OAKHAM Tennis Club has had a mixed set of results in its first week of matches in the Leicestershire leagues as well as a few bruises to show for its efforts.
The Ladies seconds began the week with a very good win over mighty Loughborough at The Vale .
Skipper Carolyn Davies and Jane Wood combined well to win two rubbers against the seconds and thirds but found the firsts too hot to handle. Jackie Staines and Jill Wilcox-Smith also discovered they could beat their opposite number and the thirds but could not break the strength of the firsts.
Newcomers to the matches Catherine Drury and Michele Greening found the going tough against stronger competitors but won a vital rubber against the visitors 3rds to give the home side valuable bonus points.
Oakham Ladies firsts took on the strength of a younger, harder-hitting Syston Northfields for their 1st match.
Celine Veniat and Captain Debbie Powell were slow to start and as a result lost narrowly to the visitors seconds before going on to beat the thirds and firsts with the kind of accurate and powerful tennis they usually produce.
Jane Wood and Laura Reekie found the opponents too accurate for them although they did get better with each round. Jane Gilmore and Viki Renwick tried all they knew but to no avail as their opponents kept control at vital moments.
Oakham’s youngsters proved their worth as Tim Davies’ men’s first team set team set off for Loughborough with two new pairings which worked wonderfully well.
Fourteen-year-old Jack Haywood, whose father runs Corby Tennis Centre, partnered Ralph Clarke for the first time in these leagues. They combined perfectly to win all three rubbers, with Ralph keeping a watchful eye on the young blade.
Tim and Jack Hubbard came close to doing likewise and their two rubbers were well earned. Third strings Nick Howitt and James Henley played together for the first time and won another two rubbers and valuable bonus points in the first division.
The men’s seconds, led by new skipper Kim Renwick had a baptism of fire, taking on Ashby without two of the team’s strongest players.
He and Nick Crowson were relieved to win one rubber on a very fast carpet – something the Rutlanders are not used to at The Vale. Dan Potter and Greg Delaney also won a rubber with their determination.
Newcomer Gordon Mowatt and Ken Stewart found the going to fast for them but they kept their hosts on court for as long as possible before giving in.