20th Jun. 18

May proved to be a excellent month of results for Herne Bay Lawn Tennis Club in the Kent League.

In Division 6B, the Ladies 3 team played host to Tunbridge Wells 6 and produced a near flawless performance with both Bay pairs playing consistent tennis. Helen Lipyeat/Sarah Pout teamed up and despite a nervy start edging a close first set 7-5, went from strength to strength to claim the 2nd set with the loss of only one game to take the rubber. Meanwhile Tui Thain/Diana High proved too strong for their opponents winning 6-2, 6-3. The visitor’s morale was now at a low and Bay took full advantage in the reverse rubbers, Lipyeat/Pout losing just 3 more games and Thain/High only 2. An excellent 4-0 win for Bay maintaining 2nd place in the league.

In their final match of the summer, the Men’s 2 team travelled to Sydenham 4 in Division 8B and came away with a creditable win 1-3. Both opening rubbers were cagey affairs with identical results in favour of Herne Bay. Graham Miles/Ian Cooke winning 6-7, 4-6 and Dan Walker/Mark Townsend doing the same. In the reverse rubbers Miles/Cooke proved far too strong for the host’s 2nd pair losing just 2 games whilst Walker/Townsend went down 7-5, 6-2. The precious 2 points keeps Bay top of the table but are reliant on other results to determine their final position.

The Mixed 4 team continued their impressive season with an emphatic win away at Gravesham Mixed 3 in Division 7A. Bay 1st pair Colin Thompson/Tui Thain were imperious in their rubbers winning both without losing a game whilst 2nd pair Roger Thomas/Lesley O’Connell won both theirs in straight sets losing just 6 games to cement a 0-4 win and maintain joint leadership in a very tight league.

The Ladies 1 team travelled to Parklangley in Division 2B with two regular first team players missing and in hot and humid conditions battled away to a fine win. The ever reliable first pairing of Anne Gibbs/Louise Tucker took control of their first rubber and took it relatively comfortably in straight sets. Meanwhile replacements Debbie Holden/Caroline Packer got off to a nervy start losing the 1st set 6-1. They found their game in the 2nd set but narrowly lost out 6-4. The second round saw Gibbs/Tucker win easily losing just one game. Holden/Packer played superbly to take the 1st set against the host’s first pair before narrowly losing the 2nd set in a tie-break. The deciding championship tie-break was a battle of attrition with the conditions taking their toll and Bay eventually losing 10-8. With the match tied 2-2, Bay won 6-5 in sets to maintain their unbeaten run in the 3 matches played so far.

Herne Bay Mixed Vets Midweek took on newcomers Hythe in Division 1 and Ian Cooke/Anne Gibbs and Mark Townsend/Kay Mileham proved to be too strong for the host’s. In an entertaining match including some long rallies, Bay were the dominant team losing just 10 games across 8 sets to continue their 100% record in the Division after 2 matches.

By contrast, Men’s Vets Midweek 1 could not have had a closer match when they entertained a strong Canterbury 2 in Division 1. After a delay due to a torrential downpour, both opening rubbers were keenly fought and went to championship tie-breaks. Bay’s first pair Graham Miles/Ian Cooke fought back from a set down before missing out in the tie-break 7-10 whilst Gary Smith/Mark Townsend won their tie-break 10-8. The reverse rubbers were far more one-sided with Miles/Cooke winning 6-1, 6-1 and Smith/Townsend picking up just the 3 games. With the match tied 2-2 in rubbers and 5-5 in sets, Bay triumphed by 36 games to 34 to consolidate top spot after 2 matches.

Also sitting top of the league are the Ladies Midweek 3 who travelled to Blackheath in Division 4. Bay’s first pair Sarah Pout/Denise Parrett had a tight 1st rubber eventually winning in straight sets 5-7, 4-6 whilst Helen Lipyeat/Lesley O’Connell also won in two 5-7, 2-6. The second round saw Bay go from strength to strength and closed out the remaining 4 sets with the loss of only 3 games.

Men’s Vets Midweek 2 played out their final 2 games of the season in Division 4 within a week of each other. In a close match at home to Horsmonden, Bay’s pairings of Greg Pearson/Mark Townsend and Steve Howard/Jim Holgate got off to good starts in the opening rubbers both winning in 3rd set championship tie-breaks. The reverse rubbers however went the way of the visitors in straight sets meaning a win for Horsmonden 6-4 in sets.

The following match saw a resounding win for the Bay 4-0 at home to Margate 2 to finish on a high. With a slightly changed line-up, Mark Townsend was partnered by Keith Curtis and Steve Howard with Mark Roe. Both pairs despatched the visitors first pair fairly easily losing just 5 games between them. Margate’s second pair put up far more resistance with Townsend/Curtis winning 7-5, 6-1 and Howard/Roe being taken to a 3rd set championship tie-break.