ST MICHAEL’S and Drung South stepped out for a grand final rematch as Central Wimmera Tennis Association pennant competition returned on Saturday.
Last season’s premiers the Saints claimed the win 11 sets to three.
The teams split the first four doubles sets, with the highlight a tiebreak win to Drung South’s Ben Brooksby and Kate-Lyn Perkin – who played in the number four men’s position for the day – against Ian Nitschke and Bill Robertson.
But St Michael's turned the tables in the singles section, sweeping all four sets.
Steffi McDonald – playing in the Saints’ number one men’s position – defeated Dylan Emmerson in a tiebreak, while her sister Jess claimed the number one women’s set 8-0 against Romi Miller.
Brooksby said it was great to have so many tough matches, with four tiebreaks on the day. He said Perkin and McDonald slotted in easily to the men’s section.
“It was actually Kate-Lyn’s birthday too, and she played really well – she killed it,” he said.
“I didn’t get to play against Steffi, but looking over at the match between her and Dylan, it was pretty even.
“They are both very consistent players and it was good to watch. I think it’s good for the competition – Steffi is good enough to be playing in the men’s section.”
Brooksby said the teams also enjoyed the new eight-set format.
“It made the day a bit shorter, which was good. People like their social life, and it means they can finish earlier and head out and do things,” he said.
“It’s a great step forward for the association to put in that format, and hopefully it will help keep people playing tennis.”
Horsham Lawn got their season off to a solid start with a nine sets to five victory against Kalkee.
Lawn won all sets in the first round of doubles to set up the win, including a tiebreak when Rachel McKinnon and Luisa Boddi teamed up to beat Paula Weidermann and Hayley Thomas.
The sides split the singles sets, and each claimed three of the six doubles sets to round of the day. Lawn’s Shane Gillespie and Graeme Wood each had three set wins for the day.
In the final pennant match, Haven beat newcomers Telangatuk East 10 sets to four. Telangatuk moved up a grade this season after winning the 2017-18 A Special premiership.
Haven took three of the first four sets of the day before things evened up in the singles section. But Haven secured the victory through winning five of the final six sets on offer.
A Special competition featured a nailbiter between last year’s grand finalists Brimpaen and Central Park Red.
The teams could not be separated all day and finished with seven sets each, but Brimpaen scraped over the line by three games.
Natimuk had a convincing win against Haven 12 sets to two, while Central Park Blue beat Homers by two sets..
Horsham Lawn was too strong for Drung South, winning nine sets to five.
A scintillating contest between 2017-18 A Grade grand finalists Laharum and opposition Brimapen went down to the wire, with Brimpaen prevailing by two games.
In other A Grade matches, Horsham Lawn accounted for Kalkee nine sets to three, and Central Park beat Quantong 10 sets to two.
Horsham Lawn and Natimuk were the winners in B Special.