THE match to decide the winner of this year’s A Grade premiership in the Allambee Mirboo and District Tennis Association competition went right down to the wire on Saturday at Leongatha.
Inverloch looked comfortable with a seven-game lead at the end of the men’s and ladies sets, crucially taking the first two sets, one men’s and one ladies, in high class tie-breaking play.
But the lead soon evaporated after Adam Arnold and Nicole Walker of Phillip Island defeated Lucas McMillan and Michelle Krohn 8/4 and Paxton Cash and Ange Williams went down 8/3 to the Island’s Ron Walker and Shelley Walker.
By the end of the second mixed, Travis McNamara and Bronwyn Williams were already out to a good lead for Inverloch, at one stage being 5-0 up with Travis’ serve to come in the deciding match against Phillip Island’s Ben White and Camille Morris.
But the contest wasn’t over, not by a long shot.
Travis lost his serve and the Islanders surged back into the contest, getting it to 6/7 when Travis stepped up to serve for a third time.
If the Island pair could get the score to 7-all by winning the next game, they’d have taken the title.
With Travis serving strongly and with Bronwyn putting away everything on the net, they got out to a 40-love lead and looked to have the match but the Islanders held their nerve and levelled it at deuce.
They even held premiership point at one stage on Travis’ serve as the match went through six deuces and advantage points but finally the Inverloch pair prevailed, taking the set 8-6 and winning the match on sets 6/59 to 3/59.
It was an epic battle worthy of the 2016 premiership.
Scores: Men’s – Lucas McMillan/Paxton Cash def Adam Arnold/Ron Walker 8-7, Lucas McMillan/Travis McNamara lost to Adam Arnold/Ben White 4-8, Paxton Cash/Travis McNamara def Ben White/Ron Walker 8-6. Ladies – Michelle Krohn/Bron Williams def Nicole Walker/Camille Morris 8-7, Michelle Krohn/Ange Williams def Nicole Walker/Shelley Walker 8-3, Bron Williams/Ange Williams def Camille Morris/Shelley Walker 8-6. Mixed – L. McMillan/M. Krohn lost to A. Arnold/N. Walker 4-8, P. Cash/A Williams lost to R. Walker/S. Walker 3-8 and T. McNamara/B. Williams def B White/C. Morris 8-6.
In the other sections, in A Reserve Berrys Creek 6/60 defeated Koonwarra 3/57 and B Grade Leongatha Falcons 7/52 defeated Leongatha Parrots 0/21, a match which featured two sisters and two brothers on opposing teams; Evie and Simone Dekker and James and Ben Ryan.
After the games, presentation night was held at the Leongatha clubrooms where trophies were awarded to the winners of the grand final, and to those who won most games in each section.
Section 1: Bronwyn Williams and Matt Pocklington.
Section 2: Wendy Gervasi and Steve Charlton.
Section 3: Simone Dekker and James Ryan.
Next season will be 70 years since Allambee and District was formed in 1947.
High drama in tennis grand finals