Wells leading men’s team have their place at the top of the North Somerset League confirmed this week by the league chair. Having only just been promoted to Division One, the A team had their best season ever thanks to the commitment and determination of a dedicated band of regular players.
Men’s Captain Dave Mills commented: “We’ve had a fantastic Summer season and I’d like to thank all the players that where involved in making this an extremely successful year for Wells tennis club. The commitment from our regular players and our new members, some who have never even played league before, has meant it’s been tough, but ultimately worthwhile. Well done all!”
Despite two of Wells’ Men’s Teams having secured promotion there was plenty to play for coming into the final week of the season at the end of July. Wells A Team had a tough match away at local rivals Wedmore A and needed a win to retain second place in Division 1. James Edwards and Jon Parsons showed their strengths in the first match with a 6-3, 6-1 win while Matt Goatcher and Seth Cunningham came back from losing the first set to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Both reverse matches went to a Championship Tie Break. Goatcher and Cunningham were pipped 11-9 in their tie break, losing 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 whilst Edwards and Parsons came back from 5-2 down in the second set to steal a 3-6, 7-6, 1-0 victory. The 9-4 win rounds off an impressive season for Wells A finishing first in Division 1.
Wells B-Team had secured promotion with second place and were at home to league leaders Priory A in something of a dead rubber. Priory A arrived with a strong first pair who defeated Dave Mills and Graham Harvey 6-3, 6-2 in their first match. Mills and Harvey struggled in the second match too losing 6-3, 6-0. However, Rob Powell and Marcus Fisher won their first match 6-4, 6-4 before coming up against the strong Priory first pair and losing 6-3, 6-1. The 8-2 win for Priory confirms the placings in Division 5 and Wells B can look forward to Division 4 tennis next season.
Wells C-Team started the evening in 4thplaces and needed a result against 3rdplaced Avenue B to assure themselves of Division 5 tennis next season. Ed Pearce and Dave Cotton struggled in their first match and lost out 7-5, 6-3. They faded in their second match losing 6-3, 6-1. Second pair Ray Brooks and Karl Tucker lost out 6-3, 6-3 in their first match before winning their final match 6-2, 6-4. With an 8-2 loss Wells C will have to hope that other results go their way in order to avoid relegation.
Wells D-Team were already crowned Division 7 championships and took the opportunity to give some new players an experience of league tennis. They were away to Avenue C at Burnham-on-Sea. Jon Browne and Ricky Brewer lost out 6-3, 6-1 in their first match while Ian Baker and Andy Scott took the first set before being edged out in a Championship Tie Break to lose 3-6, 6-4, 1-0. The reverse matches also resulted in wins for Avenue with Browne and Brewer losing 7-5, 6-2 in a hard-fought match. Baker and Scott lost out 6-3, 6-4 to giving Avenue a 10-1 win on the night. The result was of less importance than the opportunity for new players to experience the competitive fun of league tennis and as such they played well and will hope to play a part in next season too. Wells D finish as league leaders and so will be promoted to Division 6 for next season.
Collectively Wells’ 4 teams can be proud of a strong season with two promotions and the A-Team finishing first in tough Division 1. Their results the show an increasing strength in depth and Wells Tennis Club will look to encourage more players who wish to participate next season. Particular praise must go to Colin Blatchford-Brown who captained the D-Team to top spot in Division 7 whilst giving new players their first experience of league tennis.