Vic­tory at last for Royal Oak

Central Leader - - SPORT - By JESS LEE

It’s been a long time coming.

Spir­its are high at the Royal Oak Rac­quets Club af­ter the women’s team came out on top to win the Scar­bro Caro Bowl ten­nis tour­na­ment last week for the first time in 14 years.

Royal Oak have held on to the run­ners-up spot since 1998 but beat new­com­ers Sun­ny­hills with a con­vinc­ing 4-2 win to fi­nally take the ti­tle.

Women’s team cap­tain and veteran player An­gela Swinkels says it is a great feel­ing to fi­nally be named as the cham­pi­ons.

‘‘It has been an in­ter­est­ing sea­son but a few things just fell into place and it’s great to get that mon­key off our back,’’ she says.

The tour­na­ment was a per­sonal high­light for long-time Royal Oak play­ers Ni­cola Kai­wai and Leela Beat­tie who played de­spite a chronic knee in­jury, Swinkels says.

The scores were all square af­ter the open­ing dou­bles round with Sun­ny­hills tak­ing the top match and Royal Oak claim­ing the bot­tom dou­bles.

Royal Oak’s Emma Hay­man de­feated Chanistha Am­por­nachariya in straight sets, while Kai­wai downed Kelly Drew to give the team a com­fort­able 3-1 ad­van­tage.

But Royal Oak’s lon­gawaited vic­tory was sealed by Clau­dia Wil­liams who claimed a con­vinc­ing win over Annabel El­lis.

Swinkels says the team is set to bat­tle it out for the ti­tle again next year with a sim­i­lar side to this year’s tri­umphant one.

The club had to set­tle for fifth place in the men’s com­pe­ti­tion af­ter Par­nell re­gained the ti­tle with a win over hosts Block­house Bay.

Caro champs: Royal Oak ten­nis play­ers, from left: Clau­dia Wil­liams, Ni­cola Kai­wai, player/team cap­tain An­gela Swinkels, Leela Beat­tie and Emma Hay­man, served up a win for the club at the Scar­bro Caro Bowl women’s tour­na­ment af­ter plac­ing sec­ond for 14 years.

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