Tournament proves just ace for schoolkids

Winners and runners-up in the boys' competition proudly display their prizes
Winners and runners-up in the boys' competition proudly display their prizes

A TOTAL of 26 teams of budding mini tennis players turned up at Galashiels Academy to take part in the Borders primary schools mini tennis competition.

Competitors of all age ranges represented 15 primary schools from across the Borders.

Girls team winners from Melrose Grammar

Girls team winners from Melrose Grammar

In the girls’ competition, five schools were represented. St Ronan’s, Priorsford, Melrose and two teams from Earlston.

The play was dominated by Melrose and the Earlston A team, with the former team of Felicity Walls, Orla Lynch and Freya Tullis taking the title, followed closely by Earlston’s Ailsa Clark, Kirsty Falconer and Jessica Damarell.

Seven teams took part in the mixed singles competition. West Linton qualified for the final in group one after beating last year’s winners St Mary’s and Knowepark.

Group two was won by St Ronan’s following their wins over Priorsford, Melrose and Coldingham (competing in the competition for the first time).

A very tense final got under way, with both teams winning one match each, which left the top-ranking team members to fight it out. Luke Rathie from St Ronan’s held his nerve and took the title back to Innerleithen. West Linton were represented by Patrick Gordon, Olivia Harrison and Nairne Wells. The St Ronan’s Team was Luke Rathie, Elliot Brydon and Lola Pringle.

The boys’ tournament always proves to be an exciting event with all showing a high standard of play. The teams were divided into four groups, with St Ronan’s, West Linton, Melrose and Earlston qualifying for the semi-finals. St Ronan’s managed to win their semi-final match against the West Linton team of Oscar Weipers, Adam Clunie and Alexander Walpole.

In the other semi-final, Melrose won over the Earlston team of Michael McPherson, Dylan Cockburn and Jay McGarva.

In the final, all the boys played extremely well, however, both teams each won one game – St Ronan’s players Andrew Bradford and Drew Lobb with Melrose fielding Alistair Renton and Thor McGilvary. This left Rhys Bootland and Oliver Duguid to face each other in the final game of the evening. With a large crowd watching, and many mums biting their fingernails, Rhys won the title for St Ronan’s 7-6.

All competitors played excellent tennis and hopefully many of the players will return to Galashiels on March 23 for the Borders Mini Tennis Individual Event at the Queen’s Centre.

Players were also given information about summer challenge events for mini tennis players.

Contact your local club for more information.