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Tournament turn up a rising star of tennis

Monday, 25th February, 2019

Josh Niaross after winning the Red Cliffs B Grade singles on Saturday. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan Josh Niaross after winning the Red Cliffs B Grade singles on Saturday. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Just Wide

Broken Hill’s players had a mixed weekend at the Red Cliffs Lawn Tennis tournament but one young player provided a huge highlight.

Josh Niaross, who has come through the local junior ranks, proved too strong in the B Grade singles on Saturday morning.

The change in surface from artificial grass (Broken Hill) to natural grass (Red Cliffs) didn’t seem to affect Niaross in the slightest as he won all three of his sets in the round robin format to be crowned the winner.

Niaross started in the Broken Hill junior tennis program on Saturday evenings before progressing onto senior competition in B Grade. He made his Open A debut last Thursday night along with younger brother Mackenzie who also competed in Red Cliffs and won a set to finish third.

Joining Josh on the Saturday winners list was the mother and daughter team of Noni and Isabella Inglis who took out the Ladies A Grade doubles. 

During Friday night Veteran Doubles, Colin King and Trewern Rowlands took home the B Grade title while Tim O’Neil and Karl Fritsch won C Grade. O’Neil and Fritsch were forced to wait for their victory with their last match on Friday night having to be called off due to bad light and completed the following morning.

A number of other Broken Hill players made nice runs in both the singles and doubles competitions throughout Saturday.

In the A Grade singles, Hamish Inglis made it to the semi-finals after going undefeated in the round robin stage. Unfortunately for Inglis he ran into the eventual winner and was defeated fairly convincingly. 

Andrew Molloy, Matt Handberg, Hamish McLean and Tyler Hannigan all failed to get past the round robin stage. 

Broken Hill had a number of representatives in the Championship Singles including Corey Pascoe, Nathan Crabb, Patrick Reincke and defending Broken Hill champion Ross Casey. 

While Pascoe, Crabb and Reincke struggled against their strong Mildura opponents, Casey pushed eventual winner and now three-time Red Cliffs champ Troy Kelly all the way in their set before eventually going down 8-5.

Later in the day saw the doubles competitions with Broken Hill scoring two runners up trophies - Casey and Crabb in the championship as well as Molloy and Inglis in A1.

Casey and Crabb played some fantastic tennis to reach the final before being outclassed 8-2, although it must be said that one of their younger opponents didn’t play in the spirit of the day. 

Having forfeited his singles clash earlier with Crabb when it was clear he couldn’t get to the final, the player returned a little over an hour later to play in the doubles with his “sore thumb” not seeming to affect his play.

Inglis and Molloy, who regularly team together in doubles tournaments with success, played really well and looked set to take out another Red Cliffs win but couldn’t quite get the job done in the end as they lost to a pair of very talented Mildura juniors in what proved to be the deciding set of the A1 doubles.

Broken Hill sent a large contingent of players to compete in the annual tournament that was originally scheduled for Australia Day weekend before it was postponed due to extreme heat.

While temperatures on Saturday were far from extreme, it was still a very warm day and coupled with the gruelling scheduled of singles followed by doubles, made for some very tired bodies by the conclusion.

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