15th Mar. 19

In what has been a largely disappointing finish to the Kent Winter League for the Herne Bay LTC, several teams managed to sign off with some fine wins.


Probably the most unusual of those was played out when the Mixed 2 team travelled to Frindsbury 1 in Division 3A. In the first round of rubbers new pairing Dan Walker/Helen Lipyeat performed well before going down 5-7,3-6 whilst Ian Cooke/Anne Gibbs battled back from a set and 3-5 down to take the second set 7-5 before also just losing out 6-10 in the championship tie-break. Things were not looking good with Bay 2 rubbers down at the half way stage but Cooke/Gibbs overcame a poor start to the second round quickly falling behind 0-4 before staging a fine comeback to win 7-6, 6-2. Walker/Lipyeat produced a great match to overcome the host’s 1st pair winning the 3rd set championship tie-break 10-8. Although the players knew the result would be close, they were amazed to find that it was 2-2 in rubbers, 5-5 in sets and 42-42 in games, a very rare draw!


The following week the Mixed 2 team were again in action and celebrated their first win of the season albeit with a changed line-up. Entertaining Sydenham at Beacon Road, Gibbs this time partnered Walker for the first time and although far from consistent, managed to take the first set 6-3 before going completely off the boil losing the first 4 games of the second set. Although they rallied the set was lost 4-6. The momentum shift was however in Bay’s favour and proved decisive in the 3rd set championship tie-break with Gibbs/Walker romping home 10-4. Debbie Holden/Mark Townsend had a straightforward win against the visitors 2nd pair 6-4, 6-0 with the opposition struggling with the breezy conditions. With Bay up at the half way stage, the reverse rubbers saw Gibbs/Walker comfortably win 6-2, 6-3 before Holden/Townsend fought out a topsy-turvy 3 setter, eventually losing the 3rd 8-10. Bay however won 3-1 to confirm their place in the Division for another season.


The Ladies 3 team signed off with a one-sided affair in the rout of Margate 2 at home in Division 8A. Bay 1st pair Tui Thain/Sarah Pout dropped just the one game all afternoon and Sheila Wyver/Helen Lipyeat beat both visitor’s pair in straight sets although they were taken to a 2nd set tie-break in their final rubber. The team finished a commendable 3rd in the Division.


Herne Bay Mixed 1 played their final match away at TWLTC 3 in Division 2A and got off to a flying start in the opening round of rubbers rapidly taking a 2-0 lead. Peter Elsden/Louise Tucker won theirs 4-6, 2-6 whilst Anne Gibbs/Ben Keighley produced some excellent net play in winning 0-6, 4-6. Gibbs/Keighley then edged the host’s 1st pair in a thrilling match in 2 tie-breaks 6-7, 6-7 whist Elsden/Tucker again proved to be too strong for TWLTC’s 2nd pair dropping just 5 games in a straight sets victory for a 4-0 win. The result saw Bay on level points with Canterbury and Bromley at the top of the Division but eventually placed 3rd on rubbers won.


Going into their last match, Mixed 3 hosted Gravesham 2 in the title decider in Division 7B. The match lived up to expectations and could not have been closer. Sue Toye/Matt Newman got the ball rolling with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-2 win while Bay’s 2nd pair Debbie Holden/Mark Townsend lost out 3-6, 4-6. The reverse rubbers saw Toye/Newman miss several chances to kill the match off sooner before edging a tight contest 7-5, 7-5. Holden/Townsend meanwhile lost to Gravesham’s 1st pair 2-6, 4-6. Those missed opportunities proved costly for Bay with the match tied on rubbers 2-2 and sets 4-4, Gravesham took the match and the title 39-40 in games.


The Men’s Vets team did well to finish in 3rd position in Division 2A and fought a close match against Hartley at home in their final match. Having lost the first two games of their opening rubber, Ian Cooke/Pater Elsden powered back without losing another game for a resounding 6-2, 6-0 win. Jason Hollingsworth/Steve Howard got off to a nervy start losing the 1st set 1-6 before levelling in a 2nd set tie-break eventually just losing out in the 3rd set championship tie-break. In the second round Cooke/Elsden again got off to a slow start before bouncing back to win in straight sets 7-6, 6-0. Hollingsworth/Howard again played well in their final rubber and were unlucky to lose 6-7, 2-6. Herne Bay the winners 5-4 in sets.


The Ladies over 60’s Midweek team left the best to last when they entertained Hythe, producing their most accomplished performance of the winter in winning 4-0. Sarah Pout/Anne Gibbs were far too strong for the opposition and reflected in the fact they lost only 2 games in total. Sue Flynn/Tui Thain won their first rubber in straight sets and the second after a 3rd set championship tie-break. Bay finished 5th in what proved to be a pretty tough Division.