Huddersfield Lawn Tennis and Squash Club are sitting at the top of the Kirklees and Calderdale Racketball League after some fantastic wins of late.
They have beaten Wilsden, Mirfield Old Bank and Old Crossleyans in the past two weeks to put them top of the pile on 113 points after 12 games played.
First to the match against Wilsden and HLTSC’s season debutant Ben Oldroyd played first and whilst starting strongly winning the first game, he eventually succumbed to a 1-3 defeat. James Ramsden was up next and with an air of confidence comfortably won his game 3-0.
This meant the final game was the key one to win overall and Dan Lawton from Huddersfield didn’t disappoint with a superb hard fought 3-1 victory.
Overall Match Score 10-4
In the second fixture HLTSC played away at Mirfield Old Bank, another title contender team.
First up James Ramsden of HLTSC was outclassed by Neil Bowyer of Mirfield losing 3-0. In the second match of the evening Dan Lawton of Huddersfield had a gruelling match against Kasey Hall.
The first four games were incredibly close with Dan taking the first two games 11-13, 8-11, but Kasey came storming back to take the next two 11-7, 11-9. In the deciding 5th game Dan was sublime and had the most stamina to take it 12-10.
In the final match of the night with the final result in the balance, it was another masterclass from Mark Francis of HLTSC who, despite coming back from a recent injury, had enough guile and skill to beat Phil Power 0-3.
Overall match score 9-5.
The Huddersfield team then completed another victory to keep themselves at the top of table but were made to work hard by Old Crossleyans (Halifax) who played well above their current league standing.
First on court was HLTSC’s Ian Smith playing his first match in a while against Chris Johnstone.
Smith got off to a very strong start and won the first two games comfortably with great reach and court coverage. In the third game Johnstone kept up the pace with Smith and was strong with his own retrieving and drop shots. Johnstone had game point at 10-9 but Smith held his nerve and took the next three points to take the game (10-12) and the match 0-3.
Second on court for HLTSC was James Ramsden against Ash Jahal. Ramsden looked the better player to begin with taking the first two games 5-11, 9-11. However recent injuries started taking their toll on Ramsden in the third and Jahal took it easily 11-7 but when it was 10-10 in the fourth Ramsden could have put the match to bed but a lucky shot from Jahal gave him game point and Jahal didn’t look back from there, securing the court 12-10.
In a crunch deciding 5th game, it was Jahal who always had his nose in front and took it 11-7. So whilst Ramsden lost 3-2 the two games he took helped the team as every game won counts.
In the final match with everything to play for it was Old Crossleyans captain Neil Perry against Dan Lawton of HLTSC.
The first rally of the match lasted 50 shots and was a marker of rallies that were to come. In a fantastic tussle that swung both ways it was Dan who was the fitter of the two and this showed in a few of the shorter drop shots that Perry couldn’t quite get to.
Lawton took the first game 9-11. The second game was just as tight and went a similar way to the first.
Lawton again came out on top 8-11. The third game of theirs was tense and thrilling with each player getting ahead in the game. Perry had game point at 10-9 but Lawton played superbly to force an error from Perry to take it to 10-10.
Lawton then held his nerve in some long rallies to take the next two points and win the game (10-12) and the match 0-3.
Overall it was a close and well deserved victory and a very amicable evening between two teams at opposite ends of the table.
Overall match score 3-11
Next week it’s a key match against Queens also from Halifax.