Batchwood claim third spot double at national finals

PUBLISHED: 11:18 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:37 06 May 2010

BATCHWOOD High Performance Tennis Centre served up two ace performances at the Junior National Club League finals in Nottingham. On the first day of the finals, the Under 16s boys team, including Chris Ruis, of Verulam School, St Albans, with Jason Burge

BATCHWOOD High Performance Tennis Centre served up two ace performances at the Junior National Club League finals in Nottingham.

On the first day of the finals, the Under 16s boys team, including Chris Ruis, of Verulam School, St Albans, with Jason Burge and Mark Barnes faced number one seeds and reigning national champions Nottingham. Some of the matches were close but Nottingham took the overall victory.

The Batchwood Under 10s Girls faced West Hants and went 3-1 up, needing just one more match for victory. The determined Lucy Booth narrowly lost 10-8 in the deciding set tie break after a good battle.

The spotlight then fell on Batchwood's number one Abbi Spanbok, and despite some excellent tennis she also narrowly lost in a deciding set tie break to the West Hants number one. So at three matches all, the match was to be decided by a 10 point doubles tie break. Team captain Jon Meredith opted to play nine-year-old national girls Georgie Axon and Georgie Walker for this decider. After taking a 6-3 lead West Hants number one pairing showed great fighting spirit to clinch the tie for their team, meaning Batchwood were beaten in four consecutive 10 point tie breaks. Meredith said: "I know what we will be working on this term."

On Sunday, Batchwood boys comfortably beat Sunderland to snatch third. Team captain and former Junior Wimbledon player, Jamie Fallis said: "The team bounced back excellently today and rolled up their sleeves to secure third spot. It was a good team performance and gives them plenty to focus on in the coming term." Meanwhile in the girls third place play off against Prestwick Scotland, Batchwood won 6-0 to gain third place nationally.

Head Performance coach Jon Meredith felt the players would benefit greatly from the experience. He said: "It was an excellent weekend's tennis and great experience for the players to play in a noisy atmosphere and in closely contested matches. Third place nationally is a good achievement. Who knows, with a little more mental toughness, they could go even further next year. Thanks to all the players and parents, who have helped greatly with the organisation this year."

Batchwood High Performance Tennis Centre is provided by St Albans City & District Council and managed in partnership with Leisure Connection.

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