Rich River was too strong for Echuca Lawn on Saturday, winning the Campaspe Tennis Association section 2A premiership.
A final flourish which saw all four mixed doubles pairings triumph resulted in Rich River 4 winning the section 2A premiership at Rich River on Saturday.
Rich River trailed by four games going into the final sets against Echuca Lawn 2, but the resulting victories saw the home team reverse the result of last year’s grand final to win by just five games.
The Rich River women of Shelly Barnes-Webb, Marlene Stapleton, Jenny Sudholz and Christine Brady won all of their sets to push the team to victory, while Damien Nunan and Ian Haines were the best players for Lawn.
Lawn started the better of the two teams with its men winning the first two doubles, before Nunan and Haines produced comprehensive victories in the singles matches against Geordie Cowan and Don Martin.
Sam Neale and Bruce Barnes-Webb restored some pride to Rich River though with a 6-4 victory against Hugh Melville and Rob Marks.
The first two women’s sets reversed some of the earlier damage dealt by Lawn to reduce the margin, with Elaine Canning appearing for Lawn, before two close sets set the stage for the mixed doubles.
Shelly Barnes-Webb and Sudholz defeated Katrina Mitchell and Sharon Moon 6-4, while Stapleton and Brady fought hard to overcome Mel Haines and Kay Wearne 7-5 in a see-sawing set.
Two more close sets were played out when the three and four mixed combinations took to the court, with Bruce Barnes-Webb and Sudholz defeating Marks and Mitchell 7-5, while Martin and Brady needed a tie-break to defeat Melville and Moon.
With Lawn only leading by one game, the final two mixed doubles took to the court with Rich River’s Stapleton and Sam Neale defeating Damien and Anna Nunan 6-3, while Cowan and Shelly Barnes-Webb overcame Ian and Mel Haines with the same score.
Rich River finished the match with nine sets to four, but only five games split the teams in the 62-57 result.
Rich River captain Marlene Stapleton was thrilled to win the title.
‘‘It was a great result,’’ she said.
‘‘We had to work hard and we had to make every game count and we got unexpected results in our mixed sets and that helped us win at the end of the day.’’
Although it was the women who provided the bulk of the games for Rich River, it was a team effort — supported by injured player Travis Bacon — which resulted in the win, Stapleton said.
‘‘The women supported the men but when it counted in the mix we all played as a team and got the result in the end,’’ she said.
‘‘It was an even season for Lawn and Rich River as far as results and it was just nice to finish it off in a good way compared to last year.
‘‘Well done to the team and it was nice to come out on top.’’
Echuca Lawn captain Rob Marks said it was a close match throughout the day and his team believed it had a good chance of winning coming into the final sets.
‘‘I really thought at the end of the men’s and women’s sets we were doing very well,’’ he said.
‘‘I thought, based on the previous performances during the year between the sides, that we were in with a good chance.
‘‘But the mixed was a great turnaround, possibly down to the different combinations and performances, where we lost the whole lot — whereas in the semi-final we won three (of the four mixed sets).
‘‘If one of the top two mixed had gone the other way, the result would have been reversed and that’s what it came down to.’’
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