Stage set for thrilling finals

The 2020-21 Mount Gambier and Districts Tennis Association finalists are confirmed after players gave it their all in Saturday’s final round. The stakes were high across all three grades around the region, but few could match the tension at Malseed Park in Division 2.

West Gambier Blue and Glencoe Maroon faced off in a winner-takes-all fight, but many would not have predicted what occurred. The hosts enjoyed a fine start after Jamie Higgins and Matthew Charlton won their respective singles, but Glencoe hit back thanks to Craig Childs and Jenna Paproth.

After the final two singles sets were split evenly, neither side could be separated as the players entered the doubles. West Blue went on the front foot after Higgins continued his winning form alongside Charlton and Mark Stutley. After Gemma Ballintyne and Ella Jolley won their double 6-4, West just had to taste success in one of the final two doubles fixtures to secure a finals berth.

However, Alice Tentye, Paproth and Alison Meyer stepped up for Glencoe Maroon and combined to win both rubbers 6-3. The late charge ensured all 12 sets were shared evenly with the visitors taking the spoils by eight games. To rub salt into West’s wounds, Suttontown Tigers destroyed Reidy Park 11-1 to surge up to third on the ladder and snatch a finals place from the former.

Other Division 2 winners were Glencoe Gold, West Gambier Red and Uniting Church. In Division 3 Mil Lel Blue suffered a nightmare final-round road trip to Suttontown. Both sides needed a win to seal a place in the top-four, but the home team was too strong.

Christian McCombe, Nathan Beck, Daniel Smith, Steph Beck and TrudyAnne Doyle were in fine form as Suttontown cruised to a 12-0 thumping of Mil Lel Blue, which forced the latter to slip down to sixth position on the ladder. Other finalists Glencoe/Centrals and Mil Lel Green won against Uniting Church and Moorak respectively, while Mount Schank easily overcame West Gambier Blue.

Although the final three in Division 1 were already locked in, the minor-round season finished on a high note. The leading two sides Glencoe and Centrals/Uniting Church went blow for blow and were separated by the barest of margins. After both sides shared six sets each, just one game split the rivals with Glencoe taking home the spoils.

However, the Reidy Park and West Gambier contest was even closer. Reidy Park fought back from two sets down to tie things up and the battle ended up a draw after both teams claimed 50 games each.

The MGDTA season has a one-week break before finals on Saturday, March 13.

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