Penarth Windsor LTC teams sitting pretty at half way stage
7:30am Thursday 14th June 2012 in Sport
AS the halfway stage in the South Wales Courtstall Doubles leagues approaches, five of Penarth Windsor LTC's 9 teams are currently top of their divisions and the season is looking good.
The Men's 1st team, playing in Wales's highest division Premier 1, are currently sitting top, although they may find this difficult to maintain as they have played one more than the league's hot favourites Cardiff Castle.
The team has been strengthened with the return from college of local star James Hignett.
Last weekend saw another epic performance with an excellent 6-3 win over a very strong Swansea side which follows wins against Allt Yr Yn and Stow Park.
The Men's 2nds are currently third but with a game in hand over current table leaders Radyr 2 whom they beat 4-2 in their last outing with some fine performances from regular pairing Luke Catterson and Guy Bradley, winning both their rubbers as did Tom Cole and Dyfri Owen.
They now look likely to overtake Radyr into a promotion top two slot upon completion of their outstanding match to take them to the half way stage in the league this year.
The Mens 3rds are also sitting 3rd in their league with a game in hand over league leaders Stow Park 2nds whom they also beat in their last match 4-2.
This team has a number of teenagers committed to GCSEs and A-levels and the half term break allowed a number of them to turn out and strengthen the squad with impressive wins for 16-year-old pairing Tom Bellingham and Morgan Williams, winning both their rubbers.
Team captain Pete Bellingham must be counting down until his two sons finish their school exams and will be free to play the remainder of the matches. A promotion place is still well within reach.
The Men's 4th and 5th teams have the dubious honour of playing in the same division this year and last weekend saw the first inter-club competitive match between the two.
Played in great spirit and humour the 4ths eventually triumphed 4-2 although this was a lot closer than it appeared with Jon Ray and Peter Owen of the 4ths being the heroes by only just beating 5ths captain Phil Davies and regular partner Simon Latham in a final set tie break.
The 4ths are currently top of the division although Cowbridge 2nds have a game in hand and being unbeaten so far this season, look likely to top the division at the half way stage. Promotion is still very much in reach for the 4ths.
The 5ths are still looking for their first win although this is surely to come soon with some real talent in the squad showing there is strength in depth at the club.
The Ladies 1sts have had a frustrating first half of the season, losing two very close matches 4-2, both on a final set tie break. Their last match saw them return to the best of form with a most impressive 5-1 away win over Cwmbran.
This will hopefully be the catalyst to kick start the second half of their season and there is some real talent throughout the squad which could yet see them push for promotion.
The Ladies 2nds are in fine form, topping their league at the half way stage. The team are unbeaten so far and their last match saw them thrash second placed Lisvane 6-0 with pairings Nickie Ritchie and Michelle Olver, Anne Davies and Sarah Halpin, Elin Rowland and Diane Chisnell completing the whitewash.
The Ladies 3rds are also unbeaten this year and are also topping their division at the half way stage. Last weekend saw a most impressive 5-1 away win over Llantrisant.
The Ladies 4ths are top of their division although they have played two more matches than second and third placed teams and have employed a squad rotation policy allowing a number of new players into the squad.
There is also strength in depth here and should they pick their strongest teams for the remainder of the season, a promotion place is well within reach.
Mens and Ladies Captains Dan James and Gwenda Davies say they are delighted with the overall position at the half way stage.
A table topping or promotion second place position is well within reach of at least 8 of the 9 teams and with much to play for in the second half of the season, there are some exciting matches to come.
Club Chairman Jason Richards said: "The club is going from strength to strength, and perhaps what is most pleasing is the youth development policy which is seeing a lot of real young talent coming through, ensuring the future of the club for the foreseeable future.
"This policy has been so successful that a second coach has had to be employed to help with the coaching of the growing number of minis and juniors on a Saturday morning."