Tennis team battled the elements
The rain may have stopped for The Australian Open, but that was far from the case in Sidmouth last Sunday when the morning forecast was for heavy rain and strong winds: nonetheless, with two earlier matches in The East Devon Winter League postponed due to the ice and snow of last month, there was a desire for the home match against local rivals Newton Poppleford to go ahead .
Newly-appointed Team Coordinator Nicki Keele, ruled out herself by injury, still had a strong squad from which to make her team selection and went for the reliable proven pairings of Mary Dean and Mike Fletcher with Debbie Snelgrove partnering former Skipper Greg Pepper. In the knock up, the swirling wind and drizzle resulted in much hysteria amongst those on court, for it was anyone’ s guess where the ball would land!
The opening mixed matches saw some good tennis played with certain periods of play very much even, but it was Sidmouth that eventually came out on top in both encounters, with Mary and Mike winning 7-5 6-0 and Debbie and Greg overcoming their opponents 6-3 7-6.
In the second series, the Sidmouth Ladies pairing combined well to ensure a decisive victory 6-2 6-2.
It was a different story for the men. Their encounter became very absorbing with the outcome extremely difficult to predict. Despite edging the first set 7-5, the home pairing quickly realised that it was very much ‘game on’ when the visitors drew level with a decisive 1-6 margin in the second set.
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All now rested on the championship tie break and, much to the visitor’s satisfaction, they came out on top 6-10.
All credit to both teams for playing in such difficult conditions. On this occasion, the refreshments were anticipated with even more relish than usual - they were not to be disappointed for there was the customary tasty spread in relation to which the home ladies came good, as usual , with their home baking of cakes and mention must be made of Greg who was “chuffed” with his sandwiches!
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