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Galbraith Highland tennis round-up: Elgin Tennis Club under-16s defeat Inverness rivals Bellfield Park to win league title


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Elgin’s youngsters have come on top and undefeated in the Galbraith Highland 16-and-under league, writes Hamish McBain.

Millie Ralph (12) turned out for the Elgin ladies team. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Millie Ralph (12) turned out for the Elgin ladies team. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

They clinched the title in Inverness, beating arch rivals Bellfield Park on their own courts.

Used to the blaize at Duff Avenue, Elgin did not take long to adapt to playing on a hard surface.

The visitors showed they meant business as they romped through three of the singles rubbers. The 3v3 match was lost but it was a close-run thing as Tomas Allan took the first set 6-1 but then seemed to lose concentration as he went down 6-4 in the second and finally, lost the breaker 10-7.

The other boys, Lewis Aykroyd, Lewis Simpson and Harris Nairn won 6-1, 6-0; 6-0, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-4 respectively and Elgin then went on to take both doubles to set the seal on the victory.

Elgin's under-12s came second in their event. Finishing their schedule early they had to sit back and wait to see if another team could take points off the Bellfield Park youngsters.

However the Highland capital side did not drop a point in the run-in, and even Elgin B were unable to help their club mates out.

Bellfield Park had pulled level with Elgin A, both sitting on 22 points. Sets won to sets played percentage had to be calculated and this ensured that Bellfield were champions (85.4% - 79.4%)

Elgin A women reinforced their top-of-the-table, trophy-winning season with a resounding win at Grantown.

Jasmin Taylor and June Buchan won 6-3, 6-3 and 6-0, 6-0 while Jessica Nairn and Dawn Phillips lost the 2v1 rubber with the championship breaker resulting in a 10-7 win for Grantown.

In the second division, Forres finally got their act together recording an 8-1 home victory over Inverness B. However, the team remain in the relegation spot but can remedy this when they visit fellow strugglers Nairn B.

The derby match between Elgin B and C finished with the former coming out on top but only by the narrowest of margins, as the teams finished second and third respectively in the league race.

Jenny Murdoch and Jane Sim beat Joan Flett and Hilary Dawson 6-3, 6-4, and lost to Lisa Nairn and Millie Ralph 0-6, 6-7.

Teresa Tait and Angela McWilliam won 6-2, 6-1, then lost 7-6, 2-6, 5-10.

The Cs were thwarted from forcing a draw when Nairn and 12-year-old Ralph lost the first set in the 2v2 rubber with Tait and McWilliam crucially doing what was necessary for their team, ensuring they did not lose 2-0.

In Division 3, Rothes rounded off their title-winning Moray league season by drawing at Lossiemouth.

The Speysiders could only field two players, but Johanne Dunn and Marjory Stronach managed to win both rubbers 6-1, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-0 to keep their unbeaten record intact.

The Rothesians have a play-off against Rothiemurchus B at Grantown to decide the overall Division 3 winners.

Lossiemouth may be runaway winners of Men’s Division 2 but they were another side that had team difficulties. Travelling to the Inverness club, the coast club went down to their only defeat of the season.

In the first round James Gresswell and Ed Borrowman gave Lossie a fighting chance when they recorded a 6-4, 6-4 win.

A share of the points looked possible, but all hope ended when the pair lost the first set of the second rubber. They did go on to win however but the damage had been done.

Elgin A finished their successful mixed season with a closely contested match at Rothiemurchus which they won 5-4.

Without three regulars, both Elgin pairs lost out to the Aviemore side’s second seeds, but the one set won by Jasmin Taylor and Richard Wormald was to prove crucial as June Buchan and Ross Jagger joined Taylor and Wormald in relatively easy wins against the homesters first pair.

In Division 2 Rothes finished their schedule with an 8-2 win at Forres. The last time they were in the first division was 2017.

In 2018 and 2019 they missed out on promotion despite losing just one game all season, yet this year lost twice and still made the step-up.

A win for Rothes B at home to Forres B saw them finish two points behind Findhorn.

Findhorn have decided not to contest the play-off which means that Division 3 Highland winners Rothiemurchus B will now be playing in Division 2.

The decision to withdraw did not go down well at Rothes but they shot themselves in the foot when it was decided to cancel the home Lossie match.

The Speysiders felt that Findhorn’s pulling out should have opened the door for the second-place team (Rothes) to represent Moray against the Aviemore based side – a forlorn hope as it turned out.

Results

Women, Division 1: Grantown A 2 Elgin A 7

Division 2: Forres A 8 Inverness B 1; Elgin B 5 Elgin C 4

Division 3: Gordonstoun 7 Forres B 3; Lossiemouth 4 Rothes 4

Men, Division 2: Inverness B 6 Lossie 3

Division 3: Rothes B 8 Inverness C 2

Mixed, Division 2: Forres A 2 Rothes A 6

Division 3: Gordonstoun 4 Lossiemouth 6; Rothes B 7 Forres B 2

16s: Bellfield Park 2 Elgin 11



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