Sidmouth Ladies A made the short journey to Ottery St Mary in the knowledge that this and the return fixture could well be pivotal to their retaining Division 1 status in the Exeter and District Winter League, writes David Thorneley.

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It was an enthralling encounter, the outcome of which remained in doubt until the conclusion of the final set resulting in a 5-5 tie. However, it was one of those matches where the score line does not fully reflect the quality, intensity and the sheer enjoyment of the play. Indeed, if there had been ‘ a crowd in’ there would have been lots of ‘oohs and ahs‘ with the umpire requesting ‘quiet please!’

For the record leading pair, Vivienne Bess and Di Kendall-Torry in the opening rubber won the first set 7-5 only to lose the second 3-6 by a loss in focus which extended to the tie break that was lost 4-10 .

On the adjoining court Debbie Snelgrove and Mary Dean started slowly, finding key points difficult to secure which resulted in 2-6, 4-6 loss.

After a nervous start in the reverse match, the pair showed real determination to secure a well deserved victory by 7-5, 6-4 without dropping a valuable point. Bess and Kendall-Torry lost the first set in their second rubber 5-7, but much to their credit took a grip of the game to win the second set 6-3 and then raced through the tie break in emphatic style! This result will lift the team’s spirits for the remaining fixtures.

That same weekend a social event was held at the club starting with family tennis, followed by supper during which several presentations were made. Most notable of these was Ladies Singles winner for the fourth consecutive year, Vivienne Bess. The evening concluded with musical entertainment from guitar duo, the melodic Misty Roses. The social committee, led by Marlene Maynard, can take much credit in promoting this most enjoyable event .

For more information about tennis in Sidmouth see www.sidmouthtennisclub.co.uk

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