Swanage men's first team have won promotion to Division 3 next winter after a strong finish to the season with 3 good results in 2018. Swanage had a win away Shaftesbury in January, followed by a winning draw away to Corfe Mullen on a Wednesday night the 21st of February. And then a hard thought win against third placed Sway at home on Sunday the 25th confirmed the promotion. All 3 matches were played in freezing conditions, winter tennis at its best!
Team captain Jamie McDonald was side lined for the final match after suffering a tennis related wrist injury, but was there to spectate and support the team from the club house balcony.
With temperatures just above freezing in a easterly gale with a bright low sun it was not a good day for tennis. On Court one Graham Ward and Gordon Wallis took on the Sway first pair Andy and Ross. This was a match of the highest quality. And Graham and Gordon had to produce their best tennis to stay with the hard hitting Sway pair. They managed to just edge the first set 6:4 but were not used to losing and fought back to take the second 6:4. And so for the deciding tie break. As the tension rose the tie break could not have been closer. But Gordon and Graham held their nerve to take to take it 10:8.
On Court 2 Matt Sullivan and Ian Marchant were also having a tough match against the Sway second pair Rob and Ed. The first set went all the way to the tie break, which Swanage just managed to edge 7:6. The second set was a little more straight forward. With momentum building, Ian and Matt closed it out at 6:3.
On to the second matches. Swanage needed just one more match for the win!
Easier said than done. On Court one the Sway first pair brushed off their disappointment of losing the first match and really meant business against Ian and Matt. They gave nothing for the Swanage pair to feed off and eventually eased to victory 6:0, 6:2.
So over to Graham and Gordon on court 2. The Swanage veterans were confident coming off the back of their win against the Sway first pair. And it showed as they breezed the first set 6:0. Then the the Swanage pair relaxed a little too much and lost focus. Sway then started to play with more confidence, finding their best tennis which was absent in the first set. Suddenly it was a totally different match as Sway closed the second set out 6:4. So it was to be a 10 point tie break to decide the match.
The tie break started badly for the Swans going behind to Sway 5:2, It was tense, but then something clicked with Gordon and Graham and they upped their game, forcing errors from the Sway pair who could almost see the winning line.
Swanage pulled it level to 5-all then 6-all. Who would hold their nerve?
Then 3 points in a row for Swanage, match point! The first one was squandered by Swanage, so at 9:8 Gordon hit an ace to seal the match 10.8 in the tie break.M
What a great match, a fitting end to a great winter season for Swanage mens 1.
This win means that Swanage are top on 40 points and can't finish lower than second. So promotion next winter to Division 3! Congratulations Mens 1!
|Points||Played||Rubbers||Sets||Sets %||Games||Games %|
|1||Swanage Mens 1||40||8||46||-||18||49||-||24||67.1%||331||-||240||58.0%|
|2||Victoria Avenue Mens 2||34||6||40||-||8||43||-||8||84.3%||282||-||131||68.3%|
|4||St Leonards Mens 5||20||8||24||-||40||28||-||41||40.6%||247||-||309||44.4%|
|5||Hale Gardens Mens 2||18||7||22||-||34||24||-||37||39.3%||218||-||265||45.1%|
|6||Corfe Mullen Mens 2||12*||7||22||-||34||24||-||38||38.7%||209||-||280||42.7%|
|9||Bournemouth Gardens Mens 2||7*||4||12||-||20||14||-||24||36.8%||131||-||169||