Wim­ble­don comes to Oban

The Oban Times - - Sport -

SUN­DAY saw the con­clu­sion of an ex­cit­ing week of tennis in Oban.

The 46th West Highland Tennis Cham­pi­onships got off to a suc­cess­ful start with the pri­mary and sec­ondary com­pe­ti­tions. The tour­na­ment starts with lo­cal events and the Argyll day kicked ev­ery­thing off. The win­ner of the lo­cal gents’ sin­gles was Gre­gor Bry­don, who re­turned last Septem­ber from a year at the John New­combe ranch in Texas. A new for­mat for the dou­bles, FAST 4 Tennis was tried out, en­joyed by play­ers, and was won by Kenny Drum­mond and Melissa Oatts.

Fol­low­ing on from this each evening, a va­ri­ety of com­pet­i­tive for­mats took place

‘Mem­o­ries Mon­day’ had play­ers dress­ing in whites, us­ing old-style rack­ets and play­ing a team event

On Tues­day evening, the ever-pop­u­lar hand­i­cap sin­gles event took place and then the fi­nal com­pe­ti­tion was ‘ Wacky Wed­nes­day’ where play­ers came dressed as wack­ily as pos­si­ble and the for­mat of play was a mix-and-match event with spe­cific tennis chal­lenges brought in be­tween matches. A great fun evening was had by all

The cham­pi­onship events com­menced on Fri­day morn­ing. Oban still at­tracts one of the big­gest en­tries for a week­end tour­na­ment with play­ers from Texas, all over Scot­land and Eng­land com­pet­ing in a range of events.

With an en­try of al­most 60 play­ers, Mary McLean, the tour­na­ment ref­eree, had a tight sched­ule to work to, with al­most 100 matches to com­plete over the week­end. The weather was ex­cel­lent on both Fri­day and Satur­day and, de­spite a very rainy fi­nals day, all the com­pe­ti­tions were com­pleted suc­cess­fully. Thanks go to the play­ers who co- op­er­ated at all times, At­lantis staff, and the Taynuilt Sports com­mit­tee for the use of their court.

The good weather, es­pe­cially on Satur­day, al­lowed all the events to ei­ther get to the semi-fi­nals or fi­nal stages. There were some ex­cel­lent closely-fought matches right from the first round up to the fi­nals.

The gents’ fi­nal this year was con­tested by Daniel Gunn, from Stir­ling Univer­sity, and Ben Smith, from Buck­ing­hamshire. The young­ster demon­strated a high level of skill and un­der pres­sure played ex­tremely well to take not only the gents’ cham­pi­onship ti­tle but also the boys’ 18 ti­tle. In this event high qual­ity tennis was dis­played by both fi­nal­ists.

The ladies’ fi­nal in­volved Lisa Munro (Nairn), a for­mer win­ner, and new­comer to the tour­na­ment, Zoe Mof­fat This was a closely con­tested match, with Lisa’s driv­ing ground shots, ac­cu­racy and good serv­ing al­low­ing her to take the ti­tle. The gents’ and ladies’ dou­bles were equally finely con­tested with the top seeds in both com­ing through to win the ti­tles.

The so­cial pro­gramme is an im­por­tant part of the tour­na­ment and play­ers en­joyed a quiz on Fri­day evening and a bar­be­cue, hosted by Argyll and Bute Coun­cil, on the Satur­day evening. The tour­na­ment would not be pos­si­ble with­out the gen­er­ous sup­port of many bodies and, at the prize-giv­ing, Hugh McLean, chair­man, thanked lo­cal busi­nesses, At­lantis Leisure, Ro­tary Club of Oban, Argyll and Bute Coun­cil, Oban Tennis and Squash Club for their con­tin­ued sup­port.

Prize-win­ners: gents’ sin­gles – Ben Smith; run­ner-up – Daniel Gunn. Gents’ plate – Gre­gor Bry­don; run­ner-up – Billy Thom­son. Ladies’ sin­gles – Lisa Munro; run­ner-up Zoe Mof­fat. Ladies’ plate – Taylor Brown; run­ner-up – Is­abella Craw­ford. Boys’ 18 and un­der – Ben Smith; run­ner-up – Thomas Smart. Girls’ 18 and un­der – El­lie Cros­bie; run­ner-up – Ken­dall Jablonowski. Gents’ dou­bles – Calum Stout and Matthew Stout; run­ners-up – Chris Jac­ques and James McNaught. Ladies’ dou­bles – Lisa Munro and Shona Gra­ham; run­ners-up – Zoe Mof­fat and Lucy Whe­lan.

Lo­cal event win­ners: gents’ sin­gles – G Bry­don; run­ner-up – K Drum­mond. Gents’ plate – N Innes; run­ner-up – A Gra­ham. Fast 4 tennis dou­bles – K Drum­mond and M Oatts. ‘Mem­o­ries Mon­day’ team night – K Keen, A Gra­ham, S Hutchison, D Gem­mell. Tues­day hand­i­cap sin­gles: gents’ – E Swan; run­ner-up – D MacPher­son. Ladies’ – S Hutchison; run­ner-up – D Gem­mell. ‘Wacky Wed­nes­day’ mix and match chal­lenge event – A Gra­ham and A Im­rie; run­ners-up – A Oatts and K Adams.

Ju­nior events: pri­mary event – 24 pri­mary school aged play­ers took part in a chal­lenge and fun event. All par­tic­i­pants re­ceived a medal. Sec­ondary com­pe­ti­tion: ju­nior boys – Neil McCracken; run­ner-up – Fer­gus Carmichael. Se­nior boys – D MacPher­son; run­ner-up – Rory Dowd; girls – Molly MacPher­son; run­ner-up – Katy MacPher­son.

Pho­tos: Bob McCul­loch

Par­tic­i­pants and prize-win­ners at West Highland Tennis Week.

Sin­gles win­ners Ben Smith and Lisa Munro with tour­na­ment ref­eree Mary McLean.

Some of the par­tic­i­pants who took part in the tar­get com­pe­ti­tion.

Se­nior school­boy win­ner David MacPher­son with Denise Gem­mell and run­ner-up Rory Dowd.

Eoghan Swann, win­ner of the Tues­day night hand­i­cap sin­gles.

Shona Gra­ham and Lisa Munro won the ladies’ dou­bles.

Gre­gor Bry­don won the lo­cal gents’ sin­gles ti­tle.

Kenny Drum­mond was run­ner up in the lo­cal gents’ sin­gles.

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