Sidmouth mixed tennis team battle rain, blazing sunshine and hosts Crediton!

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In the away Mixed fixture at Crediton last Saturday the Sidmouth team had to face rain, blazing sunshine then strong winds but such adverse varied conditions were readily overcome in a deserved 6-3 victory, writes David Thornley.

Team captain Debbie Snelgrove with John Clarke had an enticing tussle eventually securing the tie break to win 4-6, 6-3, 11-9.

On the adjacent court, Gill Dolling and Richard Davies were not seriously troubled as they secured a 6-4, 6-4 success.

Starting the second half in a strong position, the ladies were able to build on this position by recording a straight sets win, but it was a different story for the men on the adjoining court which was inexplicably lost with just one game won, a score line which no doubt Snelgrove will demand a full explanation!

Rumour has it that Clarke stated that his normal effective exuberant style of play was not suited to the worsening weather conditions!

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Earlier in the week for the away fixture at Lympstone Snelgrove welcomed back, after a lengthy absence, David Thornley to partner Mary Dean whereas she once again teamed up with Peter Fung.

Soon after the start the rain began to fall in a strengthening wind so it was much to the credit of all players on both courts that the tennis played was both of a high standard and competitive coupled with ‘the best possible spirit’.

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Thornley and the talented Dean had chances to win the first set against an established pairing only to frustratingly lose 7-5 and it was a similar story on court one where the home side edged home 6-4.

With conditions worsening the tie was abandoned with the players returning to the warmth of the pavilion to enjoy a cup of tea together with tasty sandwiches and cake.

The Sidmouth membership has a healthy growing appetite for competitive play, with the mixed format proving particularly popular resulting in skipper Snelgrove having the luxury of being able to implement player rotation: the question now being asked after three matches, does she yet know her best side?

In this quest she has welcomed the initiative to contact other local clubs with a view to arranging a number of friendly fixtures that will also provide opportunities for junior members to take part which can only help in the development of all court skills.

Find out more on all things Sidmouth tennis at

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