Sport

Lane gets Possums home

By Benalla Ensign

Exciting new player Stephen Lane was in devastating form when he almost single-handedly advanced Possums to a grand finals appearance in the A-grade semi-finals last week — winning 3-1 against Owls.

Relatively new to the club this season, Lane has made his mark in A-grade, with outstanding performances through the competition gaining him a reputation as a feared opponent.

He played brilliantly to win his first singles clash of the night in straight sets.

He then faced the club’s top player John Bajada, winning 21-17, 14-21, 21-17 in the match of the night to set tongue’s wagging.

Teammate Cooper Irwin lost the first singles to Bajada, but came back strongly, combining well with Lane to take out the vital doubles, 21-18, 19-21, 21-17 for a grand final spot.

In the other semi-final, Rosellas had to fight hard to hold off a determined Plovers outfit, finally prevailing for an outstanding 3-2 victory.

Adrian Squires and Michelle Feldtmann started slowly, with Squires dropping the first singles to the explosive Mick Kelly before settling to win the second.

Michelle Feldtmann then stepped up, playing her usual hard hitting game to win a singles in style.

She then teamed with Squires for a comfortable straight-sets doubles victory to edge Rosellas into the grand final.

Star performer in the match was Mick Kelly, who was in top form to win both singles in convincing manner. He had played impressively during the season and kept the pressure on to the end.

B-grade

Top-team Numbats were in great form, playing with confidence to win their semi-final 3-1 against Redbacks in a high-standard affair.

Carol Perry got the team off to a good start with an easy singles win over Pauline Hooper in the opening clash.

After dropping the first singles in a closely fought three setter.

Sienna Irwin then teamed up with Perry, playing strongly to win the important doubles in three close sets.

It was then that Irwin produced her best table tennis for the season.

The talented junior fought back after dropping the first game to the experienced Pauline Hooper.

She showed great determination under extreme pressure, turning the match around to win the next two games for a decisive 17-21, 21-17, 21-15 victory to take Numbats to the grand final.

John Spencer won the only singles for Redbacks, but had to work hard to overcome the in-form Irwin, while Hooper was well below her best.

In another junior triumph, Coby Linke led Mozzies to an outstanding 3-1 victory over Frogs in a tough contest. He played brilliantly to win both singles in style. Undeterred by finals pressure, he went about his task full of confidence to put his team into a winning position.

He had strong support from Chris Lee who combined well with Linke to seal the match with a straight sets doubles victory.

C-grade

Talented junior Jackson Squires produced an amazing performance to take Crickets to a solid 3-1 victory over the more fancied Magpies.

He played extremely well under pressure to win both singles in a memorable effort.

He was strongly supported by Ann Degan who played at her best to win a singles in a stylish display. Magpies’ Helen Sharp and Andrea Cathcart tried hard, but could only manage to win the doubles, failing to produce the good form that was evident during the season.

Hawks had a close encounter with Koalas, with the match going down to the wire.

Kerry Yang was in fine touch winning both singles in an emphatic display.

But the win nearly slipped away from their grasp in the tight three set doubles match up, with both teams trading point for point.

Hawks finally edged out Koalas, with Yang and Jenny Sawyer teaming well to take the match and a finals spot, 23-21, 12-21, 21-18 in a tough clash.

Kerry Yang was awarded star of the match for her outstanding performance.

Rae Spencer and Geraldine Moloney were sensational, winning a singles each, but needing the crucial doubles to change the result.

Grand finals draw:

A-grade: Possums v Rosellas.

B-grade: Numbats v Mozzies.

C-grade: Hawks v Crickets.