Upsets and thrillers in prelim finals

Bianca Duff helped Grovedale Yellow to victory last Saturday.

LOCAL TENNIS Donna Schoenmaekers

Leopold has upstaged minor premiers Highton in Geelong’s top men’s league, with a 4-2, 10-game preliminary final win.

Leopold came out strong taking the first two sets 6-4 but Jamie Heaton and Jo Horvat won the third for Highton in a tie-break.

Gavin D’Souza and Saxon Richardson took the fourth 6-4 for Leopold and Taj Cayzer and Saxon Richardson blasted a 6-0 win.

D’Souza and his brother Jason went down in a tie-break but Leopold clinched the win, with Cayzer and Horvat the standout players for the match.

In the other Section 1 preliminary final Grovedale clawed a narrow win over Barwon Heads.

Grovedale took the first set, with no breaks of serve, in a tie-break, but Barwon Heads hit back taking the second 7-5.

Jeremy Palmer-Morgan and Brett Armstrong were looking very strong in the third set for Barwon Heads against Ryan Lee and Braeden Lubcke taking a 5-2 lead.

But the Grovedale men came back to level it at five-all before finally going down 7-6 in a tie-break.

In the fourth set Grovedale pair Ned Simpson and Jai Bosnjak dominated with a 6-0 win.

Level on sets, Grovedale had a four-game lead going into the final two sets.

Barwon Heads pair Palmer-Morgan and Toby Mitchell proved too strong in the fifth set taking it 6-3, but Grovedale’s players held their nerve and took the last 6-1 to move into tomorrow’s grand final.

Grovedale Black took it to minor premiers Waurn Ponds in the Section 1 mixed with the sides locked on two sets each in the first four.

But Waurn Ponds won the last two and Nicole Mullen continued to dominate dropping just five games.

In the Grovdale grudge match Yellow smashed Gold 6-0, setting up a tantalising clash between Mullen and Yellow’s Bianca Duff.

Duff has lost only two sets since Waurn Ponds defeated Yellow 5-1 in round 1, with Yellow forfeiting the side’s round 8 match due to injuries.

Yellow will have Grant Thompson back in the team and Billy Spicer is a chance to return to Waurn Pond’s line up tomorrow.

In the Section 1 boys, minor premiers Wandana Heights Blue cruised into the grand final with a 6-0 win over fourth-placed Highton.

Wandana Heights dropped just nine games with Jared Zanardo and Lachie Hanson taking the first two singles sets 6-0 and 6-1.

They will face Geelong Lawn Green, which defeated Barwon Heads 4-2.

Geelong Lawn started strong with Ned Simpson and Teal Studer taking the first two sets 6-1 and 6-2.

Barwon Heads rallied with Jack Remilton winning 6-2 over Kirrily McConachy, one of several local girls playing boys’ tennis.

But Finn McNeilly went down in a tie-break 5-6 to Rupert Sever and Lawn held onto its two-set lead in the doubles to advance to the grand final.

The Geelong Lawn girls continued their dominance in Section 1.

After finishing 19 points ahead on the ladder, they dispatched Centre Court 6-0 in the prelim.

All girls were in good form and will be hard to beat next week.

The second prelim could not have been more different, with Highton overcoming Grovedale by just one game as both sides won three sets.

The teams went set-for-set, with Highton two games ahead going into the doubles.

Both doubles were one-sided with Grovedale taking the second 6-0, but Highton managed to take the first 6-1 leaving them just ahead and booking their place against Geelong Lawn tomorrow.