Rich River will be looking to win its first Goulburn Murray Lawn Tennis Association grand final tomorrow, when the side plays Kyabram.By Geordie Cowan
Rich River has a chance to win the Goulburn Murray Lawn Tennis Association premier one grand final in only its second year in the competition.
The team must overcome Kyabram at Shepparton Lawn Tennis Club tomorrow if it is to triumph — a team it lost to in the semi-final last Saturday.
However, Rich River responded the following day to win a thrilling preliminary final clash against Shepparton Bears at Numurkah to book a spot in the final play-off.
That loss to Kyabram at Tatura was the first from three clashes this season, but Rich River will be hoping Kate Dixon can spark the team to victory.
Dixon stepped on a bottle in a river two weeks ago, needing 16 stitches in her left foot.
Emergency Amanda Ivancic filled in on Saturday for the semi-final, but Dixon returned to the court on Sunday to help her team to the narrow win.
To play, Dixon wore one of Andrew Crossman’s larger shoes and made some alterations to it, which allowed for extra padding to cater for her injury.
She was still unable to move easily, but the impromptu design worked well enough for her to compete in three sets, winning one.
Teammate Jonny Watson, who is a podiatrist, had a few ideas and he created an inner sole where there was no pressure on the stitches, Crossman said.
‘‘We can take a fair bit of confidence out of that,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re hoping she’s another 50 per cent more mobile than she was on Sunday.’’
The stitches were due to be taken out today.
‘‘There certainly would’ve been some discomfort there (last week), but she had a go and we can commend her for that,’’ Crossman said.
‘‘We wouldn’t have won it without her, that’s for sure.’’
Erik Holt-Crossman is the other men’s player, while Alyssa Godfrey and Andrine Holt-Crossman complete the side, while Paul Crossman is the emergency.
After last year’s experience where the team was knocked out of finals in the first round, Rich River was well placed to challenge for the title tomorrow, Andrew Crossman said.
‘‘It’s been a great chance for the kids to improve themselves (through the season),’’ he said.
‘‘Working with Erik, the young guys have certainly picked up in the last 12 months.
‘‘They’re all playing good tennis, but the biggest change has been in their doubles experience.
‘‘They have just improved so much.’’
Although only playing Kyabram last weekend, tomorrow’s contest was still much of an unknown, Crossman said.
‘‘Any of the sets are a danger,’’ he said.
‘‘We just can’t afford to have any blowouts. I think the match-ups are very even.
‘‘At the end of the day, it’s a great experience for the guys.
‘‘It’s a good achievement for the team to get to the final and I just hope we go out there, do our best and perform on the day.’’
Erik Holt-Crossman and Watson narrowly lost their singles, before each combining with Andrew Crossman to win the doubles.
Godfrey and Andrine Holt-Crossman split their singles sets, with similar results recorded when combining with Dixon in the doubles.
Trailing by two games going into the mixed sets, Andrew and Andrine Holt-Crossman was the last remaining set on court.
She successfully held her serve to ensure the 8-4 win and move into the grand final.
Goulburn Valley Health’s renal patients have seven new hand-sewn quilts to call their own.
The winning form continued for the Mulwala seniors against Deniliquin at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Tatura Hospital and Parkvilla Aged Care Facility, part of Goulburn Valley Health, held its annual June Hospital Collection and Open Day on Sunday with a small crowd in attendance.
Murray and Campaspe shire have decided to withdraw membership from Committee for Echuca-Moama.
Rochester Motorsport Complex will host the third round of the Golden Power Series karting championships on the weekend.
Kyabram’s first tourism booklet is to be launched in late September.
Seymour College P-4 students delight in their new surroundings.
Berrigan and Jerilderie Shires will be in separate state electorates if boundary redistributions announced on Monday come in to effect.
Heathcote Health is finalising its service plan.
Barooga Sports Club chief executive officer Greg Ryan recently celebrated 30 years of service surrounded by friends, family and past and present staff.
Former AFL player Heath Black sent an inspiring message to Deniliquin youths last week.
Goulburn Valley fruit growers may face a battle against pests and diseases this season as growers hit by SPC Ardmona’s fruit cutbacks abandon their orchards or can’t find money to properly maintain them.
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