A welcome break in the wet and windy weather of late allowed Sidmouth to host a mixed match with near neighbours Budleigh Salterton last Sunday afternoon, writes David Thorneley

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This fixture was the third in a series of four designed to assist young player development by introducing them to adult competitive play, a key objective shared by both clubs.

In a recent men`s encounter played at Budleigh, in which all matches went to a championship tie-break, with the Sidmouth junior pairing of Sam Marriott and Jonny Surtees raising their game to clinch victory thus ensuring the overall match score ended 5-5, the standard of play throughout was of the highest order.

In the mixed match last Sunday Sidmouth gave a debut appearance to Mollie Spalding, with Sam Marriott once again part of the junior component whereas those members ‘with a few more miles on the clock’, were ladies B captain Marlene Maynard and men’s B stalwart John Clarke, who also acted as team captain. The tennis played was once again both competitive and enjoyable with the early exchanges on both courts favouring the visitors and this was to remain the pattern throughout , especially in the latter stages of each set when members of the home team just could not claim key points. With the light fading and the temperature dropping, the players left the court to enjoy the post match light refreshments, including some tasty cakes courtesy of Marlene

As well as the series of friendly matches with Budleigh, Sidmouth have held such fixtures with both Newton Poppleford and Tipton St John such has been the interest shown by members of all ages to gain experience in competitive play, which augers well for the future.

Foe further details about all things Sidmouth Tennis Club visit www.sidmouthtennisclub.co.uk

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