16th Mar. 09

The winter season is nearly over for Herne Bay tennis clubs and as teams finish their matches in the Kent League wins become more important either to secure promotion or prevent relegation. This was the case for several teams including mens 3 and mixed 1. The mixed 1st team travelled to Sevenoaks to play their 1st team in the top division knowing that one rubber would be enough to secure their place in the divisional final for the 3rd year running. Unfortunately they were without their best players who were away skiing but they still managed to secure 2 rubbers despite losing the match by one set. In the 1st round Peter Elsden/Anne Gibbs had a close match against 2 Kent juniors which they just lost 6-4, 7-6 and Martin Beckley/Sarah Pout had a bizarre rubber in which they won the 1st set 6-1 when the opposition couldn’t get a ball over the net and then lost the 2nd set 6-3 having rallied from 5-1 down. In the deciding match tie-break there was never more that 1 point between them when the Sevenoaks man served for the match at 9-8 and Beckley played an excellent lob into the back corner of the court. Instead of leaving the ball the Sevenoaks player chased after it and tripped, twisting his ankle and head butting the fence. Unfortunately he was unable to continue with that rubber or the next and Herne Bay therefore won 2 rubbers which places them into the final in April where they will hope it is 3rd time lucky. Their opponents are not known at the moment but it would be nice to play somebody different form Margate, their opposition over the previous 2 winters. Mens 3 also concluded their league programme in division 9 away to Bearsted 3. The team was unbeaten going into the match so a win was sure to win them promotion and put them into the divisional final. In the 1st round Jerry Loader/Dave Lawrence won 7-6, 6-2 and Peter Grimwood/Lionel Hoskins just lost in a tie-break by 10 points to 8. In the 2nd round the weather started to deteriorate badly and with hailstones and heavy rain setting-in the match was abandoned. Lawrence and Loader were 1 game away from victory at the time and Grimwood & Hoskins in yet another deciding tie-break. The match result was taken from the end of the 1st round and Herne Bay were the victors by one set and progress to the final to play Bearsted’s 2nd team on the 21st March back at Bearsted. The 2nd ladies veterans’ team had an extremely close match against Bromley Wendover in division 4 which they won by 1 game. Both the Bay pairs beat the Wendover 2nd pairing and lost to their 1sts. They were also tied on sets and won by 31 games to 30. The team was Debbie Holden/Dian High and Christine Hanson/Sue Toye and they have enjoyed a very successful 1st season in the league winning 4 out of 5 matches. In other matches played this weekend the 1st ladies veteran’s team lost 3-1 to Sevenoaks 1 with Anne Gibbs and Gill Dickey winning the one rubber and ladies 2 lost 3-1 away to Hayes 1 in division 4 to complete their season with 2 wins and 2 defeats. The mens 1st team completed a miserable winter in division 1 with a heavy defeat to Beckenham 1 and were relegated.

            In the over 60-s matches played during the week Herne Bay had 2 remaining fixtures which they played this week. In the 1st they travelled to Canterbury to play their league rivals in a close match on fast, wet Astroturf courts and beat them by 7 games. Bay’s very strong 1st pair, Keith Clark/Gary Sims, disposed of both Canterbury pairs with the loss of just 3 games and their 2nd pair, Brian Cooper/Lionel Hoskins, played well to take 5 games in both of their rubbers to give the 7 game winning margin. Herne Bay then played Parklangley at home 2 days later knowing that a win would give them the title for the 2nd year running. The same team played and this time won 4-0 securing the title.