HELENSBURGH Tennis Club’s senior ladies’ first team had a difficult start to life in Division One as their autumn campaign got under way this week.

Having lost half their team players from the 2018 season, Helensburgh were always going to find the going tough, and so it proved against the 2018 champions Clarkston.

Liz Wylie and Alison Fotheringham at second couple took a little while to get going, losing the first set, but then they got their act together and were really unlucky to lose the second set on a tie break, having been ahead throughout the set.

Clarkston then re-imposed their dominance and ran out comfortable winners of the third set.

At first pair Katie Hope and Ann Morison were up against a very consistent, attacking pair who have played together for many years.

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For most of the match there was nothing to choose between the two couples, with many long baseline rallies and plenty of sharp volleying but unfortunately Katie and Ann just couldn’t quite convert their impressive play into sets won, eventually losing 7-5, 7-6, 6-2 and giving Clarkston an overall 6-0 win.

The ladies’ veteran second team played host to Giffnock where first couple Morag Cawley and Sue Macrae took the opening set 6-4.

As the visitors settled into their game they began to dominate the play and took the second set 2-6.

The deciding set was all to play for and all four players held their serve and forced the tie break.

Morag and Sue were determined to get the win and raised their game to force error after error from the visitors and claimed the set for a 2-1 win.

At second couple Val Pace and Jackie Hunter could do little to make any inroads against their opponents, who dominated all three sets, leaving Helensburgh on the wrong end of a 2-4 overall scoreline.

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It was a similar story for the club’s ladies’ veteran third team, who lost at home to Whitecraigs.

Despite the best efforts from first couple Shona Bulloch and Jane Carroll, they were just not strong enough and were overpowered by their opponents, losing all three sets.

Susan Russell and Barbara Gillies narrowly lost their opening set but came back to take the second; the home pair had their chances in the deciding set but it was the visitors who were the stronger and took the set. The final score was a 1-5 defeat.

Helensburgh’s ladies’ veteran fourth team currently sit at the top of their division at this early stage having won their opening match against Hillhead 6-0 and drawn their second fixture against Bearsden.

Whilst team captain Phyllis Fullarton is delighted with the results of the opening matches, but she knows that tougher matches are coming, most notably against neighbours Cardross, who thrashed Hillhead 6-0.