Busy time for Sidmouth tennis players

The Ladies have been in action over the last two weeks completing four out of five matches which in itself was an achievement given the vagaries of the weather, writes Lesley Cranston.

The Ladies’ B team will have to resume their contest against David Lloyd C at a later stage, only a few games had been completed when the rain set in for the night.

The Ladies’ A also faced some torrential conditions playing away at Teign Valley last Wednesday, but managed to complete their games even though it meant a very late arrival home. It was worth the wait as they came home victorious winning three out of the four rubbers. Lead couple, Vivienne Bess and Di Kendall-Torry won both theirs although they needed a championship tie-break to defeat the number one pair after taking some time to get back into their rhythm following the rain break. The other rubber produced a tightly contested first set which the Sid couple won on tie-break and rounding off with a 6-2 second set. Vici Topping in her first match for the A team, partnered by Hilary Caldwell, played well together and although somewhat outplayed in the first match, they didn’t allow themselves to become defeatist. They went on to put in a determined effort against their counterparts in their second rubber coming through in two tight sets 7-5 6-4. Final score 6-3 Sidmouth.

?In what could not have been more contrasting conditions the A team were out again on Sunday, playing in bright sunshine, (our momentary Indian summer), facing local rivals, Ottery St Mary. Regular first pair of Vivienne Bess and Di Kendall-Torry played Ottery second pairing in their opening rubber and took some time to adjust to the away conditions losing the first set 3-6 but coming back strongly in the second 6-1, managing to prevail in the championship tie-break 10-7.

Their second rubber against their Ottery firsts was less convincing going down 6-2 6-2. Mary Dean and Lesley Cranston who had been successful against Ottery on their previous outing couldn’t repeat the victory without home advantage. Nevertheless, if nothing else they made the most of the sunshine by staying on court for three hours both matches going to championship tie-breaks, Ottery proving the stronger in both. Result 7-4 to Ottery.

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?The A team have also played both the Exeter Golf and Country Club teams within the space of a week on the away club’s synthetic-turf surface. Exeter A were much too strong for Sidmouth Ladies, wining 8-0. Against the B team Sidmouth, fielding three different players from the previous match, fared marginally better claiming 2 points to Exeter’s 6.

Clearly, some practice on the low bouncing but much more kindly synthetic-turf is required if the home team is going to make an impact when away from their ‘home comforts’.

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The Sidmouth Mixed team of Martin Truman, David Thornley, Vici Topping and Lesley Cranston ventured to Newton St Cyres, currently Division leaders.

On a still but cold Tuesday evening the team were involved in four hard- fought matches with the home side just edging the points victory.

The men’s doubles was closely contested, hinging on just one or two points which might have swung the score of 5-7 5-7 in Sidmouth’s favour. The Ladies won their doubles in the championship tie-break after being behind most of the match 7-5 2-6 10-5 with the mixed partnerships ending one apiece - Truman and Cranston winning 6-2 6-3 whilst Thornley and Topping after just lost the first set 7-5 were over-powered in the second 6-0. Result 5-4 to Newton St Cyres.

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