Rochester has defeated Rich River to claim the Dolly Christie memorial trophy. The side won the Campaspe Tennis Association section one premiership for the second year in a row.By Geordie Cowan
The Dolly Christie memorial trophy has found its home at Rochester for the second year in a row after Rochester 1 ran away with the Campaspe Tennis Association section one grand final on Saturday.
Only four games separated the sides going into the final four mixed sets — the same margin in all three senior grades — but the Rochester players stepped up a gear to pull away and eventually win 8-87 to 5-70 at Rich River.
Kate Lee and Todd Woodfine were pivotal for Rochester, winning their three sets for the day, while Marg Peat and Troy Mackrell were Rich River’s best players.
Rich River suffered a blow on the morning of the grand final with the news section one aggregate winner Darren Devereux was sick and unable to play.
The opening men’s doubles matches saw the scores even out with 8-6 results to either side, but Woodfine and Brett Wileman combined to defeat Danny Maloney and David Wright 8-3 in the third doubles.
Darren Short and Mackrell put the home team back on track though with wins in the singles, recording 6-4 and 6-1 results against Jaycob Dingwall and Elliott Taylor respectively.
In the women’s doubles, Lee and Karen Taylor got Rochester off to a flyer with an 8-2 triumph against Deb Angove and Trina Godfrey, but the rest of the combinations were much closer.
Rich River’s Peat was involved in two tie-break losses, with the first to Di Chandler and Rachael Major, but Godfrey and McCluskey came back to win the last women’s set 8-6 against Karen Taylor and Major to give the team some momentum.
Holding a four-game advantage, Rochester made the task extremely difficult for Rich River when Woodfine and Lee blasted Short and Angove 8-0 to give their team a big boost, with the second mixed pairing seeing Dingwall and Karen Taylor also triumph 8-6 against Mackrell and Godfrey.
With a 14-game lead before the final two doubles, a miracle was needed for the home side, but despite an 8-6 win to Maloney and Peat against Karl Hansen and Leisa Evans, while Wileman and Major completed the 17-game result with an 8-3 win against Wright and McCluskey.
Rochester captain Karen Taylor said Lee and Woodfine’s win in the mixed sealed the win.
‘‘We certainly finished it off well in the mixed,’’ she said.
‘‘It took the pressure off the last two mixed and it turned out to be enough.’’
A couple of individual results also played a big part in determining the match, Taylor said.
‘‘We had a couple of good comebacks,’’ she said.
‘‘Kate and Leisa were down 6-1 and won 8-7, while Rachael and myself were down 5-2 and we lost 8-6.
‘‘That could have changed the whole direction of the game.
‘‘It was a good team effort, we just got as many games on the board as we could and kept going throughout the day.’’
The grand final result meant the team won its last 11 games to finish the season.
‘‘We certainly peaked at the right end of the season,’’ Taylor said.
‘‘Rich River put on a good day. They had the place set up well, it was ran smoothly and played in good spirits.’’
Rich River captain Short said losing Devereux on the morning of the final had not helped his team’s chances.
‘‘It all turned a bit pear-shaped when we found out Darren Devereux was crook,’’ he said.
‘‘That certainly slimmed our chances.
‘‘But credit to Rochy, they caused us to not play that well.’’
In the preview last week Short said the team would need a lead going into the mixed sets, but ‘‘it didn’t happen that way’’.
‘‘Well done to Rochester, they were too good for us.’’
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