Tomorrow's Shepparton District Tennis Association's pennant grand final between Lemnos and McEwen Reserve is expected to go right down to the wire.HANNAH DRISCOLL March 21, 2014 4:20am
Shepparton District Tennis Association’s pennant grand final is almost shaping up as a true battle of the sexes between Lemnos and McEwen Reserve.
McEwen Reserve won the advantage in the men’s singles and doubles matches in the two occasions the sides have clashed this season, but the advantage was cancelled out by Lemnos’ women’s successes.
Cumulatively McEwen won 42 games from the men’s sets compared to Lemnos’ 24, but Lemnos took 47 games from the women’s sets compared to 20.
Lemnos’ women’s success in the last match in particular, where they conceded just seven games, meant they were in a strong position to win, even though their men won 10 less games and they only won two more in the mixed sets.
In the first encounter, McEwen Reserve was two games behind going into the mixed, but won two of the three sets at 17 games to eight.
Peter Jeffery said McEwen’s men were stronger than his side’s, so Lemnos had to hope the women did well and the men had to try not to leak too many games.
‘‘We’ll start slight underdogs, but you never know, anything can happen on the day,’’ Jeffery said.
‘‘It’s definitely going to come down to how many games the men can hold their men to.
The teams will take the same players into the grand final who played the semi-final last weekend, but in both previous games some of those players were missing.
Lemnos’ Peter and Viv Jeffery and McEwen’s Abby Hastings and Justin Hunter missed the round three clash, which McEwen won by seven games.
Hunter, teammate Cathy O’Brien and Lemnos’ Tom Jeffery also missed the round eight match, which Lemnos took out by a margin of nine.
Lemnos’ Mick Clurey missed last week’s final and will also be out tomorrow after breaking his ribs in a farm accident.
Lemnos was responsible for eliminating McEwen Reserve Opal from the finals the past two seasons, but the line-up is different, which Hunter hoped would be a benefit.
‘‘They beat us in the granny two years ago and they beat us in the prelim last year,’’ he said.
‘‘But the three ladies we’ve got playing for us this year didn’t play in our side last year, so they won’t be too nervous about that because last year we got flogged in the women’s.
‘‘I don’t think we will have that issue, but they still know they need to play well because Viv and Narelle (Maxted) are very strong women.’’
Hunter predicted it would be ‘‘extremely close’’ but was excited to be in the grand final again.
‘‘We’ve probably got the better men, they’ve probably got the better women, so I think that’s pretty obvious though, so I would say it’s going to come down to the mixed,’’ he said.
‘‘It will be about whoever holds their nerve on the day.’’
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