Friday, June 27, 2014
Water aid has been the name of the game for Sidmouth tennis teams over the last two weeks, writes Lesley Cranston.
Unused to playing in such exacting temperatures, copious amounts of liquid have been consumed as competitors huffed and puffed under unrelenting blue skies.
No complaints for once about the weather and indeed no real complaints about results!
The same pairings of Viv Bess and Di Kendall-Torry, Lesley Cranston and Mary Dean managed to repeat recent successes, this time against a totally different opposition side although by a narrower margin.
Both pairs beat the number two couple in straight sets, but faced a tougher contest against the first choice pairings.
Although closely fought games Bess and Kendall-Torry couldn’t quite find a way through the defences posed by the combination of youth and wiliness that the opposition presented and lost in two tight sets.
Cranston and Dean also struggled in what appeared to be a winnable game, but allowed their frustration to lead to errors and they failed at the last in the championship tie-break. However, the extra set gained meant a 5-4 overall victory for Sidmouth.
The mixed team headed off last Friday to the depths of the countryside and eventually found Teign Valley club as much through the very vociferous bleating of the sheep as by navigation!
Whatever the tennis lacked, the same couldn’t be said of the surrounding views and there was no lack of effort on the part of the teams who came across dogged defence from their opponents.
Martin Truman, a true soldier, playing with bruised ribs following a biking accident paired up with Lesley Cranston and got off to a convincing 6-3, 6-0 win in the first rubber.
However, they made heavy weather of the second one squandering chances with simple errors and failing to read the opposition’s game.
The first set went to a tie-break which they eventually won 10-8, they then consolidated in the second set dropping just two games with Truman’s smashes (in spite of sore ribs) having a decisive effect.
In contrast, Mark Heywood and Debbie Snelgrove won through against the same pairing in two simple sets 6-2, 6-2, but then had a great tussle in their second rubber in a seesaw match which eventually went the way of Teign Valley 7-5, 5-7, 7-6. Sidmouth came away with a favourable 7-2 points win.