Kalkee into CWTA grand final

REIGNING premier Kalkee is into its second successive Central Wimmera Tennis Association Pennant grand final after beating St Michael's at the weekend.

The Kees entered the first semi-final with four fewer wins for the season than the minor premier, but overpowered the Saints from the start.

Kalkee won three of the opening four rubbers.

Jeff Friberg and Grant Schultz combined to beat Saints Ian Nitschke and Chris Ellis 9-3, while Steve Schultz and Dave Richardson pulled out a tough 9-7 rubber over Peter Hayes and Dalton Burns.

St Michael's strength has traditionally been its women this continued as Angela Nitschke and Naomi McConville got the Saints on the board with a 9-5 win over Anna Lehmann and Carmen Petering.

But the Kees women struck back, with Melissa Beddison and Debbie Lawson winning 9-6 over Kassie Peachey and Diane Hayes.

Peachey and Nitschke won both women's singles rubbers for the minor premier, but Kalkee's Friberg and Steve Schultz dominated the men's section.

From there the result was a formality, with Kalkee taking four of the final six rubbers for a 9-108 to 5-87 victory.

The result means the Kees are now just one win away from back-to-back pennant premierships.

For the second consecutive season, player unavailability and line-up changes have hampered Kalkee, but the team has come good at the right time.

The Kees stormed through last season's finals after a third-place finish, and can produce a similar result this season.

Lawson said the team was fielding its best line-up and finding consistency at the right time of the season.

"Around harvest time we always know we're going to lose a couple of players from both grades because there are some farmers in the team," she said. "We'll give the grand final our best shot but for the top three teams and even Central Park, when everyone has their best teams on it can go either way."

The grand final will either be a rematch with St Michael's or a clash with Drung South Kalkee's foe from last season's grand final.

Drung South advanced to the preliminary final after disposing of Central Park 9-98 to 5-86 in Saturday's cut-throat second semi-final.

Early in the day it looked like Drung South 2011-12 premier and 2012-13 grand finalist might be sent crashing out of the finals.

Central Park's Kye Chapple and Brendan Nitschke crushed Lachie King and Adam Troeth 9-1 in the first men's doubles rubber of the day, and the Parkers grabbed a 3-1 advantage after four sets.

It was the singles section where Drung made up its ground.

King got revenge on Chapple with a 9-4 win, while Richard Goudie pulled out a 9-8 thriller against Parker Ross Janetzki.

In the women's singles, Janelle Knight downed Central Park's Kayla Hawker to get the match back on even terms.

There was no looking back for Drung South, as the team won five of the final six rubbers to run away with the victory.

It sets up an intriguing preliminary final against St Michael's on Saturday, as the Saints try to avoid yet another straight-sets exit from the finals.

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