TENNIS: Anxious wait for Bourne juniors

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Bourne’s junior tennis team did everything they could to secure the Division 3 title in their final match but face an anxious wait for the final results to come through.

Facing a Spalding B side that they had beaten 8-1 earlier in the season, Bourne entered the match knowing that a matching or better result would guarantee them the title regardless of results elsewhere, and they got off to the perfect start as Tom Hill and Jack Mangieri raced into a 7-0 lead before completing a dominant 11-2 win, while Matt Hassall and Ed Nation took a long time to find their range and had to grind out an ugly 8-5 victory.

However, Spalding’s first pair looked to be formidable opposition and their brave net play led to a 4-9 defeat for Alex Yung and Tom Cooke, before Tom and Jack went down fighting by the same scoreline.

Having dropped those two rubbers, Bourne could hardly afford to lose any more sets and they responded well, Matt and Ed making a statement in their second match with a 9-4 win while Alex and Tom had few problems in also winning 9-4.

The last round of rubbers needed to be a clean sweep for Bourne and two were taken fairly comfortably: Alex and Tom ran out 9-4 winners in their match, although Tom and Jack endured some hairy moments in an 8-5 win that was closer than they would have liked.

However, under lit floodlights, Matt and Ed turned in the performance of the night to down Spalding’s previously undefeated first pair 9-4 with some exceptional baseline play and ensure that their incredible unbeaten record as a partnership would be extended to fourteen months and successive promotions.

However, Bourne fell narrowly short of their 8-1 target and now know that if second-placed Spalding C can win their final two matches by 9-0 scorelines, a title that looked impossible just a month ago will have slipped away by the finest of margins.