Sidford under pressure in close contest

Sidford Ladies team had their closest game of the season yet, when they played their match against Tunnels from Exeter.

Sidford Ladies' team had their closest game of the season yet, when they played their match against Tunnels from Exeter.

It was a close contest from the start, with Tunnels fielding one strong pair and a weaker pair. Both Jane Wakley with Jane Chalk, and Emma Fidge with Marilyn Barlow, beat the weaker pair in straight sets but lost out in the tougher game against a very strong pairing who made few mistakes. The tie ended in a creditable 4-4 draw.

They followed this with a local derby against Ottery St Mary Ladies. The two clubs have been facing each other in the same league for a number of years so knew what to expect.

Ottery fielded a weakened side due to unavailability, allowing Sidford to add to their points total, winning three out of the four rubbers and getting six points to Ottery's two. All team members played their part and some fine rallies ensued. Jane and Jane lost the plot slightly in their second rubber losing in straight sets, but a victory was ensured.

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Sidford now have a run of away matches, so will be tested on different surfaces. Hopefully they will rise to the challenge and remain in contention for promotion to Division 1 next season.

l Emma Fidge and Marilyn Barlow reached the final of the Devon County Closed Championships ladies' double veterans tournaments where they came up against a very strong pairing from Torquay. They produced some good tennis on Torquay's new artificial clay courts, before going down 6-3, 6-0. After receiving their trophy in the new clubhouse, they consoled themselves with some therapeutic shopping on the English Riviera!

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l The men's team opened their division three campaign with a 7-3 victory against Exeter Golf and Country Club C.

In a competitive match, Will Boyd proved the star of the show, with his fierce drives from the back of the court and solid volleying, by winning both his games with the evergreen Kevin Tratt. The other points came from the established pairing of Paul Carter with Graham Baker. Following the match, both teams retired to a local hostelry where they enjoyed a healthy sausage and chip supper, together with the customary liquid refreshment. They next face a relatively local derby against Exmouth A on June 7.

l The report would say 'room for improvement' following the mixed team's opening fixture of their season in East Devon League division 2 away against Tunnels.

Without ever playing well, Marilyn Barlow and Graham Baker started with a win before losing their second match 10 points to 8 in a third set championship tie break.

The second pair of Jane Chalk and Paul Carter battled hard, but were unable to conjure up a win that would have secured a draw for the team, the final match score was 3-1 win for Tunnels.

l The club are very keen to welcome new members and offer regular club play most mornings during the week, as well a club evening on Thursdays, and a club afternoon on Saturdays.

For further details on the club please contact the club chairman Paul Carter on (01395) 567296 or 07805 453337 or visit the club's website

Marilyn Barlow and Emma Fidge, who battled hard in Torquay.

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