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Green team chases sixth grand final win

McEwen Reserve Green is hoping to end its time together with a sixth Shepparton Junior Tennis Association A-grade grand final title tomorrow.

MATTHEW GALEA March 21, 2014 4:15am

Sophie Maxted, Steph Collins, Bailey Opie, Mikayla Maxted and Thomas Jeffery have had a great run as McEwen Green.


McEwen Reserve Green is hopeful of one last hurrah in this weekend’s Shepparton Junior Tennis Association A-grade grand final.

The team of Bailey Opie, Thomas Jeffery, Steph Collins and Mikayla and Sophie Maxted, has won five premierships during the past seven years together.

Tomorrow, they hope to make it six.

Opie and Jeffery will move onto senior tennis next year, ending a seven-year golden run both said had given them some of their fondest memories.

‘‘The journey’s been really fantastic,’’ Jeffery said.

‘‘We’ve made some fantastic family friends along the way and it’s been really enjoyable.’’

The adventure started seven years ago when Opie’s father, Ross, sought out Collins and the Maxted sisters from Shepparton Lawn.

‘‘He decided we needed some stronger girls in the team and, as a good footy coach does, he tried to find those players,’’ Opie said.

‘‘He tried to find some players he could maybe develop, that was his theory and I suppose it worked out for us.’’

Opie said it would be great if the journey could end on the ultimate high.

‘‘It’d be a great way to end our junior careers,’’ Opie said.

‘‘We play Shepp Lawn Orange this weekend and I think it will be 50-50. We’ve beat them once and they’ve beaten us once.

‘‘It’d be nice to win it, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.’’

That is a trait that has served the team well during its glorious run and while McEwen Reserve Green finished the home-and-away season on top of the ladder, the Greens have usually had to come from behind to make the grand final.

‘‘We’ve actually had to come from the bottom to win them, we’ve had to come from fourth or second,’’ Opie said.

‘‘We’ve usually had to beat Shepparton North, but their kids were too old for juniors this year.’’

Four of McEwen Reserve Green’s five premiership wins have been against Shepparton North and while no-one from the team could nominate one as being particularly sweeter than the rest, Jeffery believed a win this weekend could be the best one yet.

‘‘To win this year would be really good, just because it’s the highest grade and the last year,’’ Jeffery said.

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