The historic South of Scotland Tennis Championship got under way on Sunday 29th July on the new tennis courts at Moffat. There were 23 scheduled events over the week with over 250 entries in this year’s championship. New for 2018 we ran our first 9s and under boys and girls events and Ladies 40+ singles and doubles. The SoS committee would like to thank various funders, Magnox chapelcross site, D&G Council, SSE Clyde (D&G) Community Fund, Claudio’s restaurant Moffat, Annandale Estates, Beechgrove Tennis Club and the good people of Moffat, it is with their support and funding which allows this great event to keep going for the past 130 years, thank you all.
Play started on the Sunday and in true tradition it rained, which gave the organisers their first problem as they had to relocate the 8s and under boys and girls into the old sports barn which is now “the gym at Moffat”. Thanks to Robert and Paula for helping out with this. The girl’s event produced the first D&G winner of the week as Grace Palmer (Beechgrove Tennis Club) came out on top of the girls 8s and under round robin to take the trophy with Dumfries Autumn Hodgins coming 3rd. In the boys event Carlisle Jake Irving bt Finlay Jones from Yorkshire 10-4 in the final with Logan McCluskey winning the Dumfries battle for third against hitting partner Jack Wearing 10-6.
Play continued on the outside courts despite the rain, as the new courts coped with the constant drizzle. The next trophy won on the Sunday was a match between 2 West of Scotland girls as No1 seed Anna McKnight edge past the No 2 seed Lauryn O’Brien 5-4, 4-2 to claim the 10s and under girl’s title.
Monday brought some better weather for several more finals, in the girls 12s final Sophia Jenkins Howard from Herefordshire produce a great comeback in the rain to edge past the Borders Ailsa Clark 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 and in the boys 12s final the no 1 seed Alexander English from Perth showed to much strength to beat the Borders Adam Clunie 6-1, 6-0. Alexander claimed his second title with partner Leo Watt as they took the boys 12s doubles 6-4, 6-4 against Carlisle duo of Cameron Cowan and Archie Agnew. The boys 10s final was won by Joseph McLaughlin from Heversham 4-1, 4-1 against Ayrshires Harrison Crann. Elisa Gibson from Strathgryffe Tennis club won the inaugural 9 and under girl’s event with Harry Sangster from Glasgow edging Carlisle Jake Irving 9-7, 2-7, 7-5. Also a special mention to the D&G boys in this event, Harry Brown (Moffat), Brodie Little (Kettleholm) & Grant Kerr (Dumfries) who played some great tennis but lost out in the group stages and to Logan McCluskey and Cameron Hunter from Dumfries Tennis Club who both got to the quarter finals of this event.
Through-out the week the conditions were changing by the hour, damp for long periods with sunshine creeping in now and again but play went on. On Thursday the open events started with the vets on Friday with players coming from all over Scotland, Cumbria, Essex and Lancashire descending into the town of Moffat. Final’s Saturday came with warm dry weather and a busy schedule with local interest in 4 finals. The first title of the day went to Lucia Rizza and Harry Mouratidis who won the Mixed Doubles title with a 6-3, 6-4 score line against Zoe Moffat and Daniel Gunn. In the men’s open singles Reuben Henry got his name on the old trophy for the 2nd time having won it back in 2015 as he beat Samuel MacLeod 6-0, 6-2. In the ladies open event last year’s sensation Lucia Rizza couldn’t hold onto her title as she lost to Zoe Moffat from Surrey 6-0, 7-6. In its 4th year, the 45+ gent’s title went to Paul Boardman from Dalbeattie Tennis Club who completed his hatrick of wins as he beat Dumfries Lister McKiddie 6-4, 4-6 10-5. The ladies 40+ singles, which was being played for the first time, Dumfries’s Fiona McCartney bt Kirkcudbrights Debbie McColm 6-1, 6-2. In the doubles Fiona and partner Nancy Gillies edge out the Kirkcudbright duo of Lily Judge and Debbie McColm 6-4, 6-1. Callum Warwick staged a great comeback in the Gent’s handicap final as he recovered from 8-1 down to beat the Borders Colin Green 9-8. The last final of the championship saw Dalbeattie pair of Paul Boardman and Stevie White take on Moffat’s Mike McMillin and Dumfries Lister McKiddie. The first set went the way of Lister and Mike with some clinical doubles play and they took early advantage in the next before the Dalbeattie duo staged the comeback to take the 2nd set on the tie-break. It all came down to the championship tie break with Paul and Stevie holding their nerve to complete the victory 3-6, 7-6(4) & 10-4.
Great to see the new courts in action and on a sunny final day for the championship, we had 40 local players in the event from 5 yrs old Adam Hunter through to our title winning veterans. Follow us on facebook @SoStennischampionship