Bourne remain in promotion race

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A PHENOMENAL match saw Bourne Tennis Club’s Men’s firsts scrape the narrowest of victories over Gainsborough to stay in the mix for promotion back to Division 1.

Gainsborough gave Bourne no problems early on as first pair Clive Moody and James Westgate cruised to a quick 6-1, 6-0 opening win, while second pair John Timson and Iain Ross were similarly comfortable in a 6-3, 6-4 win over Gainsborough’s first pair.

The match came to life, though, in a thrilling encounter between Bourne’s third pair, Alex Yung and debutant Matt Hassall, and Gainsborough’s second pair:

Alex and Matt started well but a spell of seven lost games in a row left them a set and 0-3 down. However, they fought back to force a third-set tiebreak and maintained their momentum to establish a 9-5 lead.

Gainsborough came roaring back, however and saved all four match points before losing three of their own.

Eventually, a long closing rally saw Alex and Matt secure an excellent 3-6, 6-4, 14-12 win. But they could not maintain their form and slipped to two defeats in their final rubbers, losing 3-6, 4-6, 5-7, 4-6 despite some flashes of brilliance.

John and Iain looked to be in solid form, though, and came through untroubled in a straight-sets win to leave Bourne needing one more rubber to take the match.

Clive and James almost managed to deliver it against Gainsborough’s top seeds but fell agonisingly short in a rollercoaster rubber, losing 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (9-11), 10-7.

Deflated after that loss and facing a much-improved performance from Gainsborough’s second pair, Clive and James then lost again in three sets to leave Bourne’s hopes resting on the outcome of John and Iain’s final match.

There was a brief moment of doubt when John and Iain were broken midway through the first set, but from then on it was a steady display from Bourne’s most consistent performers as they won 7-5, 6-4 to take an exhilarating match for Bourne and underline their promotion hopes.

Bourne have two matches to go this season.

l BOURNE’S second ladies’ tennis team were utterly dominant against a depleted Skegness side, dropping just six games on their way to a 9-0 rout.

Megan Hill and Val Brown kicked things off in style, easing to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Skegness’ first pair before Patricia Holman and Jane North matched their flawless score against Skegness’ seconds.

Since Skegness could only field two pairs, Joyce Slater and June Ross were forced to watch from the sidelines for the opening round of rubbers but showed no signs of rustiness when they were called into action, winning 6-0, 6-1.

They were not the first Bourne pair to drop a game, though, as Patricia and Jane picked up a solitary blemish on their record in a 6-1, 6-0 victory.

Skegness had a little more luck towards the end of the match but they could not prevent Bourne from emphasising their superiority. Joyce and June won 6-2, 6-0 before Megan and Val closed out one of the most one-sided matches in Bourne’s history with a 6-0, 6-2 victory that made certain Bourne would at least finish in mid-table this year.