As the Women’s 1sts took their places on court today, they knew this clash could shape their season.
Sitting joint bottom of the table, yet to score any points, the Northern Premier was looking like a daunting place for both Leeds and Nottingham, as they faced one another at the John Charles Centre for Sport.
Unfortunately, a collapse in the doubles saw the Gryphons rooted firmly to the bottom of the table, as they lost 8-4 overall.
It was a strong start from the Ladies though, as they came out of the singles matches level.
First seed Jennifer Smith fought powerfully to overcome her opponent, winning a gritty first set 6-4. Taking control in the second, Smith won convincingly 6-2, but the second and third seeds fared less well.
Her competitor’s athleticism saw Kirsten McArthur fall 6-0 in the first set, but to her credit, the Leeds second seed fought back valiantly in the second. Power changed hands throughout this set yet, despite holding a 5-4 lead at one stage, McArthur lost 7-5.
Number three Amy Wilson continued this trend, losing her first set without scoring. Despite a strong start in the second, her opponent’s technical and tactical ability was her undoing.
The game of the fixture, however, belonged to the fourths, as Yasmin Coleman overcame her opponent in a three-set thriller.
After a slow start in the first set, Coleman began to gain confidence, a strong serve handing her a 6-4 victory. The next set was much more up for grabs, with the lead changing hands throughout.
Despite leading 3-2 at one stage, the set was lost 7-6. The final set, in the form of a 10-point tie break, was just as epic, taken 11-9 by the leads player to level the scores.
However, Leeds’ resolve would not hold in the doubles.
Smith and McArthur made a good start in the match, but were convincingly beaten in the second set. The tiebreaker was close but it ended 6-4, 2-6, 8-10 in favour of Nottingham.
Coleman and Wilson fell to pieces in their match, losing 6-0, 6-0, as the point went to Nottingham.
Uni will have to start turning these results around fast, and a derby fixture against Met next week might be just what they need.
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