Sidmouth Men’s A get new season off to a flying start


- Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Men’s A team got their quest for promotion in Division Six off to a flying start with an 8-0 win over local rivals Seaton.

Jake Harrison – a team regular in his last year of junior status, but now towering above his three team mates – paired with Mike Fletcher playing his first match as a newly retired Sidmouth guest house owner, but still powering the ball back like a youth.

Harrison’s serving and touch combined with Fletcher’s baseline and volleying consistency were too strong for their opposition with straight sets wins against both pairings.

The regular pairing of Sidmouth’s Jon Powell and Martin Truman proved up to the job. Despite a faltering start, they found flow and rhythm to end up 2-0, 2-0 winners against their Seaton counterparts.

Played on a fine spring evening with the mirror-like sea in the background, this felt more like a mid-summer match; the post-match pint and supper in the clubhouse with the opponents rounded off a good night.

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The Men’s B team played Teignmouth away and also came away with a hard-fought 5-4 win.

New member Martin Dawes partnered Richard Davies in his first match and captain Bob Hefill played with John Clarke.

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Teignmouth had a junior pair in their team and their exuberant games were characterised, as is often the case, by frequent over-hitting and some tactical inexperience which worked to Sidmouth’s advantage.

Hefill and Clarke won both of their rubbers whilst Dawes and Davies won one set in their two matches, a point which turned out to be vital in clinching victory.

A promising start to the season against a team which finished ahead of Sidmouth in the league in 2014.

Having been promoted to Division 2, the Ladies’ A team expected tough competition, which is exactly what they received in their match against Sampford Peverell.

Nevertheless, despite being unable to penetrate the hard-hitting topspin of their opponents’ first team, both Sidmouth pairings of Lesley Cranston and Mary Dean and Viv Bess and Di Kendall-Tory were able to beat SP’s second couple to start the season with a solid 4-4 draw.

Finally, the Ladies’ B team, who were promoted to Division Five, travelled to Torquay for their first match with a new pairing of Sarah Peacock and Mary Bray joining captain Marlene Maynard and her regular partner Jackie Ensall.

Unfortunately, the Sidmouth team were disappointed to lose 8-1 as it was one of those frustrating matches where the final score did not reflect the quality of the play.

Lively games, long rallies and repeated deuce games were the order of the evening but Sidmouth simply could not find a way to make important points count with only Marlene and Jackie managing to take one set.

The team will be looking for a better result against Tiverton next week.

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