Bourne ladies have third place in sight

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Bourne Tennis Club’s Ladies’ Veterans made sure of an upper-half finish in their penultimate match of the season by edging out Grimsby 5-3 in a hotly contested affair.

First pair Liz Williams and Helen Whitfield made a slow start against heir opposite numbers, being blown away in the first set, but displayed the resilience that has been evident throughout Bourne’s season by coming through a neck-and-neck second set to draw 1-6, 7-5.

Lisa Gauci and Cathy Lee followed exactly the same path in their opening rubber, recovering from a slow first set to post a 2-6, 6-4 draw. They then built on that with a very creditable performance against Grimsby’s first pair, continuing Bourne’s second-set dominance as they made another comeback in a 3-6, 6-2 draw.

It was Liz and Helen, though, who broke the deadlock by managing to win a rubber, storming away from 5-5 in the opening set to win 7-5, 6-0 and ensure that Bourne will finish at least fourth in Division 1 this year, with third place dependent on the last-day clash with high-flying Eastgate in Lincoln.

Bourne A, the Club’s junior tennis team, were pegged back in he title race by Deeping B, who secured a vital 4-4 draw to ensure that the promotion places remain undecided.

Jack Mangieri and Richard Worth got Bourne off to an excellent start against Deeping’s James Gay and Sophie Morris, claiming the first set at a canter, but James and Sophie grew into the second set to clinch a 7-2, 4-5 draw.

Meanwhile, Matt Hassall and Ed Nation also made a superb start, racing into a 3-0 lead against Katy Morris and Tom Cooke, both one-time Bourne players. However, while Matt and Ed hung on to that first set lead, Katy and Tom followed their teammates’ lead in making a second-set resurgence in a 6-3, 3-6 draw.

Matt and Ed soon raised their levels though, proving almost unstoppable in a crushing 9-0, 7-2 victory over James and Sophie that brought Bourne to the brink of an important win.

Jack and Richard, though, fell narrowly short of securing that win as their first set against Katy and Tom went down a deciding ninth game on Jack’s serve, before the second set slipped away too in a 4-5, 3-6 defeat.

The draw maintains Bourne’s unbeaten record on top of Division 2 but means that, with promotion as yet unconfirmed, the final three matches of the season will be crucial.