Sidmouth tennis team’s enduring mixed fortunes as league season continues
10:41 01 August 2014
With the season drawing to a close both Sidmouth ladies’ team’s have had mixed fortunes in recent encounters, writes Lesley Cranston.
Ladies B completed their last match on Monday night with a final flourish on home turf against rivals for promotion Teignmouth.
Marlene Maynard paired with newcomer to the team Marjorie-Anne Bromhead, had a marathon first rubber with endless rallying.
The Sidmouth pairing are both renowned for their retrieval so it was no surprise it went the distance!
However, they were unable to close out the championship tie-break, all their efforts gaining just the one point.
In the second rubber, they didn’t allow fatigue to hinder their progress and came through in straight sets.
Jackie Ensall and Vici Topping having completed their first contest in double quick time 6-1, 6-2, had a lengthy wait before taking on the number one couple which may have played into their hands. After the bruising encounter with their team mates, their opponents succumbed 3-6, 4-6, giving the home team a convincing win 7-2.
The B team’s penultimate match was away to David Lloyd D last Friday whom they had beaten decisively in the home leg.
Changed teams on both sides produced a much more tightly fought contest with Sidmouth unable to field their usual well honed pairings, they came away honours even, four points apiece. Sidmouth B, having just moved up to Division Five, had a great summer season but it looks as if they will narrowly miss out on promotion although the final placings are not yet known as their nearest contenders have several outstanding matches.
Meanwhile, the ladies’ A are facing a somewhat different prospect, that of trying to remain in Division Two!
With only one match left to play (mid-September) their fate is largely in the hands of their opponents who all have at least two remaining fixtures. Budleigh Salterton, currently at the bottom of the division, due mainly to incurring penalties at the start of the season, are now making a strong bid to stay in contention.
They have won their last two matches 8-0 sadly one of these whitewashes was against Sidmouth who found the lush grass at Budleigh too difficult a surface on which to keep their footing; not helpful for a team already struggling with injuries. The switch to an all-weather surface later in the evening did not improve matters as the home team, scenting victory, proceeded to march on.
Sidmouth did put in a better performance against Sampford Peverell on Monday, July 21, where they were on the surer surface of home territory. Their opponents have a solid first couple who gave few free points and proved too resilient for both Sidmouth pairings of Viv Bess and Di Kendall-Torry and Mary Dean and Lesley Cranston each of whom lost in straight sets.
However, the home side reversed the score against the second pair resulting in a 4-4 draw overall.
As with the ladies A, Budleigh Salterton have proved to be a slayer of the mixed team’s fortunes, and, on this occasion, it cannot be attributed to the surface simply a much stronger side who went home with all the points.
The mixed team have four remaining matches to complete in August one of which is away to David Lloyd A, the league leaders.
They need some good results from the others in order to secure their place in Division Three next year.
The two men’s teams remain solidly in the middle of their respective divisions, Six and Eight, with still several matches outstanding, but hopefully their positions are secured for next summer.