Renwick CPR claimed the Marlborough premier tennis title for the first time on Wednesday evening, downing Rapaura Wairau River Blanc in a thrilling final at Pollard Park.
The two country clubs fought out a thrilling nine-match decider, an encounter which was postponed from last year due to inclement weather.
There were no such issues this time around with the tie played in balmy conditions, top-qualifiers Renwick eventually taking the honours six matches to three.
The evening began with two men’s doubles and one mixed encounter, Renwick making a bold start by winning two of the three.
In the No 1 doubles Rapaura’s Ant Walkenhorst and Lee Harborne defeated Oscar Sanford-Jury and Darren Herd 7-6, 7-5 in a match that was tight throughout, the Rapaura duo prevailing after doing slightly better on the big points.
In the second men’s doubles clash, Renwick bounced back in emphatic fashion, Chris Nott and Joseph Sanford-Jury beating Stephen Dempster and Hiro Kashida 6-2, 6-3.
Renwick sprung something of a surprise by putting the vastly-experienced Dave Sandford in their mixed doubles combination, alongside Meiko Kimura, but it paid dividends. In another closely-fought encounter the Renwick pair came through 7-5, 6-4 against Ben Burridge and Donna Clark.
With Renwick leading 2-1 Rapaura needed some early singles success. Harborne got them started, winning a 6-1, 3-6, 10-8 thriller against Oscar Sandford-Jury but Renwick were able to claim the following four men’s ties, giving them an unassailable lead.
Dave Sanford downed Walkenhorst 6-1, 6-2, Nott accounted for Dempster in another thriller, prevailing 6-2, 6-7, 12-10 to rack up a crucial point, Joseph Sandford-Jury overcame Kashida then Herd beat Burridge 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 in another tight encounter.
The women’s single went the way of Rapaura, Clark getting the better of Kimura 6-1, 6-1, but it was not enough to stop Renwick getting their hands on the silverware for the first time since it was introduced in 2008.
Next week a new competition, the Summer Series, kicks off.
Results from the WK+ Presidents Grade, 28 January 2020
Division 1: Grovetown Grove Tavern Top Shelf 2 (31) Rapaura Masters 2 (21); Rapaura Wairau River 3 MTC Power 1; Rapaura Just Move 2 (33) MTC Chilli 2 (27).
Division 2: Renwick Netsetters 2 (29) Rapaura Pinot 2 (26); MTC Volleyeurs 3 Rapaura Newhawkes 1; MTC Swifts 3 MTC Roger Townley Construction 1; MTC Swallows 3 Renwick Mighty Four 1.
Division 3: Rapaura Chardonnay 1 MTC Bjorn Again 3; Rapaura Matadors 2 (29) Renwick Rebels 2 (27); MTC Tennis the Menace 3 Renwick Rookies 1.
Division 4: Rapaura Shiraz 4 Renwick Racquets 0 Grovetown Grove Tavern Platters 2 (29) Rapaura Vines 2 (24) Renwick Serve us a Double! 4 Renwick Raiders 0.