Villagers to the four as they see off Melrose to close in on semi spot

AN UNBEATEN run of three matches was extended by St Boswells I at the weekend following a 4-0 win over Melrose I at Gibson Park.

The Villagers’ team of Toni Lemmon, Lynn Bruce, Lewis Armstrong and Adam Drummond secured a fourth consecutive success for the visitors, which should see them into the semi-finals of the Winter League.

Although not reflected in the score, Melrose put up a good fight throughout and made their opponents work hard.

St Boswells II managed to secure a draw against Peebles in a tight contest, thanks to a final match victory in the top mixed doubles match between Matt and Lucy Tile, and Juliet Smith and Michael McGee, which went down to a deciding match tie-break.

The other mixed match also went the way of St Boswells with Charles Strang and Hilary Jackson overcoming Tom Steele and Jo Cassidy to set up the nail-biting finale.

The match leaves the second team with an outside chance of making the semi-finals too, needing a victory over Earlston and other matches to go their way on Sunday.

z IN RECENT years Earlston Tennis Club has forged a productive relationship with the Scottish Borders Active Schools Programme.

The scheme can boast a number of success stories, including the capture of primary inter-district titles for the boys and girls, events as well as the girls’ high school team of Jessica Bennett, Lauren McCulloch, Rebecca Bruce and Ailsa Jackson advancing to the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup last year, with this year’s event already throwing up a shock win in the second round over St George’s (Merchiston Academy) who are the current cup holders. The girls now take on the winner of High School of Glasgow v Jordanhill in the third round.

The inter-district primary event is staged at Galashiels Academy and is organised and run by Christine Brown.

This year it attracted more than 60 children who take part in boys’ and girls events’, as well as a mixed competition.

Earlston TC coach Ali McCulloch told TheSouthern: “It will hopefully encourage the move toward creating a proper indoor facility as the event demonstrates that as a stand-alone sport tennis is worth the investment.”

The contracted link with Active Schools allows clubs such as Earlston to access facilities at a reduced cost, allowing McCulloch to run a structured programme which includes fun social sessions, as well as performance/development groups, to be catered for at an affordable cost to the parents.