Sidmouth’s senior teams face tough tests

Sidmouth Tennis teams have had mixed fortunes over this last week; the highlight, however, is the victory for the Ladies’ B after so many close defeats, writes Lesley Cranston.

On this occasion the Ladies’ B team had a comfortable win against opponents Teign Valley in a match played at home in unusually favourable weather conditions.

With bright sunshine and only light winds, the team were in good spirits and got off to a flying start. Kate Truman and Andrea Cushing won their first match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, as did Marlene Maynard and Molly Wiltshire, with a 6-4, 6-2 result. Although both pairings momentarily lost concentration in their second matches, each losing the second set, they rallied round to clinch the important tie breaks, Andrea and Kate winning 6-0, 4-6, 11-9 and Marlene and Molly winning 6-4, 5-7, 10-5. It was a pleasing win with a final result of 8-2 to Sidmouth.

The A team met stiff opposition in the form of Exeter B and struggled to win games let alone points. Vivienne Bess (captain) and Di Kendall-Torry battled hard in their first match taking many games to deuce but just couldn't manage to convert the vital points losing 4-6, 4-6.

The second pairing were dominant and both Sidmouth couples were totally outplayed. Hilary Caldwell and Mary Dean found it hard to find a rhythm playing on an unaccustomed surface; synthetic-turf requires some adjustment because of the lower bounce and different trajectory. Exeter came out on top taking all the points.

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The team, this time with Nicki Keele and Debbie Snelgrove replacing Caldwell and Dean, were in action again at home to an even stronger team- Newton St Cyres. The latter are able to field an ex- Cornwall county player as well as a Czech import and, to date, have been wiping opponents off the board. Sadly, Sidmouth suffered the same fate, but the ladies enjoyed the tennis and appreciated being involved in a match with such high-quality opposition.

Sidmouth Men lost out narrowly away to a strong David Lloyd Exeter B team going down 4-7. First pair Mike Fletcher and Mark Heywood were edged out in both rubbers, losing both in third set championship tie breaks.

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Bob Heffill, making his team debut, paired up with Martin Truman. The two responded to a nervous start and heavy defeat in their first match by controlling their second and coming out on top in the third set. Heffill found his form and length and left with head held high.

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