ROCHESTER Lawn Tennis Club has one last hope after its senior sides failed to make the finals in the Campaspe Tennis Association.
After two days of gruelling tennis in the heat the club’s top team battled its way into the grand final of the Goulburn Murray Lawn Tennis Association.
Rochester moved across from the Campaspe league this season and has dominated the competition, finishing second behind Echuca South on the premiership ladder.
And that is exactly who Rochester will meet this weekend when they play off for the championship title at Shepparton Lawn Tennis Club.
The team went down to South by nine games in the first qualifying round at Kyabram on Saturday to then play off against Kyabram Bombers at Echuca Lawn Tennis Club the following day after Echuca Cats, including Rochester’s Michelle Winchcomb, suffered a heart wrenching one game loss to the Bombers.
Tensions were high for both teams who had met twice during the home and away season and recorded one win each.
Rochester went into the second day’s play with a full-strength side, but had to find another gear after players were spent from the previous round of tennis.
South had dropped gun player, Alenka Hubacek to second and therefore, it was up to Sarah Ingram to face off in the singles on Saturday.
With a big serve and exchange of ground strokes Hubacek was just too experienced hitting the lines to win 6-0.
Kate Lee had to work hard to win 6-1 against the consistent Tanya Godfrey.
The Rochester men changed up their combinations with a shock 1-8 loss in the second doubles hurting the score line.
In the singles Connor Gledhill’s 100 per cent strike rate was destroyed by Ash Kirchhofer 4-6.
Jaycob Dingwall worked hard, flirting with the lines to win 6-4 against Jordan Godfrey.
In the final men’s doubles Todd Woodfine and Elliott Taylor used consistent play to win 8-3 against Chris Potter and Travis Clack.
Lee and Rach Major in the first doubles won 8-6, while Ingram and Evans defended long rallies to eventually concede 3-8 to Hubacek and Hannah Poole.
Major and Evans were the shining light in the last doubles winning 8-3 against Kerrie Taylor and Hannah Poole.
Two games down going into the mixed Connor Gledhill and Kate Lee had to work some magic, playing a ripper set which ended in a tie-break to Potter and Hubacek 7-8.
Jaycob Dingwall and Rach Major had all the answers winning 8-4.
The final doubles were battled hard, but Woodfine and Evans lost 2-8 and the Ingram duo lost 4-8.
Rochester weren’t prepared to make the same mistakes on Sunday, only dropping one of the men’s sets to give Rochester a promising lead.
But the lead was quickly shattered by Kyabram’s women who dominated in all but one set.
Lee and Major had the opposition chasing their tails, and their own racquets, in an 8-5 win over Melissa Porch and Marissa Hooper.
Rochester were determined to hold onto its three-game lead heading into the mixed and came out strongly, taking the first three sets to seal the day by 11 games (85-74).
- Jess Gledhill