Bellingen Park Tennis Club

1. B Grade Final – Rod Keers (left) and Murray Gan.

 

BELLINGEN Park Tennis Club, Sunday 17 October: Club Championships – Finals Day Match report.

As the sun sets on the hugely successful Bellingen Park Tennis Club 2021 Club Championships, we would like to thank everyone who got involved and showed their enthusiasm and passion for community sports – the players, the generous sponsors, the club volunteers behind the scenes, and also the spectators who created a wonderful atmosphere for Finals Day.

Under perfect skies and with players’ chairs on court, local coach Jarred Kelly providing courtside restringing services, and the smell of the BBQ wafting over the arena, the stage was set for our qualifying semi finalists to put on a show… and they didn’t disappoint.

Semi Finals:

The A grade semi finals were first up on the day, with Moshik Goffer up against Darcy Cronin on Court 3, and the other semi final described below in ‘match of the day’.

Darcy came into Finals Day with an intimidating reputation after dominating his Group, but Mosh brought a strong net game and a determined winners mentality.

Darcy won the first set convincingly 6-2 and was off to a fast start in the second set before Mosh found his rhythm and threatened to push the match to a decider.

Fatigue and, perhaps, a 30 year age gap, began to play a part and Darcy eventually closed out a well deserved victory with 6-3 in the second set.

The C Grade semi finals were next, with Rachel Raven up against Justin Brow on Court One.

This was an excellent match with great rallies, but Justin clinched the crucial points to end up triumphing 6-1.

Over on Court 3 the undefeated Sam Horton and Bekk Glyde duked it out in an absorbing tussle.

Scores were kept level until the very end in a long encounter of tight rallies that Bekk eventually edged 7-5 to progress.

In B Grade there was late drama with the undefeated Glenn Turner having to withdraw from the tournament with injury, his place being taken by the next qualifier in his group, Peter Wheelright.

On Court 1 Peter was up against Rod Keers, and despite Pete’s strong baseline skills he was undone by a ruthless barrage of perfect drop shots by Rod, with the final score being 6-1.

Court 3 saw the pre-tournament B Grade favourite Bryan Duffy facing off against Murray Gan.

In a lengthy match, with regular lungbuster rallies, Murray took another step towards the history books by claiming an upset 6-2 win

Match of the Day: The day kicked off with an absolute humdinger A Grade semi final between Mel Legend and Kurt Murphy on Court 1 in front of an appreciative crowd in the Goffer Marquee.

Leading into the match Kurts power game had him the slight favourite against Mel’s brilliant all court skills.

Mel was off to a fast start however and, with a dazzling array of shots, won the first set 6-3.

Kurt fought back in the second set, with big serves, outrageous forehands and some crisp volleys earning him a hard fought second set 6-3 and sending the match to a deciding Super tie breaker.

Despite the tension and the increasingly loud roars from the spectators, the players rose to the occasion with long, intense rallies and exquisite winners before Kurt eventually triumphed 10-7 in the tie break.

Hats off to both players for an outstanding match.

Finals:

C Grade Final: The first 2 players to grace Centre Court on Finals Day were Bekk Glyde and Justin Brow as they battled it out for the C Grade Championship.

This was a showdown which had split the blackmarket bookmakers, with Justin having narrowly bested Bekk in their earlier group bout but Bekk coming into the match with an impressive win in her semi final against the previously undefeated Sam Horton.

A tense and thrilling game ensued, with the swelling crowd on the edge of their seats as points and groundstrokes were evenly exchanged.

At 5-4 to Justin the game was still evenly poised, however he pulled out some decisive blows in the last couple of rally’s to edge ahead and seal his maiden title.

Congratulations to Justin Brow for being crowned 2021 C Grade Champion.

B Grade Final: Fresh off a tense and absorbing C Grade final the watching masses were left without fingernails after this showdown between Murray Gan and Rod ‘Coach’ Keers.

It was obvious from the start that this was an evenly balanced match as they traded blows in long rally’s, with the physicality of the games taking an obvious toll as the heat rose and iced towels were rushed out at 4-4.

Rod then had the opportunity to serve out the title at 6-5, but a magnificent effort by Murray on heavy legs saw him force the Super Tie Breaker.

With the momentum now behind him, Murray rushed out to a 6-0 lead in the tie break and then held his nerve to close out the match.

Well done to both players, and congratulations to Murray Gan for being 2021 Bellingen B Grade Champion.

A Grade Final: In front of a raucous crowd on Centre Court the two pre-tournament favourites for Club Champion, Darcy Cronin and Kurt Murphy, faced off for the first time.

It was a servers game of contrasting styles, with booming flat serves and wicked sliders from Kurt coming up against heavy kick serves mixed in with the occasional bullet from Darcy. Both players did well to return serves and mix powerful groundstrokes with finessed drop shots, however Darcy’s consistency with an extreme grip topspin forehand proved the difference in the 6-1, 6-1 score line.

Congratulations to Darcy Cronin for being the well deserved 2021 Bellingen Club Champion.

Results and Sponsors:

A Grade & Club Champion: Darcy Cronin (sponsored by Bellingen IGA & Nambucca Heads Island Golf & Restaurant)
B Grade Champion : Murray Gan (sponsored by Bellingen IGA)
C Grade Champion: Justin Brow (sponsored by Kombu Wholefoods & Brunos Mediterranean Kitchen)

A Grade Runner Up: Kurt Murphy (sponsored by Hyde Café)
B Grade Runner Up: Rod Keers (sponsored by Brunos Mediterranean Kitchen)
C Grade Runner Up: Bekk Glyde (sponsored by Bellingen Park Tennis Club)

Other Tournament Prizes/Sponsors: Danielle Coates (Alchemy in Bellingen), Nick Hopper (Alchemy in Bellingen), Rachel Raven (Alchemy in Bellingen), Maratana Hope (Bellingen Canoe Adventures), Rob Gale (Nambucca Heads Island Golf & Restaurant), Moshik Goffer (Nambucca Heads Island Golf & Restaurant), Joe English (Bellingen Cellars Liquor Stax)

Our thanks also to Julie Nash who donated both her time and artistic talent in creating our unique and beautiful sustainable Winners Cups, to Valley Quality meats for donating towards the Finals Day BBQ, and also to Barmah Hats for their support.

 

By Tomm LEWIS

 

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