NATIMUK has managed a narrow first up win to kick start its pennant season in round one of the Central Wimmera Tennis Association on Saturday.
Natimuk got on top through the middle of the afternoon before managing to hold on for a 7-90 to 7-76 win against Kalkee.
Melissa Beddison and Jeff Friberg got Kalkee off to a strong start with wins against Cheryl and Carl Sudholz respectively.
Ben Garwood and Lana Brown ensured the four single’s rubbers were split evenly with wins against Jordan Friberg and Macey Purdue.
12-year-old Friberg was playing singles for the first time in pennant and did not look out of place in his 0-6 loss.
Heading into the doubles rubbers the scores were tight as Kalkee held a slight 2-24 to 2-21 lead.
With Kalkee one player down Natimuk were always at an advantage heading into the doubles. The team was gifted three sets 9-0 due to forfeits.
Eight rubbers into the first tie of the season Natimuk led 6-57 to 2-28.
Kalkee won all the remaining rubbers that were from that point on, but conceded the 13th rubber 9-0 due to its lack of numbers.
It proved decisive as Natimuk held on to win by 14 games.
Kalkee tennis club president Jeff Friberg said it was always enjoyable playing Natimuk.
“They play it in a good social atmosphere so everyone has plenty of fun,” he said.
He said his body was sore after the first day’s play.
“You never really do all that much preparation heading into another tennis season,” he said.
Natimuk president Carl Sudholz said the women had carried the side to victory in round one.
“Us blokes have probably got to lift our games a bit more,” he said. “The ladies will be competitive all season in pennant but we still have some work to do.”
He said it had been good to get some cobwebs out in the first round. “Everyone is always a little rusty in the first week or so,” he said. “I’m stiff and sore despite only having to play two sets. We just want to be competitive this season and avoid having to forfeit any rounds.”
Haven got off to a strong start against Horsham Lawn with a commanding 12-119 to 2-71 win.
Cherie Wood and Jason Farlow got the season off to a good start for Horsham Lawn with wins against Sophie De Wit and Timothy Officer in the first two rubbers.
From that point on it was largely one-way traffic as Haven won the remaining 12 rubbers in the tie.
St Michaels proved too good for Drung South in a re-match of the 2016-17 pennant grand final.
Last season’s champions had edged ahead again by the end fo the day to record a 8-110 to 6-80 win against their Drung South opponents.
It looked as though it could go either way for much of the tie. Kate-Lyn Perkyn and Dylan Emmerson won their singles ties for Drung South, as did Peter Hayers and Kassie Peachey for St Michaels.
After St Michaels won three out of the first four doubles rubbers the side held onto a narrow advantage for most of the day.
A 9-8 win by Angela Nitschke and Naomi McConville against Kate-Lyn Perkin and Alex Barnes in the 12th rubber followed by a 9-1 win by Ina Nitschke and Nick Robertson in the 13th sealed the deal for St Michaels.