Virgin storm to victory in clash of local titans
VIRGIN Active look set to continue their domination of the Peterborough & District League after winning the clash of the local tennis titans.
The Thorpe Wood based outfit, formerly known as Esporta, have won the top flight title for the past 22 years (including a spell at Eastways before Esporta opened). but Deeping believe they have assembled a squad capable of pushing them hard this season.
That theory was put to the test this week, but Virgin’s talent pool proved far deeper, especially as Deeping were forced to concede two rubbers when one of their third-string pair, James Westgate, was forced out of the action after one defeat because of illness.
That probably didn’t affect the result as the two Virgin pairs to benefit from a 13-0 walkover result included high-class teenagers Will Huyton and Jack Thorndike.
Huyton is an outstanding talent with a UK ranking in the top 20 at under 16 level and delivered a superb display alongside steady partner Paul Burt to dismantle Deeping’s top two Clive Moody and John Timson 9-4 (each team has three pairs who play one set of 13 games duration against each other).
The tennis was scrappy at the start of the other matches, but Timson and Moody, a formidable partnership, did win a cracking contest against the giant Thorndike, a nationally ranked top 50 under 17 player, and his Polish partner Gregor Komarowski.
The Virgin pair were playing together for the first time against an experienced duo who lose very few sets at this level. Timson, an athletic volleyer with a powerful backhand, and Moody, a wonderfully consistent stroke-maker, led 5-2 before eventually squeezing home after a tie-break.
Timson and Moody won their final game against Jason Sowerby and Matt Hardwick comfortably and the Virgin partnership were also beaten by James Puttrell and Sam Wooding.
Puttrell was a regular member of the Esporta title-winning side, but has moved to Deeping for a fresh challenge. His games had extra spice, but Puttrell hit some beefy winners and he and Wooding pushed Huyton and Burt hard before accepting a narrow defeat.
Virgin Active are now 11 points ahead of Deeping at the top of the Division One table.
Match result: Virgin Active 6, Deeping A 3. Will Huyton & Paul Burt beat Clive Moody & John Timson 9-4; beat James Puttrell & Sam Wooding 76; beat James Westgate & Scott Titman 13-0 (walkover). Jack Thorndike & Gregor Komarowski lost to Clive Moody & John Timson 6-7; beat James Puttrell & Sam Wooding 8-5; beat James Westgate & Scott Titman 13-0 (walkover). Jason Sowerby & Matt Hardwick beat James Westgate & Scott Titman 9-4; lost to Clive Moody & John Timson 5-8; lost to James Puttrell & Sam Wooding 5-8. LATEST tables and results from other Peterborough & District Tennis Leagues.
Division Two Division Three Deeping D 3 3 0 21 30 Spalding C 2 2 0 13 19 Bourne 2 2 0 13 19 Spalding B 3 1 2 14 18 OTT 3 1 2 14 17 Railway B 4 1 3 10 13 Virgin C 3 1 2 11 13 Deeping E 2 0 2 3 3 Results: OTT 3 (3), Deeping D 6 (9); Virgin Active C 3 (3), Railway B 6 (9). Division Four
P W L R Pts NENS 4 3 1 24 33 Whittlesey A 4 3 1 24 33 Stamford D 4 3 1 23 32 Perkins 4 3 1 24 32 Castor A 4 2 2 15 21 Railway A 3 1 2 13 16 JB Squad 3 0 3 6 6 Deeping C 4 0 4 5 5 Results: NENS 5 (8), Railway 4 (4); Stamford D 9 (12), Deeping C 0 (0); Whittlesey A 7 (10), JB Squad 2 (2); Perkins 7, Castor A 2. Stamford E Stamford F Whittlesey B Longthorpe Deeping F