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27 November 2019
By Colin MacGillivray
St Michaels is undefeated at the halfway point of the Central Wimmera Tennis Association season after surviving a tight tussle with Horsham Lawn Thompson.
The heavyweight battle pitted the ladder-topping Saints against a Lawn side that had only one loss for the season.
It was Lawn Thompson that got off to a strong start when Graeme Wood and Lachlan Punchard downed Peter Hayes and Nick Robertson 8-6.
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The Saints rebounded with win’s in the opening women’s doubles and men’s singles rubbers, but Lawn’s Maree Thompson downed Barbara Crough 8-3 to keep sets locked at two apiece.
The roller-coaster battle continued for the rest of the day, with six of the next eight rubbers decided by two games or fewer.
Wood and Jordan Toll won an 8-7 tiebreak against Saints Hayes and Chris Ellis, but Kassie Peachey returned the favour with an 8-7 singles win against Tahlia Thompson.
Sets were locked at five apiece entering the final round of doubles, with Lawn Thompson holding a four-game lead.
With everything on the line, the Saints’ Hayes pulled out a vital 8-7 win against Wood, while Jess McDonald comfortably accounted for Cherie Wood 8-1, giving the Saints a hard-fought seven sets, 82 games to five sets, 78 games victory.
The loss dropped Lawn Thompson to third place on the ladder, while the undefeated Saints are now two games clear on top.
An even closer match was played at Central Park when the home side defeated Brimpaen 6-75 to 6-70.
Much like the clash between the Saints and Lawn Thompson, several rubbers were decided by either 8-7 or 8-6 scores.
And once again the outcome came down to the final two singles rubbers.
Luke Dunn gave the visitors a chance at victory with an 8-7 tiebreak win against Bayden Penrose, but Blair Penrose bailed her brother out with an 8-7 win against Hettie French to seal a narrow victory for the Parkers.
It was just the second win of the season for Central Park, which will face a stern test against Horsham Lawn Thompson on Saturday.
Brimpaen, meanwhile, will play Drung South, which is on a high after an 8-84 to 4-61 win against Horsham Lawn Gillespie.
Kate-Lyn Perkin filled in for the Drungsters’ men’s division to cover a shortfall of players and played well, winning an 8-6 doubles rubber alongside partner Adam Troeth against Lawn’s Hayden Farlow and Shane Gillespie.
Perkin was nearly part of a second victorious rubber with Dylan Emmerson, losing an 8-7 tiebreak against Gillespie and Ross Janetzki.
While several rubbers went down to the wire, Drung South proved too strong and too consistent for the Lawn side.
Lawn Gillespie must lick its wounds and put in a strong showing against Natimuk on Saturday it if hopes to stay in touch with the top four.
Natimuk was dismantled by Kalkee at the weekend, winning no sets and only 27 games.
The closest Natimuk got to winning a rubber was Jo Taylor’s 8-6 loss to Paula Weidermann, but it was a mostly bleak day for the home side – the visiting Kees won four sets to love.
Kalkee is now back in second place and will play St Michaels in a heavyweight rematch of last season’s grand final.
The entire November 27, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire November 27, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!