Bourne Tennis Club’s second men’s team made it four wins out of five in the Lincolnshire Doubles League with a
thrilling win in Louth.
Bourne started in casual fashion with third pair Graham Moyle and David Kelby breezing to an untroubled 6-1, 6-2 victory over Louth’s second pair, while first pair Matt Hassall and Frank Worth had too much variety in their game for Louth’s third pair, winning 6-1, 6-4.
Louth rallied, however, and proved that they would not be swept aside as their first pair showed resilience to fend off second pair Paul Stark and Will Palmer.
The Bourne players recovered from the loss of the first set to inch a second-set tiebreak, and a marathon third set, in which both pairs had a match point, eventually finished in Louth’s favour as a smash found its way past Will’s outstanding defence, Bourne losing 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 10-12.
The same Louth pair then proved they had an appetite for such long-winded encounters as Graham and David hauled them back to another third set, only for Louth to seal the rubber 4-6, 6-4, 8-10, their partnership too solid even for Graham’s measured consistency.
Bourne quickly sealed the other two rubbers in the second round, though, as Paul and Will held off a late comeback to win 6-3, 6-4, while Frank’s serve, which is, at times, fast enough to hold its own amongst the professionals at around 120mph, was far too much for Louth’s second pair to handle in a 6-1, 6-4 Bourne win.
With Bourne needing just one of the last three rubbers to secure victory, Louth launched an extraordinary comeback attempt: Matt and Frank were turned over 5-7, 1-6, despite looking to be in pole position with break points at 5-5 in the first set, while Paul and Will were dealt a shock defeat by a Louth second pair finally finding their range, winning 6-4, 5-7, 8-10.
At 4-4, the destination of the two points hinged on the outcome of Graham and David’s final rubber, but Bourne’s prospects were bleak after a one-sided first set. However, Graham and David recovered to force a second set tiebreak, only for drama to ensue as Graham, notoriously injury-prone, went over on an ankle when leading 5-3 and was forced to take a medical time-out.
Within five minutes, though, he was playing through the pain and looking as fresh as ever as he and David lost only five more points in a 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 10-3 victory that sealed a third 5-4 win of the season for Bourne.