St Michael's proves to be the team to beat

ST MICHAEL’S overcame a gallant Central Park at the weekend to confirm its status as the team to beat in this year’s Central Wimmera Tennis Association pennant finals.

The Saints made up for a slow start against the Parkers, winning nine of the final 11 sets – including two forfeits.

Parkers’ number one man Kye Chapple was forced to retire in his singles rubber against Ian Nitschke in order to attend a wedding, gifting St Michael’s two sets.

Not including the forfeits, St Michael’s won the day with seven sets to five.

However, it was not all smooth sailing for the soon-to-be minor premier, with Central Park taking the first three rubbers of the day.

Chapple and Brendan Nitschke teamed up before Chapple left to win the opening men’s doubles rubber 9-7 against Saints’ Ian Nitschke and Chris Ellis.

Central Park’s Ross Janetzki and Daniel Rogers also pulled out a 9-8 thriller against Peter Hayes and Dalton Burns.

Ellis said the Saints remained confident they could win despite the early setbacks.

“We were a bit lucky that Kye forfeited two sets, because if you take out those two sets it might have been a bit closer,” he said.

“A couple of the sets I played in were good close ones that could have gone either way, so it was good tennis all round.”

A Drung South forfeit to Kalkee saw the Kees move into second place on the ladder.

Ellis said the potential match-up in the first round of finals would be tough.

“It’ll be pretty dangerous having to play them in the first final for a grand final berth,” he said.

“They’ve had some players out this year but their best side on paper would be very tough to beat.”

Horsham Lawn O’Connor had its third win of the season on Saturday with a 11-113 to 3-84 drubbing of Horsham Lawn Massey.

Barring a huge upset against Drung South in the final round, O’Connor will claim the wooden spoon on Saturday.

The team had plenty to celebrate in its performance against Massey however, with the men dominating in the win.

O’Connor’s Barbara Crough said the team was pleased to end its season on a positive note.

“Both teams were a bit depleted in their ladies but everybody played pretty well there,” she said.

“We always play good tennis against each other so it was good to end the season on a bit of a high like that.”

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