24th Apr. 18

With the summer season well and truly under way, HBLTC have continued where the winter season left off with a number of excellent wins in the Kent League.

The Men’s 3 team travelled to Beckenham Men’s 6 in Division 9B and came away with a superb 4-0 win. Bay’s first pair Gary Smith/Jason Hollingsworth were in dominant form and won both their rubbers in straight sets with the loss of only 4 games in total. Colin Thompson/Robbie Benka took a while to overcome their first opponents in a highly entertaining rubber that saw Herne Bay edge it in a 3rd set championship tie-break. Their second rubber proved to be a more routine affair with a straight sets win.

Mixed 3 recorded a fine win in their opening match at home to Chipstead Place in Division 5A. In the first round of rubbers Bay’s 1st pair Eddie Fisher/Sue Toye got off to a good start and seemed to have the first set in the bag before a determined response saw the Chipstead pair claw their way back to eventually close out in two sets. Young Robbie Benka again made an appearance this time with the experienced Debbie Holden and they forged a strong partnership taking their first rubber in straight sets. The reverse rubbers saw Fisher/Toye despatch the visitor’s 2nd pair losing just the 3 games whilst Benka/Holden took the all important first set before losing out in 3. With the rubbers tied 2-2, Bay ended up victorious by 5 sets to 4.

The Men’s 2 team were far too strong for their opponents, local rivals Canterbury 5 in Division 8B with Bay’s pairings Ian Cooke/Graham Miles and Dan Walker/Mark Townsend winning all their rubbers in straight sets for a comfortable 4-0 win.

Also in imperious form were the Ladies 1 team who travelled to Bromley 1 in Division 2B and recorded another 4-0 win. Bay’s pairings Nicola Mileham/Danielle Miles dropped only 7 games, whilst Anne Gibbs/Caroline Packer lost just the 3 to start their campaign in emphatic style.

The Mixed 4 team played host to St John’s Mixed 2 in Division 7A with a new look line up and debuts for Roger Thomas and Lesley O’Connell. The first round of rubbers saw Bay’s 1st pair Colin Thompson/Tui Thain win after a close fought championship tie-break. Like wise, in a topsy-turvy encounter, Thomas/O’Connell came through in 3 sets. In the reverse rubbers Thompson/Thain had too much fire-power and comfortably won in straight sets and although Thomas/O’Connell lost the final rubber, Bay won the match 3-1.

In another impressive 4-0 performance, newly promoted Men’s 1 entertained Hartley 1 at home with two of the usual team missing. Alex Kazakeos was partnered by Dan Walker and they gelled well to beat both Hartley pairs in straight sets with some powerful hitting. Meanwhile Bay’s 2nd pair Matt Newman and the experienced Ian Cooke had quite a tussle in their first rubber eventually breaking down their opponents with some aggressive net play and taking the 3rd set tie-break. They continued the momentum crushing Hartley’s 1st pair and dropping only 2 games.

Elsewhere in the Deal Indoor Winter Leagues the final few matches have been played. Men’s 1 team regulars Alex Kazakeos/Ben Keighley and Matt Newman/Dan Sharp completed their fixtures against quality opponents. Firstly they produced a very solid performance against the highly fancied Deal 1 taking the match 3-1. In their final match they came up against a very strong Walmer team and the result could not have been closer with the tie finishing 2-2 in rubbers, 4-4 in sets and 33 games to 32 in Walmer’s favour. The final league tables are yet to be published.