Winter tennis report ǀ Gallery ǀ Benalla takes top spot

The winners: Benalla’s Wendy Maxwell, Deb Siggers, Kate Campbell, and Clare Sharp enjoyed their win. Photo: Rhonda Carpenter

Benalla hosted Mansfield Black, which had travelled across for another superb day of sunshine and sublime tennis on the lawn for the opening round of winter competition.

Mansfield Black’s Anna Speirs and Di Ellis were in for the long haul in their opening set against Benalla’s Kate Campbell and Clare Sharp. Taking it to a tiebreak at seven games all, and unsure that it was over, Speirs and Ellis served it out to win the tie 8-6 in what was to be Black’s only set for the day.

Benalla’s Deb Siggers and Wendy Maxwell outplayed their opponents, Rhonda Carpenter and Di Bergelin, to win comfortably 8-3, on the adjacent superbly prepared court.

Benalla delivered a masterclass on the grass giving Black plenty to reflect on. They won 5 sets 47 games to 1 set 23 games in an enjoyable contest.

Back at home, Mansfield Blue took on Moglonemby showing them how to play the synthetic.

Mansfield Blue’s Michelle Pigdon and Belinda Cipa controlled their opening set against Moglonemby’s Marlene Hanrahan and Robyn Johnson defeating them 8-2.

Sophie Yencken and Clare Beecham had to work much harder for their 8-6-win against Mary Kelly and Lyn Johnson.

Moglonemby managed one set in a tiebreak win, but Blue was too strong on the day taking the points 5 sets, 47 games to 1 set 25 games.

Spectators included Deb Mims and Karyn Fraser from Mansfield Red team who had the bye.

Terip hosted Euroa for their grand final rematch in another close encounter of the third kind, like the 2019 grand final. Mary Dewis watched the intense action.

Making up for lost court time these past two years, the pairings squeezed as much tennis as they could out of their openers.

Euroa’s Chris Ellis and Sue Vaughan outlasted Terip’s Cindy Hayes and Frances Lawrence to win 8-6, while Euroa’s Lyn Peirce and Jenny Tehan took theirs 8-6 also against Bec Lyttle and Melissa McDowell.

High-quality tennis throughout the day included two lop-sided sets, a Terip fightback and ultimately only two games separated the teams.

The result was three sets each, but Terip won the day 37 games to 35.

Benalla took top spot on the ladder with nine points, Mansfield Blue second also on nine points, Terip third with seven and Euroa fourth with three points.

Next week Benalla travels to Euroa to play Moglonemby, Mansfield Red hosts Terip and Euroa hosts Mansfield Blue. Black has the bye and a team practice.

All smiles: Mansfield Black’s Anna Speirs, Di Bergelin, Di Ellis and Rhonda Carpenter loved their “tennis lesson”. Photo: Wendy Maxwell
Tiebreaker: Kate Campbell and Clare Sharp shake hands with Di Ellis and Anna Speirs after their tough tiebreak set. Photo: Rhonda Carpenter
Green as they come: Clare Sharp and Kate Campbell in action on the lawn last Monday. Photo: Rhonda Carpenter