17th Dec. 17

Despite some difficult conditions to play tennis in, Herne Bay LTC have been able to fulfil a number of fixtures in the lead up to the festive period.

In Division 1 the Ladies Over 60’s Midweek team got their winter campaign off to a good start away at Bearsted with a 3-1 win. Newcomers to the club Tui Thain/Isobel Warnock convincingly won their opening rubber with the loss of only 3 games, whilst the experienced pairing of Diana High/Anja Stileman struggled initially losing the first set to love before their game improved dramatically bouncing back to take the second set and subsequently the third set tie break. In the reverse rubbers High/Stileman beat Bearsted’s 2nd pair with the loss of only 2 games. Thain/Warnock just lost out to the host’s first pair in three sets.

Having previously registered their first win in Division 3B of the Ladies Doubles, Herne Bay 2 entertained Meopham in their second fixture and had another nail-biter! Bay’s pairings Sue Toye/Caroline Packer and Denise Parrett/Debbie Holden both lost to the visitor’s 1st pair but succeeded against Meopham’s 2nd pair. Toye/Packer won in straight sets and although Parrett/Holden won they were taken to an all important third set which meant the visitors took the spoils 4-5 in sets after rubbers were level 2-2.

In another close call the Mixed 4 team narrowly lost their 100% record in Division 8B losing at home to Kings Hill. Bay’s 1st pair Bryan Packham/Helen Lipyeat lost their opening rubber to a strong Kings Hill 1st pair in straight sets before going on to win against their 2nd pair in a third set championship tie-break. Bay’s 2nd pair Steve Howard/Diana High produced virtually exactly the same results in their two rubbers. The match ended 2-2 in rubbers, 6-4 in sets to the visitors.

The Men’s 3 team have got off to a flier in Division 10B winning both their opening matches. In a highly entertaining encounter at home to Kemsing 2, Bay ran out 4-0 winners although the score did not reflect how close the match was. Bay’s 1st pair Colin Thompson/Dave Lawrence lost the first set in their first rubber before storming back in the second set before going on to win a third set championship tie-break. Bay’s other pairing Steve Howard/Jason Hollingsworth proved too strong for both visitor’s pairs and although both rubbers were won in straight sets, most of the games involved long rallies and some good doubles play. Thompson/Lawrence held a certain measure of control in their second rubber winning the first set comfortably but then stuttered somewhat before edging it in straight sets.

Their second match saw them take on Kings Hill again at home. With Howard unavailable it was a chance for some valuable experience for youngster Robbie Benka. He did not let the side down, indeed he more than played his part in an impressive 3-1 win. Bay’s 1st pair Thompson/Lawrence lost a very close opening rubber against the visitor’s 1st pair, just losing out in three sets. Meanwhile, Benka/Hollingsworth were comprehensively winning their first rubber in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. In the reverse rubbers, Benka/Hollingsworth carried on where they had left off and proved too strong for Kings Hill’s 1st pair winning in two sets with the loss of only 3 games. Thompson/Lawrence won their final rubber again in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.

Herne Bay Men’s Vets travelled to Hartley in Division 2A and edged an extremely close battle with three of the four rubbers going to third set championship tie-breaks! Bay’s 1st pair Ian Cooke/Graham Miles had little trouble overcoming the host’s 1st pair losing just 4 games but that was no indication of what was to come. Bay’s 2nd pair Gary Smith/Jason Hollingsworth lost their first rubber in a topsy-turvy affair. Having won the first set 6-0, they lost the next 1-6 before losing the 3rd set tie break. In the reverse rubbers, Cooke/Miles had far stiffer resistance but eventually succeeded in three sets while Smith/Hollingsworth just missed out falling at the last hurdle again in three sets. With the match tied at 2-2, Bay took the honours 6-5 in sets.

The Vets second match proved to be far easier than their opener. Playing host to Bearsted Vets 2, Mark Townsend came in for Hollingsworth. Cooke/Miles were too experienced for both the visitor’s pairs taking both rubbers in straight sets. Townsend/Smith formed a solid partnership and although taken to an opening set tie-break, again comfortably won in straight sets although one of the visitor’s players was forced to retire through injury. A 4-0 win for Bay to top the table.

Also topping the table are the Mens over 60’s Midweek team who travelled to Deal ITC in Division 3. Another close match ensued with Bay winning 5-4 in sets after drawing 2-2 in rubbers. Bay saw the welcome return to competitive tennis for stalwart Bob Toye after knee surgery. Partnering Greg Pearson, they got off to a slow start losing their opener in straight sets. They settled down however in the second rubber and took the host’s 1st pair all the way to a third set championship tie-break that proved pivotal in the contest. Bay’s 1st pair Ian Cooke/Mark Townsend were far too strong in both their rubbers losing just the 3 games in total.

Elsewhere in the Deal Indoor League, the Mens 2 team got a very creditable victory against Deal ITC team. Against Deal’s 1st pair, Gary Smith/Mark Kennard started strongly and took the rubber 6-1, 6-4. Meanwhile Bay’s 2nd pair, Colin Thompson/Steve Howard were also doing well winning their rubber 6-2, 6-2. In the reverse rubbers and in what proved to be the pivotal match, Smith/Kennard took Deal’s 2nd pair to a championship tie-break which Deal won. Bay’s 2nd pair, Colin Thompson/Steve Howard narrowly lost out 4-6, 4-6 to Deals 1st pair. Herne Bay victorious 5 sets to 4.

Also in the Deal Indoor League, Mens 1 took on Hythe 1 in what was largely a one-sided affair. Matt Newman/Patrick Thomassen comfortably won both their rubbers in straight sets. Bay’s 2nd pair Alex Kazekeos/Richard Marshall thrashed their opponents 2nd pair with the loss of just the one game and then started slowly against Hythe’s 1st pair being taken to a first set tie break which they won before getting their act together  and winning the second set 6-1.