relief that the Winter League resumed this evening. Despite a windy and cold evening the rain stayed away to ensure dry conditions as Wetherby 1 hosted Knaresborough 1.

Wetherby had regular Winter League competitors Christina Plant and Andy Roberts at one whilst Richard Franks and Louise Beasley were at two. Boro arrived with captain Paul White teaming up with his regular summer partner Fran Bakes whilst Andy Little and Penny Sheard, who are often seen during the Winter League season, were at two.

So despite a chilly evening at least all on show were battle hardened Winter League regulars and it was Andy and Christina who resumed their blossoming partnership on court four as they entertained Paul and Fran. The visiting pair were often seen in Harrogate mixed division two last term so this would be a good test for Andy and Christina. Andy has been a very welcome addition to the fold after joining from Dacre and will be extremely useful to the summer teams no doubt. He and Christina made a solid start and led 3-1 but this was an excellent contest with both pairs showing some real quality. Andy has a quick serve and a vicious forehand whilst Christina is also solid with her service game and was making some crucial interceptions at the net. Paul is often seen leaping like a salmon with his dominant net play whilst Fran is ever so quick around court and always happy to chase any seemingly lost cause down. There was little to choose here and Wetherby just hung on to record a narrow 7-5 advantage.

Richard and Louise are always extremely chilled and the pair have great temperaments. They took on Andy Little and Penny Sheard. Andy had captained the Knaresborough men’s second team in their debut season to promotion in the summer and this tricky server and big hitter from deep is always a tough opponent. Penny is another lady who covers the court extremely well and she disguises a number of well-placed winners. There was some intriguing tennis on show therefore and the match was proving difficult to call. Richard was starting to up the tempo however and with some well-placed winners of his own combined with Louise’s stylish play, the Wetherby couple ran out 8-4 victors.

So Wetherby led 15-9 going into round two. Andy and Richard are a strong pairing and they were looking forward to their clash with Paul and Andy. There was certainly plenty of big hitting on show and no quarter given by either team. Roberts was producing some impressive whipped backhand returns which forced the Boro pair back deep on their own baseline whilst the quick work of Franks kept the hosts ahead. Paul and Little were also creating space to hit plenty of winners themselves with White again strong from close range. This was a very hard fought affair which Wetherby just prevailed, winning 8-4.

Christina and Louise were regulars in the ladies second team but they have really developed during the winter to form one of the strongest partnerships at the club. The duo are both strong servers and hit hard and low and they are extremely difficult to beat. Fran Bakes was certainly making them pull out all the stops however and with Penny Shard using her trickery well,this was close. However Wetherby began to move through the gears and Christina was finding great energy to retrieve and then produce a number of eye catching winners. Louise was also in top form and dominating the net she ensured little was coming back from the Boro side of the net. A rubber filled with exciting rallies finally went the way of the hosts 9-3.

Wetherby had now put themselves firmly on course to join Rufforth 1 at the summit and leading 32-16 could see the finish line. Paul and Fran were determined to make sure things were not straight forward however as the pair began to really impress with some superb tennis. With great teamwork they quickly moved clear against Richard and Louise, who could never really get a foothold. The boro finished on a high after running out 3-9 winners which helped reduce the arrears.

Andy and Christina were playing well on court five however and would ensure that Wetherby would not come unstuck. Some more long enthralling rallies ensured and each player had plenty of reason to celebrate after a solid showing. Andy provided the bit of class however and with Christina still consistent the pair were 8-4 winners to see Wetherby home 43-29.

It’s always a pleasure to welcome our near neighbours from Knaresborough and matches are always hard fought and played in a great spirit. Tonight was no exception and a big thanks to them for coming over and proving stern opposition.

Wetherby are back on court this Thursday when they welcome close rivals Boston Spa with the pair both chasing title success after suffering just the one loss each. That promises to be a mouthwatering clash indeed.

Congratulations to Richard Franks, Louise Beasley, Christina Plant and Andy Roberts for helping Wetherby to success tonight.

Some strong play from Paul White, Penny Sheard, Andy Little and Fran Bakes made for an entertaining evening thanks.

https://wetherbytennis.org.uk/winter-league/