Fight on for finals in junior tennis

Junior tennis teams

WITH just two rounds remaining before finals, many top four spots are still up for grabs in the Central Wimmera Tennis Association junior divisions.

In the girls 17 and under competition Haven occupies fourth place on the ladder, but must fend off a challenge from Central Park Purple. 

The Purple Parkers, one of four Central Park teams in the division, are only one win behind Haven and have a significant percentage advantage.

Haven will face top side Horsham Lawn tomorrow and Purple has a winnable match-up with Central Park Pink.

Talented sisters Steffi and Jess McDonald have each appeared in eight of Purple's 12 matches this season, and their availability could determine whether the side plays finals or not.

Also key to Purple's finals hopes will be regular player Maddison Watts, who has a 12-12 combined record in singles and doubles this season.

Haven will rely on regulars Taylah Klemm, Courtney Gregg, Elly Blakeley and Ashlee Hoskins against Horsham Lawn.

The finals race has been settled in the boys 17 and under A Grade competition, with Horsham Lawn Black, Laharum, Haven and Horsham Lawn Yellow making the cut.

But the premiership race in the division appears more open than ever. 

The once-dominant Laharum dropped its third match for the season and second in succession with a five-sets-to-three loss to Haven on Saturday.

Haven's win was set up by thrilling 6-5 rubber victories from Jesse Wilkinson and Steven Drozdzynski.

The margin between first and fourth on the ladder is now fewer than three games, meaning any of the final four teams are capable of beating the others on their day.

In boys 14 and under A Grade, Central Park Black still has an outside shot at qualifying for the finals, but must beat top side Quantong tomorrow to have a chance.

The Parkers must also hope intra-club rival Central Park Orange currently fourth loses its final two matches. Orange will start favourite against bottom team Haven Blue tomorrow.

In girls 14 and under A Grade Central Park and Horsham Lawn Pink occupy the bottom two places on the ladder, but can both still qualify for the finals.

Both must take on ladder-leader Quantong in the final two rounds, but Lawn Pink's meeting with Horsham Lawn Purple could be for a finals spot.

Places in the top four are still up for grabs in the boys 17 and under B Grade, 12 and under A Grade and girls 12 and under C Grade.

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