Top junior grabs surprise win
AFTER 14 rounds, Ipswich's winter tennis season finals wrapped up on Sunday, despite a heavy battering from the weather.
With the final round of play pushed to Sunday, the wet weather gave organiser Fred Daniel a chance to present the annual Barry Niebling trophy to one of Ipswich's most outstanding juniors Ainsley Sherrington.
Named in honour of Niebling's many contributions to Ipswich tennis, Daniel said it was important that the recipients knew the history behind the trophy.
"Barry was a very passionate coach in the district who did a lot in promoting young kids,” he said. "In 2005 he died at the age of 39 and we set up this memorial trophy which is given to the best performing player in the junior grade.
"I make a point of teaching the kids who the person the trophy is in honour of and it's a way to encourage the kids to look at playing at the top junior grade instead of making the jump to seniors too quickly.”
That latest honour went to rising star Ainsley, after her stellar season.
The Ipswich junior had played four sets against the runner-up Kaiden Grennan, and only lost one.
Ainsley also played three sets against the third spot player Rafael Sy, again only losing one.
"Everyone thought Kaiden was in line to win it but I was very surprised when I looked at the results and saw Ainsley was the clear winner after having lost only two sets during the 14 round competition,'' Daniel said.
Last Saturday's storms forced some last minute changes to the final round. With everyone waiting on standby and squeegees in hand, the rain continued.
With another storm cell on the way, Daniel put the question to players about a preferred time on Sunday to complete the weekend's matches.
Combined with the Perrett Shield trials which were also held on Sunday, several players found themselves juggling both commitments.
Archie Graham and Kevin Bianchi of the Ipswich Phantoms took out the top senior grade with a win 24-21 over Marcus Godbee and Matthew Wilson's TG Lavers.
The junior grades featured two hard fought matches.
The DTA Nunchucks team of Chloe Taylor and Hollie Welch defeated the FD Wedge-tails team of Edwin Joseph and Redan Dinh, in tight 24-23 finish.
In the second junior match-up, Lachlan Chalk and Oscar Shaw defeated SL Crayfish pair Connor McGlade and Aena Singh, 24-20.
After the hectic finish to the winter fixtures, Daniel said the tight matches and Perrett Shield selections had rounded out a big weekend of tennis.
"Excellent tennis and good sportsmanship was the order of the day,” he said. "It was good to receive a thank you text from one parent who said 'the fixture finals could not have been organised better, what a great atmosphere out there'.
"The Perrett Shield team has now been selected and we are looking forward to seeing what happens with that. We don't want to place any pressure on the players but we've had some good results in the past.”
State of play
Ipswich Winter Season tennis finals.
Ipswich Destroyers def Tall Gums Cawleys 30/10 (K Grennan 18/6).
Devlin's Tennis Academy Machines def Fred Daniel Wedge-tails 24/23 (C Taylor 16/12).
Tall Gums Federers d Springfield Lakes Crayfish 24/20 (O Shaw 18/11).
Ipswich Phantoms def Tall Gums Lavers 24/21 (K Bianchi 19/13).
(Gold) Ipswich Raiders def Fred Daniel Tennis Falcons 23/14 (M Bell 20/6).
(Silver) Ipswich Rebels def Devlin's Tennis Academy Nunchucks 27/4 (N Diill,R Whelband 5/4).