Juniors back, ladies wait on restrictions

Highton pair Freddie Arblaster and Liam Muir on their way to a doubles win on Saturday. (Supplied)

LOCAL TENNIS Donna Schoenmaekers

Junior tennis resumed across Geelong last Saturday with the recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions allowing youngsters to take to the court.

Second-placed Surfcoast Torquay Blue hosted top team Highton in the Section 4 boys and, with only two points between the teams going into Saturday, the match-up seemed likely to produce a close contest.

But Highton came out strong taking the match five sets to one, including four 6-3, while Freddie Arblaster and Liam Muir won their doubles set 6-0.

Lachlan Shaw won Surfcoast’s sole set 6-0.

But COVID-19 restrictions, still prohibiting senior sport, forced Tennis Geelong to cancel the preliminary finals of the Midweek Ladies competition this Tuesday.

Semi-final-winning third and fourth placed teams will now miss out on a chance to make the grand final due to the cancellation.

Instead, the ladder-leader and runner-up of each section will face off in grand finals next Tuesday, if restrictions ease again to allow senior sport in regional Victoria.

The matches will be replays of each section’s first semi-final between first and second on the ladder.

Section 1: The Geelong Lawn Green ladies will need to be on their game after their first semi scare where Surfcoast Torquay Black pushed them to an extra set.

Section 2: Original favourites Point Lonsdale will hope for a big turnaround after their shock 1-5 loss to Geelong Lawn Pink in the first semi.

Section 3: Minor premiers Highton will want to regain their form leading into the finals, and hope that the 0-6 loss to Drysdale in the first semi was an aberration.

Section 4: This will be the hardest to pick, with just one game separating the Barwon Heads and Surfcoast Yellow in the first semi. Both sides had one win each in their previous two clashes.

Section 5: Point Lonsdale won the semi-final 4-2 against Surfcoast Torquay, after thrashing Surfcoast 6-0 in the sides’ only other encounter. Surfcoast will need some inspired match-ups to reverse the losing trend.

Section 6: Highton seems to have the edge over Anglesea. Highton will want Jacqui Duxson to continue her good form against Anglesea, after she won five of her six sets in their past two meetings.

Section 7: St Stephens would be confident against minor premier Barwon Heads White. St Stephens prevailed against White during the home and away season and in the semi-final, albeit against a depleted side during the latter match.

Section 8: Western Heights Uniting and St Mary’s will fight it out in what should be a nail-biting affair. Previous results show barely anything separating the two teams, with a one-game win to St Mary’s in round 5 and a two-game win to Uniting in the first semi.

Section 9: Geelong West has the edge over minor premiers St Mary’s with 4-2 wins in both their encounters this season.