Rochester 1 won its second consecutive Campasoe Tennis Association section one title, defeating Rich River by 10 games.GEORDIE COWAN March 24, 2014 4:45am
Rochester 1 winners (back from left) Todd Woodfine, Jaycob Dingwall, James Walsh, Josh Lee, Elliott Taylor; (front) Kate Lee, Di Chandler, Rachael Major, Leisa Evans and Karen Taylor.
Rochester 1 overcame Rich River to retain the Dolly Christie memorial trophy for the second year in a row on Saturday.
The Campaspe Tennis Association reigning premier just held on at Rochester Lawn Tennis Club to win by 10 games, 8-82 to 5-72.
In other results, Colbinabbin 1 triumphed against Echuca Village in section 2A, while Rich River 4 won a thriller against clubmates Rich River 5 in section 2B.
Earlier, Echuca South 4 won the junior A grade against Rochester 7, while Colbinabbin 3 defeated clubmates Colbinabbin 4 in B grade.
It was also a one-club battle in C grade, where Rochester 13 defeated Rochester 12 by two games despite winning less sets.
Rochester has now won the past three section one CTA titles after Rochester 2 was victorious in 2012.
Captain Karen Taylor was the only player to win all her three sets for the day and was ably helped by Rachael Major and Todd Woodfine.
Alyssa Godfrey was the best player for Rich River, winning two of her three sets, while Darren Devereux also produced good results.
The day started well for Rochester with Jaycob Dingwall producing a solid 6-2 win against Rich River captain Darren Short.
Clayton Scott responded for the visitors against a nervous Josh Lee to advance to a 5-0 lead, before Lee gained composure to add a vital three games.
Rich River only managed one set in both men’s and women’s doubles — which was the reverse of the results in the qualifying final two weeks earlier — and with strong pairings and consistent tennis, Rochester held a 12-game advantage going into the mixed.
Short and Godfrey raised Rich River’s hopes with an 8-2 win in the grudge match against Rochester’s number one pairing of Kate Lee and Woodfine.
James Walsh and Karen Taylor then pushed the margin back out to 10 games with an 8-4 win, before the final two sets were split by tie-breakers.
Rochester’s Kate Lee said it was a terrific result for the club.
‘‘To win back-to-back is great, but especially to have three in a row for the club,’’ she said.
‘‘The town’s pretty ecstatic.
‘‘We’ve been in the competition for four years and lost the grand final in the first year, but we have won the next three.
‘‘For our town to have someone in the final each year is a fantastic effort for Rochester.
‘‘It shows the calibre of players we have and being able to get those young boys to step up and play.’’
A change in tactics paid off at the start of the match.
‘‘Josh Lee played singles for the first time this season,’’ she said.
‘‘So we put him in the deep end, in order to change our doubles line-up, which we quite dominated.’’
Lee said despite some one-sided scores throughout the match, all the sets were competitive and of a high quality.
‘‘There was some unbelievable tennis,’’ she said.
‘‘There were a lot of deuces and big points played.’’
She also praised the performance of Godfrey, who played ‘‘strong, aggressive tennis all day’’, while she hoped that Marg Peat would continue on next year after finishing the season off in true style — in a tie-breaker.
Godfrey said she always expected a close game against Rochester but there were some set scores which were surprising to both teams.
‘‘We would close the gap a bit and then Rochy would have a really good set and widen the margin a little bit more,’’ she said.
‘‘But overall everyone played their best tennis of the season really and that made the day even more enjoyable.
‘‘It was how a final should be.
‘‘They were the better team on the day and that’s what it comes down to.’’
The teams enjoyed a healthy rivalry against one another, Lee said.
‘‘It is a rivalry, but a fantastic one on and off the court,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s competitive tennis, but we always have a laugh.
‘‘I think Rich River will definitely have something to prove next year after being the bridesmaids again.’’
The match also boasted both aggregate winners for the season, with Rochester’s Taylor winning the women and Devereux winning the men for the second consecutive year.
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