25th Aug. 18

Herne Bay’s Kent League midweek mixed veterans team played their last match of the season in division 1 knowing that they only had to complete the fixture to become champions for the 17th time in the last 18 years. There was light rain forecast all day but because the match was to be played at Freedom Leisure, Maidstone on their new artificial clay courts it was able to go ahead. In the 1st round Ian Cooke/Anne Gibbs had some long rallies against the home team’s 1st pair but only dropped one game winning 6-0, 6-1. Mark Townsend/Sue Toye also managed to win their 1st set easily 6-1 and then had a much closer 2nd set which they won 7-5. At the end of the 1st round of play everyone was completely soaked so the 2nd round was abandoned and Herne Bay won the match and secured the league title.

Also completing a successful campaign were the Ladies Midweek 1 team who played out their final two matches at home. First up were Bearsted 1 in Division 1 who proved no match for the formidable pairing of Anne Gibbs/Caroline Packer who dropped only 3 games in both their rubbers. Bay’s 2nd pair Sue Toye/Kay Mileham had a much tougher time of it in their 2 rubbers, both going the distance with virtually identical scorelines in each before Bay secured wins in both with successful championship tie-breaks. Their final match saw a top of the table clash with champions elect Tunbridge Wells 1 and produced a fantastic performance. Bay got off to a flier with Gibbs/Packer and Toye/Mileham both beating their opponents in the first round of rubbers by the same scorelines, 6-3, 6-1. In the second round Gibbs/Packer again had an emphatic 6-3. 6-2 whilst an injury to Toye early in the 2nd rubber severely restricted her movement and despite gamely continuing, the visitors comfortably won. The spoils then to Herne Bay by 3 rubbers to 1 and a fine effort to finish runners-up and congratulations to Tunbridge Wells on topping the table.

In the East Kent League, the Ladies team edged a very close match at home to Deal 1. In the first round Caroline Packer/Debbie Holden produced some fine play to win 6-3, 7-5 whilst Diana High/Tui Thain looked to be in command after taking the 1st set 6-4. Deal bounced back to take the 2nd 2-6 and then going on to win a 3rd set tie break. IN the reverse rubbers Packer/Holden demolished the visitors 2nd pair but High/Thain lost in 2 close sets 4-6, 4-6. With the match level 2-2 in rubbers Bay came out on top 5 sets to 4. The Men’s 1 team played host to Hythe and gained another fine win. Captain Matt Newman was partnered by Geoff Holland making his first appearance for the 1st team. Taking a while to get used to the new pairing, Hythe took advantage and took the 1st rubber 3-6, 4-6. Bay’s other pairing the ever reliable Ben Keighley/Alex Kazekeos had little difficulty against Hythe’s 2nd pair winning 6-0, 6-1. The reverse rubbers saw Newman/Holland finding their game with Newman’s aggressive ground strokes and Holland’s superb net play to win 6-3, 6-3 and Keighley/Kazekeos produce another dominant display in winning 6-0, 6-2 and for Bay to take the match 3-1.

The Herne Bay Tennis Club Finals Day takes place on Sunday 2nd September that should be an exciting days tennis to round off the summer season.