York University 5 Hull University 1
A cold autumn evening provided the backdrop for the York University Tennis Second String to show what stern stuff they were made of when they faced Hull University in a Yorkshire battle.
This is now the second year that the Men’s 2nds have been part of the Barclays Northern Conference, and after an understandable period of adjustment last year, the team seems ready to kick on upwards this term. They have certainly showed their credentials with this performance against a resilient Hull side, in their third tie of the season.
York got off to an excellent start with an impressive 8 games to 3 win in the first doubles rubber: Tristan Buckley and David Baker came out victorious. The scores were soon tied after a hard fought game was lost by York’s Lewis Rujirawirote to the impressive Lee Guest. Things remained in the balance as the light faded.
York’s Richard Pinching was able to bag the next point for the home team with a commanding performance against Hull’s Martin Leek; Pinching’s powerful side spin serve and equally powerful forehand caused problems for the opposition all evening. Pinching and Rujirawirote then teamed up to take both of their former opponents on in the second doubles match of the night. The Hull pairing took an early 4-1 lead and worked well together at the net with some well placed volleys and smashes. However, a gutsy fight back saw the York pick apart their opponents with effective lobs and handy net play, eventually earning a fantastic 9-7 win.
Possibly the best game of the night was between York University’s Tristan Buckley and Hull’s John Cavanagh, which turned into a marathon. After losing the first set 6-3, Buckley was able to turn his game around, winning the next two sets 6-0 and 7-5.
The match was packed full of lengthy baseline rallies, with both players exchanging blows repeatedly, resulting in numerous deuces and making the third set into a battle of bodies as well as minds. After the encounter, Tristan gave his verdict: “I never really got to grips in the first set, but thankfully I picked up. I think I needed a longer game just to keep warm!”
The final game pitted York team captain Guy Baxendale against Andrew Riley. Baxendale got off to a flying start, winning the first set 6 games to 1; his offensive approach in the opening altercations was too much for Riley, as sliced backhands and cruelly whipped forehands destroyed his opponent’s game. However, the second set was a different story as Riley began to find his feet in the match, using good defensive tactics to stifle Baxendale’s play. Baxendale, however, was just able to put Riley away after a tiring second set of 6-4, adding to York’s comprehensive defeat of their neighbours.
“I really made hard work of that second set, but I got the victory. I felt comfortable after the first, but went on to make a few silly errors”, said Baxendale after his match.
So after a comprehensive defeat of one of York’s local rivals, all that was left to do was to warm up with a well deserved drink.
By Adam Luke