Sidmouth triumph at Newton Poppleford in East Devon Winter League mixed match

Sidmouth Mixed East Devon Winter League team made the short journey to Newton Poppleford confident of a good contest for the newly resurfaced courts and excellent floodlighting that the host club proudly provide combine to instill such high expectations, writes David Thorneley.

Team captain Debbie Snelgrove, with all members of her squad keen to play, no doubt had rotation in mind by giving ladies A stalwart Di Kendall-Torry a rare start in this format of the game, though in the knowledge she has performed well in this fixture in recent years: more obvious selections were put to one side in the decision to give a second seasonal start to Richard Davies, a master in retrieval, with David Thorneley, who had shown a glimpse of his former all court skills in the recently part played match at Lympstone, completing the quartet.

In the opening mixed encounter , Snelgrove and Thorneley combined to good effect, including executing some surprise, well disguised winning shots verging on ‘champagne moment’ contender status which all resulted in a straight sets win against the hosts’ A pairing.

On the adjoining court the rallies were long, points difficult to secure with deuce and advantage points seemingly running for ever! However, finally the match went in favour of the visitors in straight sets to make the interval score 0-4.

In the second half it did not take too long for the home side to half the deficit for Davies and Thorneley had no answer to the serve and volley game of the home pairing who did not drop a game…

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The four point winning margin was restored by Snelgrove and Kendall-Torry in the ladies doubles with a straight sets win : Snelgrove will be aware that the men`s doubles so far this season has rarely added to the points tally in these matches so it would seem likely that both Davies and Thorneley can expect to be rested for the next match !

With a later than normal finish the traditional first class post match refreshments that the home club is renowned for were most welcome after a thoroughly enjoyable encounter, a fine advert for the East Devon League.

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