CHEPSTOW Tennis Club chairman Gavin Reid praised the fighting spirit shown by the women’s team in winning a crucial relegation clash against Radyr, writes Bob Cypher.

“We lost at Radyr earlier in the season and it was vital we won our home match to stay in division three,” Reid said.

“It was a dramatic match, made even more so when team captain Sally Bethell was informed one of her squad had suffered an injury and was unavailable.”

The club’s strength in depth meant a call-up for Wendy Rowley minutes before the start of the match.

The match started well for Chepstow with top pairing of Sally Bethell and Caroline Hawkins winning a close match against Radyr’s top pair, 6-3 7-6.

Rebecca Alcock and Wendy Rowley continued the excellent start by winning their opening match 4-6 6-4 7-6 and the first round of matches concluded with the third pair Caroline Harvey and Jill Maule winning a marathon three-setter 3-6 6-1 7-6 to give Chepstow a 3-0 lead at the half-way stage.

Radyr fought back with both Alcock/Rowley and Harvey/Maule pairs losing their second rubbers in straight sets to narrow Chepstow's lead but, with the season on the line, the Bethell/Hawkins pairing produced a dominant display to win 6-0 6-2 to seal a 4-2 victory.

“Our ladies, led by Lesley Russell, have performed brilliantly all season in a division where the standard of play has been consistently very high,” Reid added

“This win, effectively a relegation decider, is a well-deserved reward for the team's excellent performances. Well done everyone!”