Fantastic weather for Pocklington tennis

In the Driffield Leagues, Pocklington men are making their mark but, sadly, the men’s A team’s 100 per cent record so far took a knock. After having Bridlington A last week 5-4, and Cherry Burton 6-3 the previous week, this week they fell 3-6 to Beverley and East Riding A.

In division three, the men’s B team result last week was an 8-1 win against Cherry Burton B (away). Dave Booth/Andy Stockham and Dave Gamble/Darren Smith won two sets apiece, and the pairing of experience with young legs won three sets for Chris French/Huw Attwood.

This week they played at home in fantastic weather conditions in their clash with Driffield Rec B. Chris French again formed a useful partnership with Huw Attwood, taking all three sets 8-2, 8-2, 8-5. Dave Gamble and Darren Smith efficiently dealt with two sets 8-2, 8-2 and Jim Holding and Andy Stockham made harder work of the night winning two sets 8-1 and an 8-7 tiebreaker. The team are in a good position in the league, losing only one match narrowly this season.

Men’s C team met Bridlington’s C team at home, comfortably winning 9-0; the team was helped out by guest appearances from Jim Holding and Billy Bartram, who played with young Adam Smith. Also playing were Gavin Smith, Mark Smith and captain Robert Sampson.

Mixed A suffered an 1-8 loss against Beverley and East Riding A, not least due to Helen Whilesmith incurring an injury early in the match which scuppered their chances.

On a fabulously sunny day, the mixed B team travelled to Beverley and East Riding. The young guns Zak Los and Huw Attwood and not so young Mick Douglas accompanied Fiona, Lisa and Rachel. A long evening’s hard tennis was played, apart from Huw and Lisa who finished a lot earlier, having won two rubbers convincingly 8-1 8-0 and then had to sit and watch. Mick and Fiona battled hard with lots of encouraging banter from Fiona, and won one rubber. The athletic Zak and Rachel had lots of interesting points, coped well with some very aggressive uncontrolled shots from their opponents, including a blow to the head for Rachel, yet still won two rubbers 8-2 8-6. So, overall a 5-4 win.

Pocklington’s mixed C team got back to winnings ways this week after their defeat against their B team clubmates. The match, played on a wonderful summer evening against a sociable Sledmere A team, threw up several strange results with each of Pocklington’s couples losing a set to a different opposition’s couple.

Chris French and Sally Simpson were first to fall losing 3–8, with Chris French missing a string of easy shots. Sally Simpson calmed her partner and the couple clicked into gear to win 8–3 and 8–5. Darren Smith partnered debutant Tash Bloom, and they won their first two sets 8–7 and 8–4, before falling in their final set 4–8.

Billy Bartram and Val French saw a 7–4 margin disappear to lose on a tiebreak 7–8 in their middle set, but won their other two sets 8–6 and 8–5, giving a well-earned 6–3 victory and, at this early stage of the season, look to have almost secured their division two status, having struggled to survive in this division last year.

The mixed D team travelled to the tranquil grass courts of Sledmere to play Sledmere B. With a young undefeated Sledmere team playing on their home turf and two regular ladies missing for Pock, it was always going to be a battle.

After two rounds Sledmere had the upper hand, leading 4-2, having won a critical tiebreak. With captain Di Flint watching the final round, Gav Smith/Helen Fairey won their final set to keep Pocklington in the match. Patrick and Louise Wilkinson were also victorious but Paddy Dare/Helen Marsden had a tough job playing Sledmere’s first couple to decide the outcome of the match and, despite some heroic diving from Helen, they lost out and Sledmere B claimed a hard-fought win 5-4. 

Pocklington mixed E travelled to Driffield LTC to play on their grass courts which are a joy to play on this season, and scored a good win 5-4. Mark Smith/Rosanne Dane won all three of their sets; Nigel Bartram/Louise Durkin won two; and Stuart Barnett/Gill Jackson were unlucky in some close sets not to bag one.

Pock Ladies A team received Driffield Rec A and, despite a close-run result in games (50-57), lost 3–6 in sets. Top couple Ruth Hill/Lisa Eade won two and lost one on a tiebreak; Fiona Lambert/Rachel Bloom won one, and Mel Duncan/Jean Hunter couldn’t quite clinch a set.

Ladies B kept up their winning ways when they notched up another win against Driffield Rec B, with all pairings getting two sets. Particular congratulations to Louise Durkin/Di Flint who, in a new partnership playing up into this division, more than held their own with some great play, matching that of B team stalwarts Loobie Kettlewell/Angela Bush and Louise Wilkinson/Andrea Bland.

Ladies C made it three wins in a row by beating Driffield LTC 7-2. Congratulations must go to Kirsty Procter, who has had a different partner every week and has come out on top each time. It looks as if she may have yet another partner next week as the ladies teams struggle to get players over the half-term break. This time she played with Tash Bloom, and they won two out of three sets, as did established pair Helen Fairey/Kate Megginson. Helen Marsden/Rosanne Dane had their best match so far, losing only six games.

For the second week running, the ladies playing in division one of the Fulford league recorded a victory. Last week they clinched their first win of the season against Bishopthorpe. The team of Helen Whilesmith/Liz Jones, Emma Owen/Rebecca Hill and Mell Duncan/Ruth Hill won 73-35 in a great team effort in which each couple recorded over 20 games. This week they scored a 63-45 win against Fulford 2 at Fulford. Emma Owen and Liz Jones weighed in with 29 games and Ruth Hill and Fiona Lambert won a healthy 21.

Ladies B team also had two good wins on the last two Saturdays. A week ago, rain held off just enough to enable play as Rachel Bloom/Loobie Kettlewell won 15; Louise Wilkinson/Andrea Bland won 21 and Rosanne/Angela Bush won 22. 

This week, playing in scorching sunshine, the B ladies scored an excellent 76-32 game win against Fulford. Loobie Kettlewell/Jean Hunter were top couple with 26 games, just pipping Louise Wilkinson/Andrea Bland and Rachel Bloom/Angela Bush with 25 apiece.

In the men’s York Tykes League, Pocklington 2 hosted Wigginton 3. The overall score was a loss with Pocklington scoring 46 games to Wigginton’s 62. David Gamble and Dave Maultby were the top pair for Pocklington, winning 22 games and each of their three rubbers to score all of Pocklington’s three points. David Gamble played great interception at the net to win points on anything less than perfect returns from the Wigginton pairs. Barry Johnson and Nigel Bartram resisted valiantly and scored 11 games. Chris French and Stuart Barnett found some key points going against them and scored 13 games. Overall points score was Pocklington 3 Wigginton 9.

Pocklington’s Under-16 B team travelled to Driffield LTC to face their A team and, despite some spirited resistance, Jake Eade, Charlotte Hunter, Hamish Sleigh and Katie Collins were overwhelmed in both singles and doubles by the strength and grass experience of their opponents.

Pocklington player of the match nominated by Driffield was Charlotte Hunter; Driffield player nominated by the Pock team was Scott James.