South of Scotland Tennis Championship 2016


The 2016 championship came to a close over the weekend of the 30th and 31st July. With only one day totally washed out during the week it was a welcome relief to the organisers that all matches this year were played at the Beechgrove Tennis Club in Moffat.

On the Saturday in glorious sunshine 7 finals were played with the main show piece of the Men’s Open singles final being contested. The first final of the day was the boys 14s and under with Callum Caves (Giffnock) defeating Sammy Ralston (Linlithgow) 6-2,6-4.

In the 16s and under boys Jason Alexander (Cults) defeated Joshua Kean (Prestwick) 6-3, 6-0 and in the 18s and under boys Philip Blythe (Edinburgh) defeated Lewis Hall (Kinnoull) 6-4, 4-6, 10-3. The boys 16 and under doubles final saw to Cumbria boys take the title with Billy Blaydes completing a doubles as he and his young brother also won the 12 boys doubles. In the final Billy and James Hale defeated Robert Cowley (Wigan) and Joshua Kean (Prestwick) 6-4, 5-7, 10-6

The Men’s open final has 2 boys from the North of Scotland with 18 year old Vincent Gillespie who is ranked 58th in Britain, defeating  15 years old Ross Martin 6-4, 6-2. In the Mixed Doubles Philip Blythe and Heather Croll retained their title as the defeated Frankie & Lucia Rizza 6-0, 6-3 and Chad Lawson and Freya Paul 6-1, 6-0. Philip completed the hat trick as he and men’s doubles partner Daniel Gunn defeated Lewis Hall and Ross Martin 6-0, 6-4.

On the last Sunday we had 3 finals, local players and a brief shower! In the Men’s singles handicap event local boy Chad Lawson couldn’t continue his previous form, having won the Handicap Men’s doubles for the previous 3 years he lost in the final to Frankie Rizza (Edinburgh), going down 6-2, 6-4. In the 45+ men’s singles final we had two local guys competing for the trophy, Stephen White and Paul Boardman both from Dalbeattie competed on the slow blaes courts. Despite a good start and taking the first set 6-4 Stephen eventually ran out of steam as Paul pegged him back taking the 2nd set 7-6 (7-2 in the tie-break) then completing the win 6-3 to take the “Hanbidge & Howie” challenge cup. In the newly created  event of the 45+ men’s doubles, players played for the new “Magnox Cup” which was donated by long term supporter of the championship, Magnox Ltd based at Chaplecross near Annan. In this inaugural event we had four local players competing for the trophy. Geoff Legg (Castle Douglas) and Lister McKiddie (Dumfries) edged past the Dalbeattie duo of Paul and Stephen in a very tight match. Geoff and Lister took the first set 6-4 before Paul and Stephen levelled after winning the 2nd set on a tie-break 7-6(8) before Geoff and Lister won the champs tie-break. They raced at a 5-0 before Paul and Stephen got going again and eventually drew level at 9-9 before Geoff and Lister completed the win taking it 11-9. Despite the reduction in entries this year the level of tennis was still at the highest level.