TENNIS: Dorchester's young aces shine on court

Dorset Echo: NET GAIN: The Under-7s and 8s Reds NET GAIN: The Under-7s and 8s Reds

WIMBLEDON came to Dorchester Tennis and Squash Club when the annual Junior Club Championships served up some great games.

Events kicked off with a wellsupported Under-7s and 8s Red tournament, with 10 players playing five matches each before the best two met in the final.

All the games were umpired by older players from the coaching programme and the final proved to be a closely-contested affair.

In the end, James Greig triumphed over Sunninghill School classmate Nathan Sloley by 10 points to six.

Annabel Cobb was the only girl to feature and she came a very credible third.

The nine-and-under competition saw five boys go for the top prize, four of whom were area winners in the Aegon team challenge.

Again, the tennis was of a high standard, and eight-year-old Ethan Robinson won all his matches in the round-robin without dropping a set to clinch first.

Ed Keegan had the stamina to win three tough matches and become the 10-and-under champion, beating Billy Noel in the final. Tommy Gale won the consolation event.

The entry numbers in the 12-and-under section were disappointingly low, but despite this the tennis was of a high standard.

Charlie Barnett used his vast experience to outplay Joe Albon in the final, winning 6-2 6-0 and gaining revenge after losing last year’s final to the same opponent.

The final of the 14-and-under event was a tremendous battle played between 13-year-old Alex Baker and Ellery Ford, 12.

The rallies were incredibly long, covering all corners of the court, and Baker just about managed to see off the tenacious Ford 6-2 7-6.

Ed Shackleton and Hayden Taylor played the consolation final with the former coming out on top.

The largest girls’ entry for many a year allowed two events to take place.

The A title went to 15-year-old Kayleigh Budge for the third year running.

She defeated spirited performances from Jenna Bennett and Emily Noel to win convincingly.

She will have to watch out though as these two, together with Gabby Bennett, are improving fast.

The girls’ B tournament was played by youngsters who had never played competitive tennis before.

Nuala Arthy won all three of her matches to claim the trophy.

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