Melton Mowbray Tennis Club: Men’s first team maintain fast start to season

Melton Mowbray's in-form men's first team EMN-180529-170344002
Melton Mowbray's in-form men's first team EMN-180529-170344002
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Skipper Ben Mactaggart, the driving force behind Melton’ Mowbray tennis Club’s superb first season in 2017, is continuing where he left off.

Mactaggart led the men’s first team to a resounding second league win in Division One when they hosted Rothley and beat them 7-2.

Ben teamed up with Tom Rowe and collected three wins, with second pairing Luke Smith and Pierre Luiggi also weighing in with three wins.

James Rowe and Tom Ellis collected a single rubber to round off another solid performance.

Scores: B. Mactaggart/T. Rowe W 9-2, 9-1 9-4; L. Smith/P. Luggi W 9-5, 9-6, 9-4; T. Ellis/J. Rowe W 9-4, L 7-9, 5-9.

* The men’s second team headed to Loughborough with a changed side and suffered a rare reversal going down 5-4.

Going into the last round, the score was tied at three rubbers each after two wins by Jason Wheatley and John Sturmey, and a win from Simon Hawthorne and Tom Dryell.

Teenagers Sam Dryell and Alex Horobin squeezed out a nervy 9-8 tie-break thriller to level again at 4-4 before skipper Wheatley and Sturmey looked set to clinch the match when they went 6-0 up to Loughborough’s first pair.

But the lead was gradually whittled away and the Melton pair were shaded 9-7.

Scores: S. Hawthorne/T. Dryell L 4-9, W 9-2, L 5-9; J. Sturmey/J. Wheatley L 7-9, W 9-4, W 9-8; A. Horobin/S. Dryell L 2-9, 2-9, W 9-8.

* Melton’s ladies’ first team entertained Division One title favourites Loughborough and were edged out 6-3.

The Loughborough team have strengthened their squad with the inclusion of former county stars Claire Wynne and Lucy Easters.

Skipper Charlie Griffin and Corinne Blythe weighed in with two wins before losing a tight rubber against Easters and Wynne, while third pairing of Georgene Ashmore and Jess Gadsby collected a single win, but Loughborough just held the edge to go to the top.

Mowbray will now have to focus on winning their matches convincingly and rely on Loughborough dropping rubbers to get back in the title hunt.

Charlie may get the chance to turn the tables on the Loughborough squad when holders Melton host their mixed team in the Mercury Cup semi-finals on Saturday, June 9 from 2pm.

Scores: C. Griffin/C. Blythe W 9-3, L 7-9, W 9-6; L. Cooper/S. Diver L 5-9, 2-9 1-9; J. Gadsby/G. Ashmore L 3-9, 1-9, W 9-6.

* The ladies’ second team collected their third straight win at Carisbrooke, returning with a fine 7-2 victory.

First pairing of Sumitra Fox and Beth Lowe set the standard with three wins and were well supported by Nicky Kennedy and Carol Gilchrist, and Ellie Jenkins and Alison Stone who weighed in with two wins apiece.

Scores: S. Fox/B. Lowe W 9-0, 9-4, 9-5; C. Gilchrist/N. Kennedy W 9-4, 9-1, L 1-9; E. Jenkins/A. Stone W 9-4, 9-4, L 4-9.