SALE Gold defeated Maffra Marlin in the Wellington Tennis Association section one senior grand final which went down to the final set.
Last week we had the cricket grand final thriller, this weekend all the action was on the grass courts at Maffra with two very evenly-matched teams meeting in what was predicted to be another thriller as Maffra Marlin had won both its clashes against Sale Gold this season by one game.
The prediction of a close contest was right as with one mixed doubles set to be played Marlin led Gold 45 games to 44. Nick Board and Paige Wilson won that final set 8-3 to get Gold over the line 52-48.
Maffra Marlin lined up with Janette Ingram, Shelley, Roz and Mitch Allman, Anthony Booker and Phil Carter. Sale Gold went into the grand final with Kylie and Nick Board, Paige and Leeann Wilson, Brad Olson and Aaron Kennedy.
Gold got away to a flying start with Nick Board and Kennedy and then Paige Wilson and Kylie Board chalked up 8-2 wins to put the side up 16-4.
Maffra Marlin then began its fightback with Ingram and Shelley Allman winning 8-2.
In one of the best matches of the grand final, Booker and Carter led Gold’s Kennedy and Olson 6-2 before the Sale pair fought back. With the Maffra duo leading 8-7, the match still looked wide open but Booker and Carter steadied to take a high standard march 9-7.
The feature of this match was the diving lunges to return shots. Crowd favourite Booker made valiant attempts to return shots while sliding on his knees.
When Roz and Shelley Allman took the final women’s doubles set 8-2, Sale Gold was just hanging on, leading 35-34 with only three mixed doubles sets to play.
Maffra’s number one mixed pair, Ingram and Mitch Allman, set up a six-game lead for their team with an 8-1 win.
After Kylie Board and Kennedy’s 8-3 win, Maffra Marlin’s lead was reduced to one game before Nick Board and Paige Wilson combined for a fighting 8-3 win to give Sale Gold a 52-53 win.
The grass courts at Maffra played extremely well despite the overnight rain with the matches played in the best of sporting spirit. Even late Saturday night, players from both teams were exchanging texts and Facebook messages.
Sale claimed a second senior title when Sale Hot Pink defeated the Seaspray Stingrays in the section three decider, while Longford defeated Maffra Snapper in the section four final.
At Sale on Saturday morning, Maffra won five of the seven junior grand finals.
Grand final results:
Seniors, section one-two: Sale Gold 52 d Maffra Marlin 48; three: Sale Hot Pink 63 d Seaspray Stingrays 57; four: Longford 56 d Maffra Snapper 42.
Juniors, section one: Maffra Kit Kat 40 d Sale Rawnson 30; two: Maffra Flake 36 d Stratford 28; three: Sale Brock 39 d Sale Dosser 34; five: Longford 53 d Maffra Twix 20; six: Maffra Chomp 48 d Sale-Longford 39; seven: Maffra Aero 48 d Sale Krusic 30; eight: Maffra Curly Wurly 54 d Longford 22.