Sidmouth ladies back to winning ways

After the defeat last week at Victoria Park, Sidmouth Ladies’ A resumed winning ways with a narrow home victory over visitors Okehampton, writes David Thorneley.

after a tentative start, lead pair Viv Bess and Di Kendall-Torry eventually asserted themselves against the visitors’ second pair 6-4 6-2, whereas. on the adjoining court. Hilary Caldwell and Mary Dean found the going tough, enabling the visitors to square the match at the interval.

In the return rubbers, Bess and Kendall-Torry raised their game in what turned out to be an exciting tussle against the visitor’s first pairing. only to lose the deciding championship tie break by a narrow margin.

Caldwell and Dean won their second match 6-2 6-3 thus securing an overall victory for the team by a margin of 5-4.

?Sidmouth Ladies’ B approached the return home fixture against Budleigh Salterton with confidence, having only lost the opening fixture narrowly.

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Andrea Cushing, returning from injury, and Ellen Hunt combined well but to no avail and it was a similar story for the pairing of Marlene Maynard and Sally Lockhart. which enabled the visitors to make the short journey home knowing that a comfortable victory had been gained. Rightly. the team retains much enthusiasm and. of importance. gains great enjoyment from playing league tennis for the first time and, when that initial first victory is achieved. a corner will have been turned.

Sidmouth men’s team is still striving for both consistency and the required higher level of performance to enable a series of victories to be secured, writes David Thorneley.

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according to first season skipper. Alex Spalding. a mood of quiet reflection hung over the team bus on the long drive back from Dartmoor, following the recent defeat to league leaders Chagford.

On this occasion there were welcome periods of high quality tennis, particularly from lead pair Spalding and Greg Pepper. but this could not disguise the fact that Sidmouth gained just a single point. With the first set under their belt, Pepper and Spalding should have gone on to win the match but they lost momentum, enabling the hosts to win the championship tie break :

their second encounter was an even closer affair with many long high-quality rallies with Pepper making numerous courageous shots but, on paper, it will be shown as a defeat 7-5 6-1.

the second set score line was a particular travesty as almost every game went to deuce! Closing out games will now be a priority for those attending the popular Tuesday evening match practice sessions .

The second pairing of Jon Powell and Mark Heywood, by their own admission, would like to forget their opening match in which they never really got going but, in the second rubber, the score board was soon showing a 1-4 lead for the visitors’ only for the home side to fight back to secure the match by two sets to love. In fairness, Chagford were experienced, tenacious match players. Spalding is firmly of the view that his team is not far off and the return match in two weeks’ time is much awaited.

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