Tennis juniors on top again

The victorious Marlborough Malcolm Shield team. Photo: Supplied.

Marlborough’s young tennis players continued their recent domination over their Nelson counterparts with a comfortable win in the Malcolm Shield fixture at the Forrest Winery Tennis Centre last weekend.

The annual fixture, for under-14 players has been contested since 1992.

Marlborough, coached by John Gardiner, have had the wood on their top of the south rivals lately and were far too dominant this time round as well, winning 13-3.

Sunday’s format involved teams of four playing doubles, singles then mixed doubles matches, 16 matches in total.

Nelson began strongly. In the boys doubles Harry Pugh and Lachie MacKay-Smith beat the top Marlborough pairing of Joseph Sandford-Jury and Felix Parkinson 6-4, 5-7, 10-4 in a tense three-setter.

However, William Poff and Joe Yank levelled the score with a win in the No 2 boys double, then the girls combos of Lily Parkinson and Rosie Bowers, plus Ella Sowman and Hazel Glover, bagged victories in both doubles to further increase the home side’s early lead.

Most of the singles matches went Marlborough’s way, although Sandford-Jury had to bow to Pugh in a high-quality boys’ No 1 match.

Headed into the mixed doubles, Marlborough led 9-3 and were in an unbeatable position. The pairing were selected on the day and came together well, all the home combinations prevailing and providing some very lively tennis.

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