Bourne juniors end barren run

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Bourne Tennis Club’s rock-bottom junior side claimed the shock scalp of promotion contenders Deeping B for their first win of the season.

Just two weeks after losing 5-4 to the same team away, a very similar Bourne team turned the tables on their more illustrious opponents, beginning with Matt Hassall and Alex Yung’s comprehensive 9-4 victory.

Bourne’s start could have been even brighter but Will Palmer and Jack Mangieri let a 6-1 lead slip in their rubber against Deeping’s first pair, and found themselves facing five match points in the resulting tie-break.

A sterling effort saw them save all five match points in a row, but at the tense end of the tie-break, they couldn’t maintain the momentum and lost 6-7 (6-8).

Ed Nation and Tom Hill, meanwhile, looked to be matching Deeping’s second pair step for step with 11 holds before a couple of loose shots saw Ed broken in the 12th game and Deeping took the lead with an 8-5 win. The disappointment of failing to force a tie-break stayed with Ed and Tom as they went down 2-11 in their next rubber.

Will and Jack hauled Bourne back into the match with an assured 8-5 win after a slow start but Matt and Alex’s rubber overshadowed that for thrilling tennis: Deeping reclaimed a 2-6 deficit to force a tiebreak and then created match point at 6-5 in the breaker, but a wildly missed smash let Matt and Alex off the hook and some brave tennis secured a tense 7-6 (11-9) victory.

Drained by the excitement of that match they were undone by a single break as they lost 6-7 to Deeping’s unbeaten first pair.

That result meant Bourne needed to win the last two rubbers, and Ed and Tom responded magnificently by securing an 8-5 win.

Will and Jack, however, found themselves trailing 2-5 before stepping up a gear to reel off five straight games and secure a 7-6 win and the match for Bourne.

The result was Bourne’s first win after 11 straight losses in their debut season in Division 2, but was richly deserved after five 4-5 defeats.

With two matches remaining, it would take a herculean effort for Bourne to avoid bottom spot, but they have at least ensured they will not be relegated without a single victory.