Tennis: Top order shake up

NOT STRETCHED TOO THIN: Glencoe Maroon’s Will Hann stretches for the ball during one of his doubles games, but it was no stretch for the win as he and his partner claimed a 6-2 win. Picture: JAMES MURPHY

ONLY four rounds remain in the 2017-18 Mount Gambier and District Tennis Association season and the competition is heating up across all grades.

The A2 division is no exception, with some movement in the top order of the ladder after Saturday’s games.

Suttontown has made a claim to second place after it won against Glencoe Gold, while West Gambier Red dropped to third following a loss to its bottom-placed home-club rival West Gambier Blue.

Glencoe Maroon has taken advantage of this upset and with its easy 12-set triumph over Centrals, now holds the lead by a two-win margin.

Having the bye for the round, Mount Schank remains comfortable in fourth place, with a buffer of two wins separating it from fifth.

The upset of the round saw West’s Blue team rise to the occasion when it met its rival Red team.

Jamie Higgins led the way for Blue, as he claimed a 6-3 win over Brady Cook in the top men’s singles.

Number three Jacob Wright followed suit as he defeated Paul Wilkinson 6-4.

However, set counts remained even for the men, as Mark Stutley failed to get over the line against Red’s Steven Cook and Jackson Cook also secured a win for the Red team.

It was another even affair in the women’s singles, with two matches each.

Blue’s Leanne and Gemma Ballintyne won their games against Steph Ward and Maggie Finnigan respectively, while for the Red team Elzette Le Roux and Renae Norman claimed the points.

With the overall result coming down to the doubles games, West Gambier Blue won five of the eight matches to take home the points.

However, it could have easily gone the other way, as the closest game saw Higgins and McIntyre narrowly defeat Brady Cook and Le Roux 7-6.

If this result had been reversed it would have seen the sets equal and West Gambier Red would have taken the win on game-count.

For Suttontown, it was a rewarding trip to Glencoe as it visited the Gold team for an eight-set win.

The men’s singles had split results, with Suttontown’s Craig Beck defeating Sam Auld 6-3 and Steve Dehmel won against Mark Feetom 6-1, while Glencoe’s David Cole accounted for Nick Childs 6-3 and Aaron Pitson held off Cameron Pritchard 6-2.

Suttontown’s women won all but one of their games, with Lizzie Doyle, Annelise Beck and Trudy-Anne Doyle winning their match-ups, while Glencoe’s Ruth Thami was too good for Stephanie Beck.

With the win still within reach for the hosts, the doubles put an end to this glint of hope.

David and Eliza Cole were the only duo to find success, as they defeated Joel Childs and Trudy-Anne Doyle 6-4, while the other games were all won by Suttontown.

For fifth-placed Centrals, the visiting ladder leaders were too strong for it on its home courts, with Glencoe Maroon taking the honours by a convincing 12 sets.

Centrals’ Rachel Hamilton was the most successful for her team, wining her singles 6-2 against Glencoe’s Erica Hurley.

Hamilton also paired up with Jaslyn Poel to be the only doubles’ victors for Centrals.

They won their match 7-5 against Hurley and Alice Tentye.

It was a clean sweep for the Glencoe men, with Dave Boyce, Will Hann and Will Maloney winning both their singles and doubles games.

This sees Glencoe Maroon in a comfortable position going into the final minor rounds of the season, but it is important it maintains its solid form to prevent a last minute slip-up undoing its hard work.