Bay win 3 Mixed Titles

16th Sep. 17

Last weekend saw Herne Bay LTC compete in unprecedented three Mixed Divisional Finals as winners of their respective leagues.

The Mixed 1 team travelled to Tunbridge Wells to take on their mixed 2 team in the Division 2 final.  With regular Louise Tucker unavailable, Debbie Holden stepped up having not played at that level during the season. In the first round Bay’s 1st pair Peter Elsden/Anne Gibbs looked to have their work cut out against the host’s very strong 1st pair. Having traded service holds to level at 3-3, the Bay pair got on top, stifling their opponents with solid net play and consistent returns reeling off nine on the trot to win 6-3, 6-0.

Bay’s 2nd pair, Ben Keighley/Debbie Holden lost a tight first set 4-6 against the host’s 2nd pair but then some excellent hitting and net interceptions by Keighley and good deep lobs by Holden meant that Bay were able to reverse the score in the second set 6-4. The championship tie-break was lost but the set gained gave Bay great confidence for round two.

Elsden/Gibbs took the opportunity of an early break to take the first set 6-3 against the 2nd pair and looked in total control building a lead of 5-1 before the home team rallied, Elsden eventually serving out the set and rubber 6-4.

Keighley/Holden played some excellent tennis against the 1st pair and similarly won in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 to complete a 3-1 win and the trophy for Herne Bay. This was an excellent season by this team with Keighley the outstanding performer in his first season at this level.

Mixed 2 entertained Tunbridge Wells 5 in the Division 3 Final. Bay’s 1st pair, father and daughter combination Graham and Danielle Miles had convincing wins against both Wells pairs winning 6-2, 6-2 against the 1st pair and 6-3, 6-0 against the 2nd pair. Bay’s 2nd pairing of Dan Walker/Nicola Mileham got off to a flyer against the visitor’s 2nd pair taking the first set 6-1 and then edged the second set 7-6. Against the 1st pair Walker/Mileham were taken all the way to a nail-biting championship tie-break, eventually succeeding 11-9 with Herne Bay running out 4-0 winners.

In the Division 6 Final, Herne Bay Mixed 3 were also at home playing Park Langley Mixed 2. Bay and were bolstered by the return of Sue Toye and Caroline Packer in what turned out to be a hard fought close match. Bay’s 1st Pair Matt Newman/Caroline Packer had a confident start beating the visitor’s 1st pair 6-2, 6-1. Bay’s 2nd pairing Eddie Fisher/Sue Toye had to dig deep to win a championship tie-break in the third set to ensure a 7-5,2-6, 1-0 win over a determined Park Langley 2nd pair. The second round of matches proved to be a role reversal whereby Fisher/Toye beat the visitor’s 1st pair 6-0, 6-4 that ensured the title would go to Herne Bay. As with the first round against the visitor’s 2nd pair, this time Newman/Packer won a hard fought victory eventually winning 6-1, 4-6, 1-0. Another 4-0 win for Herne Bay!

Elsewhere, Midweek Ladies 1 team travelled to Tunbridge Wells 1 in their final game in Division 1 knowing a win would mean they retained the title they won last summer. Bay’s 1st pairing Anne Gibbs/Caroline Packer struggled to cope with the heavy slice of the host’s 1st pair and lost 2-6, 3-6. Meanwhile, Bay’s 2nd pair Kay Mileham/Nicola Mileham had to work hard in their rubber against Wells 2nd pair with Nicola suffering a slight injury to her back. It was a close fought battle with long tiring rallies eventually winning 6-3, 6-4. With no ill effects from the back problems, the Milehams continued wher they had left off and overcame the host’s 1st pair 6-3, 6-3. Gibbs/Packer also won their second rubber with a comfortable 6-3, 6-0 scoreline. The more orthodox play of their opponents was countered by the aggressive baseline hitting of Packer, complimented by the solid net play of Gibbs. The title was claimed with the 3-1 win and Herne Bay 4 points clear of their nearest rivals.