17th Jan. 19

Despite some pretty awful playing conditions leading up to the end of 2018, the Herne Bay LTC teams have made promising starts to the Kent League Winter fixtures for 2018-2019.

The Ladies section provided some emphatic victories for Herne Bay. Pick of the bunch were the Ladies Vets 1 who in their opening match in Division 1B trounced Bexley 4-0 in a one-sided encounter that saw the home team lose just the 3 games in total. Bay’s pairings of Anne Gibbs/Nicola Mileham and Caroline Packer/Sue Toye proving far too strong for the visitors.

The Ladies over 60’s Midweek bounced back from a disappointing start in their opening 2 matches to record a welcome win against Bearsted 2 at Beacon Road. Bay 1st pair Kay Mileham/Sarah Pout used all their experience to win both their rubbers with the loss of only 1 game in each. New pairing Tui Thain/Isobel Warnock also got off to a flier in their opening rubber winning in straight sets and although they dropped a set in the final rubber, it made no difference and Bay won the match 4-0.

Also looking for a positive response after their narrow opening match defeat to neighbours Canterbury were the Ladies 1 team when they took on TWLTC Ladies 2 in Division 1B. The reliable pairing of Anne Gibbs/Louise Tucker rushed through both their rubbers losing only the 5 games in total whilst Danielle Miles/Nicola Mileham fought back from a set down in their opening rubber to win a 3rd set championship tie-break before easing through against TWLTC’s 2nd pair for another 4-0 scoreline.

In the Men’s section, the Men’s 3 team travelled to Tonbridge 2 in Division 9A. Continuing their good form in the tightest of matches, Bay’s 1st pair Bryan Packham/Colin Thompson fought back from a set down to level before losing out in the 3rd set championship tie-break. Meanwhile Jason Hollingsworth/Keith Curtis produced some decisive net play and consistent serving to win their rubber in straight sets 1-6, 3-6. The reverse rubbers saw Packham/Thompson dominate from the off to win 0-6, 4-6 whilst Hollingsworth/Curtis were always playing catch up having fallen behind early on to lose in straight sets. The match however went Herne Bay’s way winning 4-5 in sets after being level in rubbers 2-2.

Men’s 2 followed their impressive start to the season by producing an excellent result against much fancied David Lloyd Club Kings Hill 3 in Division 6A. Bay’s 1st pair Ian Cooke/Dan Walker played a near faultless tennis to claim the first rubber 6-1, 6-0. Walker’s power coupled with Cooke steady persistence proved too much for their opponents. Another new pairing David Mikhail/Josh Deverson combined experience and youth to overcome the visitor’s 2nd pair 6-4, 6-3 to give Bay the perfect start. The reverse rubbers saw Cooke/Walker again triumph in straight sets while Mikhail/Deverson lost out in 2 close sets for Bay to win 3-1.

The Men’s over 60’s Midweek team seem to be making hard work of their matches in Division 2. Having pipped Broadstairs in their opener by the odd set, they then travelled to Canterbury 2 and had another close match losing out 5-4 in sets. In the first round Ian Cooke/Mark Townsend were pegged back after taking the 1st set before taking the 3rd set championship tie-break. Bob Toye/Jim Holgate put up a spirited performance narrowly losing the 2nd set on a tie-break. The second round saw Cooke/Townsend win in straight sets while Toye/Holgate struggled to get just the 2 games in the last rubber.

Elsewhere in the Deal Indoor League, Herne Bay 2 battled out a hard fought match against Deal ITC 3 full of tension and friction before Deal edged the match 4-5 in sets. Gary Smith/Jason Hollingsworth did well to win their rubbers 2-1 and 2-0 while Steve Howard/Mark Kennard struggled to make an impact and lost both theirs in straight sets.

The following week the same team played Deal ITC 2, this time making amends running out comfortable 2-7 winners. This time Hollingsworth partnered Kennard and Smith/Howard and these pairings gelled well, the former winning their rubbers 0-2, 1-2 and the latter 0-2, 1-1 (early finish due to light failure).