12th Jan. 15

Rain, wind and icy conditions have made it difficult for members of Herne Bay tennis club to play many of the Winter Kent League matches over the last few months. The mixed 1st team finally got their season in division 1 underway with a very close match against Knoll (Orpington) 1 at home. It was Knoll’s last game and having not one any of the previous matches the Herne Bay team knew that by beating them they would ensure their survival in the top division. In the 1st round Peter Elsden/Louise Tucker beat the Knoll 1st pair 6-4, 6-3 and Graham Miles/Anne Gibbs lost 3-6, 5-7 meaning that the match was tied at the half way point. In the 2nd round Elsden & Tucker continued their good form, despite it being the 1st match for both of them since September due to injury, and won 6-4, 6-2. Miles & Gibbs just did enough with their 3-6, 4-6 defeat against the 1st pair to ensure that the hard work of Elsden & Tucker was rewarded and the team won by 1 game – 39 – 38. In their second match of the winter they faced unbeaten Bromley Wendover 1 at home. The match was lost 1-3 with Elsden & Tucker winning the rubber. The ladies 2nd team have played twice in division 3 winning one and losing one. They had a excellent 4-0 win at home to Tunbridge Wells 4 with Sue Toye/Debbie Holden winning both their rubbers in straight sets. Caroline Packer/Sarah Pout need a deciding tie-break to take the win against the Tunbridge Wells 2nd pair but beat the 1st in straight sets. Their other match was at home to DL Kings Hill 1 and they lost this 1-3 with Pout & Packer winning the rubber. The team have now played 3 matches and have 2 wins and are in 3rd place in the division. In the veterans leagues the mens , ladies 1 and 2 and the ladies over 60’s teams have all played. The ladies vets 1 team had a very close and long match away against Sevenoaks 2 in division 1 which they won 3-1. The match started in blinding sunlight and finished in the dark under floodlights. Debbie Holden/Caroline Packer won both their rubbers, one in a deciding tie-break and Anne Gibbs/Kay Mileham won one rubber and lost the other 9-11 in a deciding tie-break. Ladies vets 2 played United 1 at home in division 3 and won 3-1. Debbie Holden/Vanessa Webb coped well with the windy conditions and won both their rubbers 6-0, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-3. Sarah Pout/Christine Hanson won one rubber 6-2, 6-3 and just lost the 2nd in a deciding tie-break. The ladies over 60’s team have had 2 matches recently winning one 2-0 and losing the other 1-3. In the 1st match they played Blackheath at home and only managed to complete the 1st round before rain prevented any further play. The winning team was Sarah Pout/Kay Mileham and Christine Hanson/Anja Stileman. They travelled to Broadstairs for their 2nd match where they faced a team made up of 3 county players. Mileham & Pout won the one rubber in the 1-3 defeat and narrowly lost their 2nd rubber in a deciding tie-break. The mens vets team were relegated to division 2 last season and celebrated playing in the lower division with their 1st win for over a year away to Bromley LTC 2. Graham Miles/Ian Cooke won both their rubbers in straight sets and Jerry Loader/Eddie Fisher narrowly lost one rubber in two tie-breaks and the other in a deciding tie-break. The set they won meant that the match was won by a set. Finally the Deal Indoor Tennis League started again this winter and with no interference from weather their have been several matches for the Herne Bay team entered. The men’s team had 2 wins against Sellindge and Deal ITC 1. In the match against Sellindge, Gary Smith/Dave Lawrence won 2 sets and Jerry Loader/Mark Kennard won 4 to give the team a 6-3 win. The second match was much closer against the Deal ITC team and Herne Bay won by just 1 set. Keith Clark/Lionel Hoskins, making their débuts in this league, won 1 rubber by 2 sets to 0 and then took a set from the opposition’s strong 1st pair. Gary Smith/Bryan Packham beat the 2nd pair by 2 sets to 0. The match was won by the set that Clark & Hoskins won. In division 1 of the mixed the Herne Bay team have won 2 matches. In the match against Deal 1 Graham Miles/Debbie Holden won both their rubbers in straight sets and Jerry Loader/Sue Toye won 2 sets. In the other match against Sandwich, Miles played with Caroline Packer and again won both rubbers and Loader/Toye chipped in with a win against the opposition’s second pair.