23rd May. 11

Herne Bay tennis club’s summer season is well under way now with matches taking place over the last few weeks in 4 different leagues. The winter season is not quite complete for one team. The ladies veterans 2 team finished unbeaten in division 3 of the Kent League and had a home advantage for the final against Blackheath 2. This was the 2nd year running that the team had won promotion. It was a very closely fought match which resulted in a total draw. The teams were level on rubbers (2-2) sets (4-4) and games (34 each) and because it was a final the teams will have to replay the match at Blackheath later this month. The team for this extraordinary match was Sue Toye/Debbie Holden and Christine Hanson/Diana High.
Moving onto summer matches, most of the Kent league teams have started their fixtures. The mens 1st team played Tunbridge Wells 2 at home in division 2 and won by a set. Both pairs, Martin Beckley/Keith Clark and Graham Miles/Eddie Fisher, beat the opposition 2nd pair and lost to their 1st. Beckley/Clark managed to take a set off the 1st pair, losing in a match tie-break, and that set proved decisive in securing the team’s 1st win. The mens 2nd team have played 2 matches in division 6 and have not managed to win but in both matches they had key players missing. In the 1st match they played 2 match tie-breaks. The mens 3rd team started their season well in division 8 with a 3-1 win away to Bromley Wendover 4 but then lost their next 2 matches away to Chipstead Place 2 and home to LA Fitness 2. The team for all 3 matches was John Lengthorn/Dave Lawrence and Bob Toye/Ron Withers. The team hope to return to winning ways in their last 2 matches. The ladies 1st team have also played twice. In their 1st match in division 1 at home to a depleted Sundridge Park they won by 6 games and in their 2nd match away to Bromley LTC 1 they lost by a set. In the match against Sundridge Park the opposition were only able to send 1 pair and although the Bay team lost both the rubbers played they won enough games to win the match. In the match against Bromley both Bay pairs made slow starts as they adapted to the wet Astroturf courts and consequently lost their 1st sets. Their 1st pair, Anne Gibbs/Louise Tucker came back from this loss to take the 2nd set and the match tie-break. They also went on to beat the opposition’s 2nd pair 6-4, 6-1. Sue Toye/Danielle Miles came close to taking their 2nd set narrowly losing 7-5 but were well beaten by the Bromley 1st pair. The teams were level on rubbers but lost by 5 sets to 4. In the mixed divisions the 1st team have had 1 win and 2 defeats in division 1 but the 2nd team remains unbeaten after 2 matches in division 3. They started with a 4-0 defeat of Hythe 1 at home and then a 3-1 win away to Bromley Cricket Club 2. In the Hythe match the team was Graham & Danielle Miles and Keith Clark/Sue Toye and at Bromley CC Graham partnered new member Vanessa Webb. The 3rd team have played one match at home to Parklangley 1 in division 5 and they won by 8 games. Debbie Holden/Eddie Fisher won both their rubbers. In the midweek league there was a 3-1 win for the mixed team away to a new team in this league, Sevenoaks . Keith Clark playing with new member Kay Mileham won both their rubbers very easily and spent a long time watching the 2nd pair of Brian Cooper/Anne Gibbs win one rubber 6-4, 7-5 and lose the 2nd 7-6, 6-7 0-1!
In the East Kent league Herne Bay teams started their season playing against each other and testing out the accuracy of the committee’s selections. The mens 2nd team played the 3rd team in division 2 and won 4-0 although the match was much closer than the score indicated. One of the rubbers went to a match tie-break and 5 of the 8 sets were won by either a score of 7-6 or 7-5. The winning team was John Lengthorn/Howard Gordon and Dave Lawrence/Gary Smith and the unlucky losers were Bob Toye/Ron Withers and Toby Brown/Dan Walker. The next all Herne Bay clash was mixed 1 v 2 in division 1 which resulted in a 3-1 win for the 1st team. The 2nd team were handicapped by the non-appearance of one of their players but their other pair, Lionel Hoskins/Debbie Holden, fought valiantly and managed to beat the 1st team’s 2nd pair in a match tie-break. Finally the ladies 1st team played the 2nd team and won 4-0. Sarah Pout/Sue Toye and Debbie Holden/Christine Hanson were the winning team and the 2nd team welcomed another new member, Lesley Taylor, who played very well but was unable to help her team to a win. There has been just one match in the Dover and District league so far in which the newly promoted mixed A team played their 1st match in the top division away to Canterbury B and secured a draw. Both pairs lost to a strong Canterbury 1st pair and beat their 2nd. The team was Eddie Fisher/Sarah Pout and Sue Toye/Jerry Loader.