31st Jan. 11

The Winter tennis season has been a stop-start affair for Herne Bay tennis club. After some good weather in October and early November the snow caused the postponement of a lot of matches up to Christmas, so the club members were pleased to be able to get out and play in the New Year. Although the weather has been very cold most matches have managed to go ahead. The mixed 1st team eventually started their winter season in division 1 of the Kent League with a 4-0 win at home to Sevenoaks 2. Sevenoaks teams always have junior girls playing alongside more experienced male partners and this match was no exception. They had 14 year old Anoushka Newman in the team – currently the best under 14 in the country. The Herne Bay team had a 2 thrilling rubbers against her and came out on top in both courtesy of match tie-breaks in both cases. Martin Beckley/Louise Tucker won 6-4, 0-6 and then 10 – 7 in the tie-break and Peter Elsden/Anne Gibbs won 6-2, 4-6 and 10-7. Both Herne Bay pairs beat the other Sevenoaks pair easily. The mixed 2nd team have played a couple of matches this year, winning one and losing one. Their win in division 4 was at home to Bromley CC 1 by 3 rubbers to 1. Sue Toye/Graham Miles won 2 rubbers and Sarah Pout/Ian Cooke won 1. Their other match was away to Broadstairs 1 and although they lost 4-0 every rubber went to match tie-break so the result could easily have been a win for Herne Bay. In this match Keith Clark played in place of Cooke. The 3rd mixed team are having a successful season in division 5 with 2 wins and a walk-over. They have won both matches 4-0. The 1st was away to Blackheath 3 were the team was Debbie Holden/Lionel Hoskins and Christine Hanson/Bryan Packham. In the other match at home to Tunbridge Wells 4 the 2 men were Eddie Fisher and Jerry Loader.
The ladies 1st team have found the season very difficult in Kent League division 1 and have yet to win a match although they have lost 2 very close matches by a set in one case and 6 games in another. They have one match to play away to Tunbridge Wells, who also have not won a match, which will decide who gets relegated. The ladies 2nd team have played 3 matches so far in division 4 and won 2. At the weekend they beat Bromley CC 2 at home by 4 rubbers to nil. Sarah Pout played with Christine Hanson and Debbie Holden with Sue Toye. The team were unlucky to lose 4-0 to David Lloyd, Beckenham the previous week when 3 out of the 4 rubbers were decided by match tie-breaks. The mens team have played very few matches over the last 2 months due to the weather or teams conceding to them. So far, the mens 1st team have won 2 out of 3 matches in division 4, the 2nd team 2 out of 2 in division 9 and the 3rd team 2 out of 2 in division 10. In the Kent veterans leagues the mens team won against Walmer 1 at home in division 1 and then lost by 5 sets to 4 away to Tunbridge Wells 1. The team for both matches was Beckley/Clark and Miles/Cooke. The ladies veterans 1st team have 1 win and 2 defeats so far in division 1. They beat Sevenoaks 2nd team at home by 3 rubbers to 1 and then lost by 1 set away to Bexley and finally lost 3-1 to Bromley 1st team at home. The squad of Gibbs, Pout, Toye, Hanson, Denise Parrett and Gill Dickey will hope to reverse this downturn in form for their last match. The matches for the over 60’s teams have been delayed by snow and the availability of players hence both team have only played 1 match so far. The mens team played Hayes at home in division 1 and won 3-1. The team featured new member John Lengthorne playing for the club for the 1st time and in partnership with Brian Cooper he won 1 rubber. Keith Clark and Gary Sims were on their usual good form and won both their rubbers. The ladies team travelled to Bearsted and lost 3-1 with Sarah Pout/Diana High winning one rubber.