Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Cobram's tennis success

The Goulburn region's tennis team have taken second place at a Victorian competition.

TONI BRIENT January 10, 2014 4:00am

Regional champs: Cobram's Helene Steward and Nick Fenaughty were selected to compete in the Goulburn region team in the Victorian Inter-regional Country Championships on the weekend.

Five Cobram tennis greats helped the Goulburn region take second place at the Victorian Inter-regional Country Championships in Creswick on the weekend, coming second to the Barwon region from Geelong.

Nick Fenaughty, Helene Steward, Caitlyn Price, Brayden Price and Matthew Price folded away their Cobram Lawn Tennis Club shirts for the weekend.

Instead, they donned the purple Goulburn team shirts to compete in singles and doubles competitions against players from across country Victoria.

Fenaughty and Steward, who have lost count of the number of times they’ve played in the competition, admitted they were slightly out of practice this year.

Fenaughty said he had turned mainly to coaching, suffering from an injured elbow last year.

He said the injury strongly impacted his performance at Creswick.

‘‘Last year, I played the same thing and I got in the finals in all three events,’’ Fenaughty said.

‘‘But this year I lost first round.’’

The Finley resident said his result didn’t diminish his enjoyment.

‘‘It felt good to be there representing my region,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s just that I wasn’t in my best form, and everyone knew that coming into the tournament.’’

Steward said it had also been a while since she took to the court.

She was a runner-up in the women’s open doubles division and made it to the quarter final for women’s open singles.

‘‘Based on the fact that I haven’t really been playing for the past two years, I was ecstatic.’’

Steward said the most enjoyable match of the competition was her contest with Geelong’s Carolyn McGann.

‘‘I was really happy with my match against Carolyn. We had lots of deuces. We had long rallies. I just enjoyed that match.’’

Goulburn team manager Heather Rees said she was eager to defeat Barwon, but was proud of ther players’ performances against a tough region.

‘‘We would love to be able to get on top of Barwon but they’re such a strong tennis area,’’ Rees said.

‘‘They’re metro, really, so they have a huge number players to choose from.

‘‘Our region goes from the Murray River right down to Wallan, so we cover a large area but Barwon is very densely populated.’’

Rees said Goulburn’s performance had been consistent for the five years she had managed the team, attributing its success to the dedication of the players.

‘‘We came third about four years ago and came second for the last three years,’’ she said.

‘‘The secret of this is to get people to commit to it, so the likes of Helene and Nick.

‘‘We also had some of the better juniors that could really be off playing points tournaments for themselves.’’

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