Down to the wire
Saturday, 25th May, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
The Open A Grade tennis summer competition wrapped up on Thursday night with the team of Nathan Crabb and Trewern Rowlands doing just enough to take the title.
Crabb and Rowlands (Backhands), in their first season together in Open A, were the premier team throughout and finished on top of the ladder having gone undefeated with eight wins and one draw through the minor rounds.
Their opponents were Patrick Reincke and Peter Clark (Topspins) who finished fourth and had to win through an elimination and semi-final to get into the decider on Thursday night.
Crabb and Rowlands settled into their groove first and duly took the first set of doubles 7-4 to get them off to a great start.
The action then moved into the singles where Rowlands was almost flawless against Clark across the first six games, losing less than a handful of points, but couldn’t close it out. Clark fought back to win the next four games to bring it back to 6-4.
Rowlands avoided the dreaded choke and beat the wily veteran 7-4 to put his side up two sets to none.
On the adjacent court, Crabb and Reincke were playing some extremely high-quality tennis. Reincke had looked in great touch from point one in the doubles but Crabb was up to the task as both traded heavy, powerful forehands from the back of the court.
The pair went back and forth with neither able to break serve. Crabb had a chance to win at 6-5 but Reincke was to hold and force the set into a tiebreak.
That closeness continued in the tiebreak as the momentum ebbed and flowed. There was nothing separating the players when they changed ends at 3-3, and then again at 6-6, but eventually it was Reincke who found a little extra in the tank to take the tiebreak 9-7 and keep the Topspins hopes alive.
Despite Crabb’s loss, the Backhands were still very much in the driver’s seat of the match as they needed just three games in the final set to win.
That looked easier said than done, however, as Reincke and Clark lifted their game and got out to a 5-1 lead in the second doubles. Having been on the verge of victory, Crabb and Rowlands looked as if they’d let it slip.
But again, like it had throughout the night, the momentum swung again with Crabb and Rowlands winning the necessary games for them to take out the match and with it, the summer competition title. Reincke and Clark won the set 7-4 but fell short in the match by two games.
The result made it two wins in two nights for Crabb and Rowlands as both had been a part of the Feauties who won the Division One competition the previous night along with fellow team members Jade Stanley, Chris Stanley and Brady Wauchope.
Local tennis now moves into the winter mixed competition which begins next Wednesday night. Contact Nathan Crabb on 0477 640 728 to nominate or for more information.
Open A Final: Backhands (Nathan Crabb/Trewern Rowlands) v Topspins (Patrick Reincke/Peter Clark)
Crabb/Rowlands (7) def Reincke/Clark (4)
Crabb (6) def by Reincke (7)
Rowlands (7) def Clark (4)
Crabb/Rowlands (4) def by Reincke/Clark (7)
Result: Backhands (2-24) def Topspins (2-22)