In a great day of tennis action, the OC Boys Tennis players showed great individual resilience, exemplified great teamwork and provided support for each other to come away with a historic clean sweep of the boys from St Paul’s. St Paul’s had been the dominant force for over a decade before OC claiming the aggregate last year so the effort to come away with a clean sweep on a close day of tennis action was a great achievement.
The Firsts Boys were simply a dominant force on the weekend. Following on from the excellent leadership they provided for the younger teams to start the day, the boys followed up with an on court display from start to finish that was clinical and epitomised their determination for a high level of individual performance, team glory and creating a program of sustained success. Curtis Luxton and Aiden Kenway played the best doubles game we have seen in OC Tennis and Doug Drummond and Aiden Andrews played a much improved standard of doubles to overcome the #1 and #2 from St Paul’s 6-2. All boys played solid singles matches to claim an overall victory 6/36 to 0/7 and set themselves up as one of the premiership frontrunners.
The Seconds had a close match resulting in the latest finish ever recorded in TAS Tennis. Lamhke Ho was superb, combining with Layton Matthews to win their doubles 6-4 and claiming an important 6-1 singles victory that gave the boys a strong start. Layton struggled in his singles, but was able to scrap out a game that would prove to be vital in the final wash-up. Jared Marot and Jamie Scott had similar paths in their singles, being well behind before fighting back to force tiebreaks that they would ultimately lose. This set up an epic finish to the day where the winner of the #2 doubles would take out the day. Jamie and Jared jumped out to a 5-1 and were looking solid until St Paul’s fought back to take the lead 5-6. But the boys weren’t finished and forced the match into a tiebreak where they came back from 3-6 and three match points to ultimately prevailing 9-7 to secure a one game win for the team.
The Year 10 boys went into battle against last year’s Premiers determined to turn the tables. Excellent effort at training has the boys ready to go and they got off to an awesome start with Bryce Kooyman winning his singles 6-0 and Jarred Smith and Lachlan Kesur winning the #1 doubles 6-0. Jarred and Lachie claimed their singles 6-1 and 6-3 respectively whilst James Skillender stepped up from the younger grades to cover injury and played excellent tennis to win 6-3. Although Bryce and James let a 5-1 doubles lead slip, the team was happy to come away with a 5/35 to 1/15 victory to announce their Premiership credentials.
The Year 9 boys faced a do or die battle for their finals chances against a St Paul’s team they lost to last season. Having pushed the reigning Premiers last week the boys were in good form and the day started close with Ben Honeycombe winning his singles 6-1 whilst Stephan Muller and Jarrod Kesur went down 3-6. Steph then backed up his impressive singles form with a 6-3 and Woody Holmes overcame illness to win 7-5. The boys then finished the day in style with Jarrod winning the #2 singles 7-5 and Ben and Woody combined for a 6-3 win to wrap the day up 5/35 to 1/23 and keep their finals hopes alive.
The Year 8 team faced a much tougher task this weekend losing their #4 to illness but Todd Saunders did a great job stepping into the team, narrowly losing 5-7 in his singles and combined with Seb Huggins to claim the doubles 6-0. Seb has had an excellent start to the season, finishing his job without losing a game for the second week in a row. James Body and Brandon Grant did a solid job to finish their #1 doubles 6-1, then Brandon claimed an excellent singles 6-0 and James Body battled hard against trying circumstances before ultimately going down 3-6. The 4/34 to 2/14 win had great merit and means the boys continue their undefeated career as a team in OC Tennis.
The Year 7 boys had the biggest battle of the day. It started with Jay Gills and Connor Martin overcoming a 3-5 deficit to win 7-6 whilst Phoenix Hatherill won 6-2 and Pierce Logan battled hard to go down 2-6. It was at this point that the boys demonstrated every bit of what OC Tennis is about. Jay Gills played an outstanding singles to claim an important 6-0 win, then Phoenix and Pierce were outplayed by their opponents but secured a vital three games in defeat before Connor Martin stepped onto the court with the match on the line and simply battled harder and wanted it more than his experienced opponent to claim a 6-4 and secure the 4/30 to 2/24 win. A great team effort by all the boys highlighted by comebacks, the ability to finish off a match, the importance of games in defeat and the determination to win.
The OC Boys Tennis teams continue to transform an individual sport into a team game and need to look to solidify their winning start to the season over the next couple of weeks.