2nd Feb. 19

The Herne Bay Tennis Club Ladies section have had a busy start to the year with some notable successes.

Ladies Vets 1 team continued their excellent start to their winter campaign in Division 1B of the Kent Winter League by recording their 2nd 4-0 win. They played Bearsted 2 at home and even though their captain, Nicola Mileham was missing, they were still able to gain an emphatic victory dropping just one set. The Bay’s first pair of Anne Gibbs/Sue Toye won both their rubbers in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 and 6-3, 6-3. The second pairing of Caroline Packer/Sarah Pout beat the Bearsted 2nd pair 6-3, 6-4 in a very friendly and noisy match and then took the 1st set 6-1 against the oppositions 1st pair only to be pegged back in the second set losing it 5-7. They then came back strongly to win the deciding 10point tie-break 10-6.

The Ladies Vets 1 team were in action again at home the following weekend this time against Bromley LTC 2 and were able to complete another 4-0 win. Nicola Mileham was back captaining the team and playing with Anne Gibbs they won both their rubbers dropping just 7 games despite having to battle a swirling wind. The Bay’s second pairing of Sue Toye/Debbie Holden also coped better than the opposition in the difficult conditions and won both their rubbers 6-1, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-4. The team have now played 3 of their 5 matches in division one and have yet to drop a rubber.

Also doing well are the Ladies Vets 2 team who produced a fine performance to beat table topping Freedom Leisure in Division 2B. The reliable pairing of Denise Parrett/Debbie Holden comfortably won their first rubber losing just the 3 games 6-2, 6-1 whilst conversely Sarah Pout/Tui Thain struggled against the visitors second pair losing in straight sets. In the reverse rubbers Parrett/Holden overcame Freedom’s second pair after a tight opening set to win on a tie-break before going on to win 7-6, 6-2. Pout/Thain then produced a battling effort to beat their first pair in 3 sets eventually taking the championship tie-break to record a brilliant 3-1 win. They are now handily placed in 2nd position in the league with one match remaining.

Ladies 3 had a resounding win entertaining Parklangley 2 at Beacon Road in Division 8A. Bay’s first pair Sarah Pout/Helen Lipyeat got off to a fine start winning fairly easily in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 whilst the second pairing of Sheila Wyver/Lesley Oconnell had a far tougher challenge in winning their rubber in a 3rd set championship tie-break. The reverse rubbers saw both Bay pairs produce steady tennis to each win in straight sets and a comfortable 4-0 victory.

After a disappointing start to their campaign in Division 3B, Ladies 2 finally got into winning ways at home to Sydenham Ladies 1. The first round saw Bay take a 2-0 lead with Debbie Holden/Denise Parrett once again form a consistent partnership. Bouncing back from losing the 1st set in a tie-break they fought back to take the 2nd set and then the 3rd set championship tie-break. Caroline Packer/Sarah Pout also had a tight first rubber but with Packer’s attacking style and Pout’s experience they came through 6-4, 6-3 against the visitor’s second pair. The match was wrapped up with Holden/Parrett winning their reverse rubber 7-5, 6-2, and although Packer/Pout lost the final rubber in straight sets, the match was won 3-1.

The Ladies 1 team travelled to Bromley LTC 1 and just missed out in the narrowest of losses in a hard fought battle in Division 1B. In the opening rubbers Anne Gibbs/Louise Tucker unusually went down in straight sets whilst Bay’s second pairing Nicola Mileham/Danielle Miles were taken all the way by the hosts second pair eventually winning a 3rd set championship tie-break to level the match 1-1 in rubbers. In the second round Gibbs/Tucker found their feet and defeated Bromley’s second pair in straight sets. Mileham/Miles meanwhile were feeling the effects of their marathon first rubber and after heavily losing the 1st set bounced back in the 2nd only to be pipped in the 3rd set championship tie-break. With the scores 2-2 in rubbers, 5-5 in sets, the countback revealed a win for Bromley by 35-games to 34.