2nd Aug. 18

With the Summer Kent League fixtures drawing to a close, there has been more success for Herne Bay LTC.

Ladies 1 finished their last 2 matches in Kent League division 2 with two 4-0 wins. The team for both matches was Louise Tucker/Anne Gibbs and Danielle Miles/Sue Toye. In the first match at home to Bromley LTC 2 the Herne Bay team took full advantage of the oppositions unfamiliarity with the acrylic surface, which caused the ball to bounce higher than they were used to and won all their rubbers dropping just 10 games in total.

This left the team undefeated with one match left to play at home against Horsmonden. Unfortunately Horsmonden were unable to field a full team so sent two juniors to play in order to prevent their team from being relegated. This meant that the Bay just needed to win one game to secure winning a place in the section final and promotion to the top division next summer. Tucker and Gibbs managed this in their 1st game and went on to win the rubber without dropping any games. Miles and Toye also won their rubber very convincingly. The team will now contest the final in September away to Bromley LTC 1.

The Ladies Midweek 3 team travelled to second placed Hythe in what proved to be the title decider in Division 4. Debbie Holden/Diana High and Lesley O’Connell/ Liz Harvey ensured the Bay got off to a flyer in the first round winning both rubbers in straight sets to pile the pressure on the hosts. Despite O’Connell and Harvey narrowly losing two close sets in the reverse rubbers, Holden/High won theirs to record a fine 1-3 win to take the title.

Ladies 3 also ended on a high finishing runners up in Division 6B. In a hard fought contest away at Bromley 2, Bay’s first pair Sarah Pout/Tui Thain forged a formidable partnership and won both their rubbers losing only 3 games in each. Bay’s other pair Sheila Wyver/Helen Lipyeat put up staunch resistance and despite losing both rubbers managed to take the host’s second pair to an all important 3rd set championship tie-break. With the match tied at 2 rubbers apiece, Bay triumphed 4-5 in sets.

Ladies 2 completed their final two fixtures with a win and a loss for a respectable mid table finish in a highly competitive Division 3B. Away at Blackheath, Bay’s 1st pair Caroline Packer/Denise Parrett fought back from a set down to take their opponents to a 3rd set championship tie-break before narrowly losing out. Kay Mileham/Sue Toye on the other hand proved too strong for Blackheath’s second pair winning comfortably in straight sets. The reverse rubbers saw wins for both Bay pairs to secure a 1-3 win.

With Toye and Mileham unavailable for the last match at home to Bearsted 2, Sarah Pout and Helen Lipyeat filled in. Packer/Parrett opened with a very tight rubber eventually winning in the 3rd set tie-break. Meanwhile, despite some fine rallies Pout/Lipyeat lost out in straight sets having their serve broken once in each set. It was a similar story for Pout/Lipyeat in the second round, putting in another good performance but losing out in 2 sets. Packer/Parrett however had no difficulty winning their remaining rubber losing just 3 games. Bay narrowly losing out 4-5 in sets.

Mens 1’s last match in Division 3A saw a visit to Horsmonden and a well earned 1-3 win. With Alex Kazekeos partnering Richard Marshall for his first appearance of the season and Ben Keighley teaming up with Matt Newman, Bay started confidently winning both opening rubbers in straight sets. Keighley/Newman continued where they had left off in the second round again winning in straight sets whilst Kazekeos/Marshall narrowly lost in the 3rd having fought back from a set down.

The Men’s 3 team took on Bromley Wendover 5 at home in a match that swung to and fro but ultimately produced another fine win to cap off their season. The big serving Colin Thompson/Jason Hollingsworth came through their first rubber in two very close sets whilst youngsters Josh Deverson/Robbie Benka played some fantastic tennis to outplay their opponents in the first set before going on to take the second in a tie-break. In the second round Deverson/Benka got off to an unusually shaky start losing the first set in double quick time. They bounced back to take the second and pushed Bromley all the way in the third before just missing out. Thompson/Hollingsworth meanwhile had an easier time overcoming their opponents in straight sets to record a 3-1 win.

Mixed 2 completed all their matches with a trip to Bromley LTC to play their 2nd team. The team knew that only a 4-0 win would keep them in division 2 next summer. Despite battling hard in the hot sun they lost by 2 sets. Matt Newman/Anne Gibbs and Ben Keighley/Debbie Holden both managed to beat the opposition’s 2nd pair in a match tie-break and lost to their 1st pair in straight sets. The team will endeavour to bounce straight back from division 3 to division 2 next summer.

Elsewhere in the Dover & District League, the Men’s B team travelled to St Margarets and edged a thriller. The first round saw Herne Bay get on the front foot with Jason Hollingsworth/Gary Smith winning with ease whilst Steve Howard/Dave Lawrence ended up 1 set apiece against the host’s second pair. In the second round two very close rubbers were contested with the scores reversed in favour of St Margarets. The match ended 4 sets each but with Bay finishing up 42 games to 37.

Herne Bay’s mixed A team had a very convincing 7 sets to 1 win at home to Hythe A in Dover & District division 1. Ben Keighley/Anne Gibbs won all their sets dropping just 3 games and Dan Walker/Debbie Holden beat the opposition’s 2nd pair by 2 sets to nil and finished 1 set all against their 1st pair. The team are currently top of the division with one match left to play.