saturday saw the finals of the Tennis Borders annual confined tournament.
Even torrential showers couldn’t stop the keen finalists. Surprisingly, only a quarter of an hour’s play was lost with competitors playing the rest of the day through a mixture of heavy and light showers.
Last year’s men’s singles champion, Michael Fairburn, not only retained his title but had a clean sweep, winning the men’s doubles and mixed doubles as well for the first time and he is still in his last year as a junior – a great achievement.
Michael, who lives in Galashiels, plays for the Melrose Waverley Club.
The Selkirk club’s junior twins Annabel and Emily Watson competed against each other in the ladies’ final for the first time, with Emily proving just too strong and retaining the title.
At close of play, the presentations had to be made inside, the trophies being handed over by the new Tennis Borders president Malcolm Cattermole of the Innerleithen and Peebles clubs, who was not above wielding a squeegee to mop up courts (which had to be done frequently) when required.
Keith Polson of Galashiels, also a member of Melrose Waverley, was the surprised but delighted recipient of a special award for being a supporter and participant in the senior confined tournament virtually every year since starting as a junior 30 years ago.
This year, he was winner of the men’s 40 singles consolation event too, having been just beaten very narrowly in his first match 6-1, 3-6, 6-10 by fellow Melrose member Mike Turner in a match which lasted a full two hours.
Referee and former Tennis Borders president Christine Lawrie was delighted with the standard of play and encouraged by the commitment of the players who battled on despite the adverse conditions.
“Oh for indoor facilities within the Borders,” she added.
Mrs Lawrie also spoke of her hopes for tennis in the region following the recent opening of the new Borders Tennis Centre in Galashiels. She commented: “I’m hopeful that Galashiels will produce more champions now that the Centre and Community Tennis Club is open. Hopefully, the Galashiels people will make the most of this new facility which boasts four sand-filled artificial grass courts and three all-weather courts located at Galashiels Academy.”
Results – Women’s 40 Singles: 1, Toni Lemmon (St Boswells); 2, Judith Dixon (Duns); 3= Carol Gray (Peebles) and Hilary Jackson (St Boswells).
Men’s 40 Singles: 1, Ian Reilly (Melrose Waverley); 2, Steve Lampert (Galashiels); C-1, Keith Polson (Melrose Waverley); C-2, Keith Wylde (Melrose Waverley).
Mixed Doubles: 1, Michael Fairburn & Emily Watson (Melrose Waverley/Selkirk); 2, Michael McGee & Lisa Campbell (Peebles); C-1, Simon Blair & Toni Lemmon (St Boswells); C-2, James Collin & Judith Dixon (Duns).
Women’s Doubles: 1, Judith Dixon & Suzanne Dixon (Duns); 2, Joanna Dixon & Tara Harvey (Duns); C-1, Lisa Campbell & Juliet Smith (Peebles); C-2, Toni Lemmon & Cindy Webster (St Boswells).
Men’s Doubles: 1, Michael Fairburn & Michael McGee (Melrose Waverley/Peebles); 2, Lewis Armstrong & Simon Blair (St Boswells); C-1, Mike Turner & Keith Wylde (Melrose Waverley); C-2, Ben Culham & Neil Harvey (Duns).
Women’s Singles: 1, Emily Watson (Selkirk); 2, Annabel Watson (Selkirk); C-1, Suzanne Dixon (Duns); C-2, Tara Harvey (Duns).
Men’s Singles: 1, Michael Fairburn (Melrose Waverley); 2, Lewis Armstrong (St Boswells); C-1, Ian Reilly (Melrose Waverley); C-2, James Collin (Duns).
C = Consolation event (for players who lost their first match).