Tennis tyros take care of Coasters

Felix Parkinson reaches for a return. Photo: Peter Jones.

Marlborough’s rising tennis talent came out on top when the annual Wilding Trophy fixture, which was delayed due to COVID-19 in April, was contested at the Forrest Winery Tennis Centre recently.

A team of 14 players from Marlborough and West Coast competed across multiple matches on Thursday and Friday.

Day one began with doubles – a nice way to iron out all the winter rustiness and get into the tennis groove again.

West Coast came out on top, 4 matches to 3, with the top boys and girls pairing going through to a super tie third set. Singles was up next and some great performances across the board from Marlborough saw a 10-3 result.

Then it was back to doubles with a few mixed combinations included. This time Marlborough got up 4-3, thanks to a clutch victory by William Poff and Poppy Parkinson who won their super tie third set 10-6.

Friday opened with reverse singles and Marlborough once again dominated 10-3 with the highlight being the last game in this round where Ryo Kimura beat Stanley Vercoe in three sets, both players responding to all the other players and supporters crowding around the court and cheering them on.

The last round saw a new set of doubles combinations with West Coast again prevailing 4-3. Three of these matches were decided by third set super tiebreaks – Poff and Kimura combining for a top notch win, coming back from 3-8 down to win 10-8.

Unbeaten players across the five matches were Marlborough’s Leon Marusaki, Cooper Johnson and Ben Preece while West Coast players Honor Barry and Connor Greig maintained a 100 percent winning record.

Overall, the Reilly Quirk-coached team won the fixture 30-17, a scoreline that did not reflect the tightness of the matches. A feature of the fixture is the relaxed atmosphere, which is always a highlight.

Next up for the Marlborough juniors is an under-14 rep fixture against Nelson for the Malcolm Shield on November 8 at the Marlborough Tennis Club.

Marlborough: Felix Parkinson, William Poff, Elijah O’Donnell, Ryo Kimura, Luke Marusaki, Josh Harris, Leon Marusaki, Max Sowman, Cooper Johnson, Ben Preece, Ella Sowman, Poppy Parkinson, Ana Eradus, Ruby Glackin.

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