23rd May. 11

The winter season is reaching its climax for Herne Bay tennis Club with most teams having faced crucial matches in the Kent League over the last few weeks. Matches have also come thick and fast due to the bad weather before Christmas so players have been kept very busy. In the mixed leagues the mixed 1st team had 2 matches remaining in division 1. The first was at home to Blackheath 1 which they managed to win by the narrow margin of 6 games. Both pairs beat the Blackheath 2nd pair in straight sets and lost to their 1st pair, also in straight sets. But both Peter Elsden/Anne Gibbs and Martin Beckley/Louise Tucker took enough games from their strong 1st pair to ensure the win. The team then had one remaining fixture away to Knoll 1and if they won this they would qualify for their 5th successive division 1 winter final. Knoll were also unbeaten and in a very tough match Knoll came out winners by 3 rubbers to 1. Elsden/Gibbs lost narrowly to their 1st pair, 6-4, 6-4 and then beat their 2nd pair 7-5, 6-2 having recovered from being 5-2 down. Beckley, playing with Sarah Pout, lost both their rubbers. The mixed 2nd team also had 2 matches left to play in division 4 and they won one and lost one. At home to Meopham 1 they won by 4 games with both pairs beating the opposition’s 2nd pair. Sue Toye/Graham Miles won 6-2, 6-0 and then lost to the 1st pair 5-7, 3-6. Sarah Pout/Keith Clark won 7-5, 6-1 and then lost 2-6, 2-6. The teams were tied on rubbers and sets and Herne Bay won by 37 games to 33. In their 2nd game away to Kemsing 1 they lost 4-0 but with 2 wins and 2 defeats they will remain in division 4 for next winter. In the mens divisions the 1st team finished their season with a defeat away to Parklangley and a win/loss record of 2-2. The mens 2nd team had 2 games left to play in division 9 and they lost both. The 1st was a heavy defeat at home to David Lloyd Kings Hill 3 but the other was by the narrow margin of 1 set. In this match at home to Tonbridge 2 Jerry Loader/Eddie Fisher and Dave Lawrence/John Lengthorn both beat the 2nd pair but unfortunately Lawrence and Lengthorn dropped a set which proved critical. The team finished the season with 2 wins and 2 defeats. The mens 3rd team were also in action twice in division 10. They travelled to Chipstead Place to play their 2nd team and lost 3-1. Ron Withers/Toby Brown won the rubber for Herne Bay. In their last match of the season they were at home to Bearsted 4 and they were victorious by 3 rubbers to 1. Bob Toye/Gary Smith had their best results ever beating the Bearsted 2nd pair 6-2, 6-0 and then their 1st pair 1 & 1. Ron Withers/Dave Lawrence lost in a championship tie-break against the 1st pair and then beat the 2nds 6-2, 7-5. The team finished the season with a “full-set” of results, a win, a draw, a loss and a match conceded to them. They will remain in division 10 next season.
In the veteran’s leagues there was another good win for the ladies veterans 2 team in division 3. The beat Bromley CC 2 away by 3 rubbers to 1. Debbie Holden/Sue Toye won both their rubbers to continue their unbeaten run for the season and Christine Hanson/Diana High beat the Bromley 2nd pair in a deciding tie-break. The mens over 60’s team played away to both Bearsted and Canterbury in division 1. In the match against Bearsted they won 4-0 with Gary Sims/Keith Clark winning both in straight sets and Brian Cooper/John Lengthorn winning both in a championship tie-break. In their 2nd away match at Canterbury Sims and Clark again won both their rubbers but this time Cooper/Lengthorn were unable to pick up many games on the faster Canterbury courts and the team lost by 4 games. The same result as last year and the team will be hoping for home advantage in the same fixture next winter. Finally, the ladies over 60’s team played United, Hawkhurst at home and won 4-0. The United team had a player with a very unusual serve which only just cleared the net and then bounced sideways and the Bay ladies struggled to cope with this all day. Sarah Pout/Diana High managed to win 6-0, 6-1 and then in a championship tie-break in their 2nd rubber. Mary Haldin/Mary Gibbon also won one rubber in a championship tie-break and the other by 6-4, 6-1. The lady with the unusual serve did not lose her service all match but did cause our team a lot of hilarity as they vainly tried to reach it before it bounced twice.