Galbraith Highland tennis round-up: Title success for Elgin, Rothes, Lossiemouth and Findhorn clubs
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With one round of matches remaining several of the senior competitions have been won, writes Hamish McBain.
Elgin A need only turn up for their final fixture to retain the Mixed Division 1 title.
The Duff Avenue side were held to a 4-4 draw on Monday evening, by Inverness A, a very good result considering the homesters were without three regular members.
Jasmin Taylor was the only one of the top squad who was available and she, with partner Ed Borrowman, set the team up by winning both rubbers. Second couple, Jessica Nairn and Bryan Davidson lost both of their contests.
Rothes A will be playing in Mixed Division 1 next year. They are in an unassailable position, three points ahead of Inverness B and Forres A.
The Speysiders clinched the title at home to Nairn B with a convincing 8-0 victory.
The Mixed league 3rd Division (Moray) has also been decided, with Findhorn defeating Gordonstoun to win the trophy.
Findhorn are now due play the winner of the Highland section – Kingussie or Rothiemurchus B. Depending on Monday’s results Rothes B were in with a chance of pipping Findhorn to the post but it wasn't to be, and the Speysiders will rue the cancellation of one match (against Lossie), a decision which earned them penalty points.
Elgin A just need to win one of their two remaining matches to clinch their first ever ladies title.
Monday evening saw them take on defending champions Nairn. Jasmin Taylor and Jenny Murdoch won both their rubbers but were pushed all the way in the 1v1 contest.
Romping through the first set (6-1) it looked as if Elgin were on a roll and the rubber would be finished quickly. However, Nairn soon proved they were no pushovers.
The homesters could not shake off the Nairn duo who matched them game for game in the second set, performing well above the level shown in the first. The visitors levelled the score with a 7-5 win in the breaker.
And so on to the first-to-ten match tiebreak. Taylor and Murdoch broke service early on and never looked back, winning 10-7.
Their second rubber (1v2) was an easier fight with the visiting pair completely unable to deal with their hosts play – outcome 6-4, 6-1.
Second seeds Teresa Tait and Jessica Nairn also had a tough time against Nairn’s first pair but eventually won 2-6, 6-2, 10-4.
Unfortunately, the Elgin partnership were unable to add to the team’s tally – they lost out 4-6, 5-7.
This was an exceptional victory, for the Elgin ladies captain was forced to field three substitutes. The newbies performed admirably, playing their part in the search for that historic title.
Third Division (Moray) ladies champions Rothes must now take part in a play-off, with the winner of the Highland section – Rothiemurchus B - to decide who goes up to Division 2. The match will be played on Thursday June 30 at Grantown.
There is a scenario whereby both teams could be promoted. At the pre-season fixtures meeting it was decided to run Division 1 with five entrants but in 2023 it would revert to a six-team competition.
This means there will be a knock-on effect for Division 2 which will require an extra team to ensure there are six in it. The hope is that this scenario will come about because both teams deserve to be playing in Division 2 after the hard work put in to win their events.
Lossiemouth have been crowned Men’s Division 2 champions and they sewed it up spectacularly.
The opposition was Kingussie who were also in the promotion hunt. As the individual score lines suggest the Lossie foursome absolutely thrashed their Badenoch opponents. Keiran Carty and Tim Dickinson won 6-2, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-0 while Ed Borrowman and Darren Main came through 6-1. 6-1 and 6-2, 6-1.
Elgin A came mighty close to stopping Bellfield’s goal of a historic 100 per cent sets won.
The Duff Avenue club travelled to Inverness with just one pair – Henry Archibald & Tom Elwick – so they had no hope of winning but could force a draw. That dream failed in the 1v1 rubber as they went down 6-0, 6-3.
Their second rubber proved a different kettle of fish. Archibald and Elwick pushed their opponents hard but couldn’t apply that finishing touch but they took both sets to a match tie-break where they held several set points but failed to convert them.
Results, Women, Division 1: Elgin A 6 Nairn A 4
Division 2: Inverness B 4 Elgin B 6; Elgin C 5 Nairn B 4
Division 3 Moray: Forres 4 Lossiemouth 4; Grantown B 2 Gordonstoun 6; Rothes w/o R&A D
Men, Division 1: Bellfield Park 8 Elgin A 0; Elgin B 6 Inverness A 3; Grantown A 6 Forres A 3
Division 2: Lossiemouth 8 Kingussie 0; Nairn A 6 Elgin C 2
Division 3: Rothes A 8 Rothes B 0; Inverness C 6 Elgin D 2; R&A 6 Forres B 2
Mixed, Division 1: Elgin A 4 Inverness A 4; Nairn A 8 Elgin B 0
Division 2: Rothes A 8 Nairn B 0; Tain 6 Forres A 2
Division 3 Moray: Lossiemouth 4 Rothes B 5
16 & Under: Elgin 9 Gordonstoun 4; Grantown 8 Rothes 4
14s Division 1: Forres 2 Rothes A 10
Division 2: Rothes B 5 Gordonstoun C 8