Changes stall seconds after successive defeats
There’s been mixed fortunes for Oakham Tennis Club’s teams at the halfway stages of their summer leagues.
The ladies first team began the week with another solid success to move into second spot in their division after a 9-0 whitewash win.
Once again captain Debbie Powell led from the front with Margaret Miles, losing only two games all night. They have proved to be an outstanding partnership this year.
Jane Wood and Jane Gilmore also kept control, losing only eight games over the three rubbers. Once they had settled, they played steady tennis by forcing errors from the visitors.
Michelle Greening and Sam Harris began slowly against the visitors firsts but gradually showed their skills, culminating in a tie-break which they won.
They had no further problems as they notched up wins in their remaining rubbers 8-3 and 8-1.
Oakham’s men’s first team narrowly lost 5-4 to a strong Leicestershire side by a tie-break which nearly went to the Rutlanders.
This was the second 5-4 loss of the season, both to much larger clubs.
Richard Breag and Dan Potter won all three rubbers including a close tiebreak while Peter Farrar and Gordon Reekie had a similar tie-break against the same couple but narrowly lost it.
Jeremy Wood and Tim Port played together, but could not find a way through the tough opposition.
A stronger side hosted Linford at The Vale and almost kept a clean sheet in an 8-1 success.
Back in the fold captain Jack Hubbard and Dan Potter had few problems as they romped home losing only seven games all night.
Richard Breag and Tref Vandoros had to fight hard against the firsts to win 8-6 after they had scorched ahead earlier in the evening, losing no games in their first two rubbers.
Third strings Greg Delaney and Nick Crowson won two rubbers easily, but found the top pair too accurate for them.
Second team skipper Tim Port has had a very tough start to his captaincy.
He has had to change partnerships for every game as some of his players have had to play for the first team while others have been injured.
It is a tight division for the men with no easy matches, but they have ploughed on, fighting for every point and rubber.
They have yet to win a match but their fighting spirit is good to see.
They lost 7-2 to Syston last week with tie-breaks again being a feature.
Justin Fowler and Robert Mowatt won one rubber, Port and Peter Farrer won another on a tie-break and Edmund Dry and Ken Stewart lost one on a tiebreak.
Another changed side Oakham side went down by the same margin when Market Harborough visited The Vale.
Port and Mark Mitchell - out for the first time this year - came close with some forceful tennis but could not push through enough for a point.
Ally Orr and Peter Farrar beat the thirds but were kept chasing against the others, losing closely 6-8 both times. The long drives with speedy interceptions were specialities of the games with numerous games going to deuce.
Martin Reason and Adrian Morris had a great 8-1 win over their opposite number after a very exciting fight against the visitors’ firsts.
They rallied back and forth with fierce exchanges at the start of the evening but were eventually outrun.
The rubbers results did not convey how close many of the games were as rally after rally kept the spectators thrilled to watch the contests.