Ladies show winning way

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OAKHAM’s ladies teams are showing the way at the Vale where the firsts and seconds both recorded wins last week.

The ladies firsts recorded a 7-2 victory at home to Victoria on Wednesday. This is a team Oakham have always had very close matches with but they got off to a flyer with second pair of captain Debbie Powell and Jane Wood winning the opening rubber 9-1.

They rallied well with the visitors firsts until the outcome had to be decided on a tie-break which they won decisively. Their last rubber went all their way - 9-0.

First pair Celine Veniat and Ana Weber showed all their skills in winning the first rubber 9-1 but then relaxed against the opposition’s thirds. But at 4-4 they reasserted themselves to win the next five games.

Fierce rallies against the visitors’ firsts went to the young Oakham pair who ran out 9-1 winners, conceding only seven games all night.

Super vets Jane Gilmore and Laura Reekie faced the visitors firsts in their opening rubber and although they produced some testing tennis, they were caught out too often.

Their second rubber was totally different and their guile took them to a tie-break against their youthful opponents. It was a close run match but the Rutlanders had to concede defeat before going on to beat the visitors’ thirds 9-2 for a valuable point in the 7-2 win.

Mel Johnson, skipper of the ladies seconds, has been able to chose winning sides for the previous two matches and this proved to be the case again when Oakham hosted Oadby on Tuesday.

She and Paige Howarth worked well together to beat the visitors’ first pair, and were unlucky not to win more than the 6-9, 6-9 result shows.

Stalwarts Jackie Staines and Catherine Drury played steadily all night winning 9-1, 9-1, 9-6. Katy Bryan and Amanda McNally showed how well they are working together with two solid wins for Oakham.

Their next match is at Melton with plenty at stake as Oakham are one place above their rivals in the table.

Oakham’s men’s seconds took a reshuffled side to Stoney Stanton where they narrowly lost 5-4.

Playing together for the first time, Gordon Reekie and Jack Hubbard worked extremely hard to win all three of their rubbers. Their match against the hosts’ first pair was tight all the way but the Oakham duo produced enough testing shots to force errors and eventually win 9-7.

Justin Fowler and Dan Potter worked well to beat the hosts’ third pair in a nail-biting tie-break. However, they could not put enough pressure on the others to get another point.

Skipper Kim Renwick and Gordon Smith kept up as much of a fight as they could but were unlucky not to get a point from a strong side sitting at the top half of the league.