Fine first half of season

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MONTROSE Tennis Club’s men’s first team and ladies’ second team have finished the first half of the season with perfect records, with the men’s third team not far behind with just one loss.

The men’s first team made it 5-0 in the Tayside Second Division with an easy 16-2 win over arch-rivals West End II of Dundee. The first pair of Graeme Walker and Scott Lorimer and the second pair of Andy Moffat and Richie Wallace won all their matches comfortably. The third pair of Murray Pert and Chad Neighbor lost two sets, one in a tie-break, to West End’s first pair, but beat the visitors’ second and third pairs.

A fine evening of weather for the team’s second half start was spoiled somewhat because Scone 1 only brought four players because of last-minute work conflicts. Montrose were 15-3 victors as the first pair of Graeme Walker and Nick Whitecross and the second pair of Andy Moffat and Richie Wallace won their two matches easily. The third pair of Murray Pert and Chad Neighbor split with Scone’s seconds and lost to the firsts.

The women’s second team reached five wins first, however, with a 6-3 Sixth Division away win against Wormit and Tayport III in a match shortened by darkness. Montrose’s first pair was Diane Forbes and Janet Thomson, with Corinna Gow and Carol Medlock as the second pair and Jill Murison and Dawn Bradley as the thirds.

The men’s third team finished the first half of the season just behind the leaders in Division Seven after a hard-fought 9-7 home win over Glenfarg II. Montrose’s first pair of Niall McQuistan and Jamie Pert lost to Glenfarg’s first and second pairs but won the first set against Glenfarg’s third pair before a 10pm lighting curfew stopped play.

The second pair of Andy Baxter and Jamie Shakespeare won three times, including two tight matches against Glenfarg’s top pairs. The third pair of Graeme Ramsay and Andy Thorogood narrowly lost to Glenfarg’s third pair but comprehensively beat Glenfarg’s second pair.

The men’s second team’s problems with away matches continued as they went down 14-4 on the blaes courts against Craigmuir 2. Craigmuir’s first team is leading the first division, and good availability of players is helping the Dundee club’s second team as well. Montrose 2 are not out of contention for promotion, however, as they are lying just a point away from second in the fifth division tables. They pay twice this week as their match with St Andrews 3 was postponed because of work on the courts.

The women’s first team carved out their first win in the highly competitive second division with a 13-5 win over David Lloyd. They were buoyed by the return of Katrina Pert from university studies, and she and Jen Richardson won all of their sets. The second pair of Caroline Stewart and Barbara Watson won five sets and the third pair of Fiona Cuthill and Wendy Sanger added two more.

Last week they lost 13-5 to Kinross 1, as the second pair of Caroline Stewart and Barbara Watson won three sets, and the first pairs of Jen Richardson and Linda Cuthill won one set, as did the third pair of Fiona Cuthill and Rhona Alston.

The club’s junior sides have also been busy, with the club’s young Tayside Super League players Scott Lorimer, Cameron Eeles, Findlay Soutar, James Sievewright and Ross Mitchell coming up short last month against top clubs St Andrews and Kinnoull.

In the Aegon National League, the under-16 team defeated Craigie, starting off with a tie-break singles win from Scott Lorimer. Cameron Eeles and Ross Mitchell also won, but Findlay Soutar just lost. Scott and Cameron then won their doubles, while Ross and Findlay just lost in doubles.

The under-10 team also won, beating top club St Andrews in Fife. Lewis Murison, Molly Lindsay and Suzanne Stirling all won their singles rubbers and Georgia Stirling was victorious too as all four players won their doubles.

The junior second team has fared well, with two good wins in recent weeks. Against Wormit 3 Morgan Smith, Murray Soutar, Nicholas Stirling and new member Scott Coull all won easily in singles. In doubles Morgan and Murray and Nicholas and Scott again won easily, giving Montrose a 12-0 victory.

Away to Arbroath, James Sievewright won his match and Murray Soutar came back to win in a match-deciding tie-break (10-8). Nicholas Stirling and new player Connel MacLaren also won. In doubles James and Murray won while Nicholas and Connel drew, giving Montrose a 10-2 victory.

Montrose’s third team beat Craigie 2 even though Dominic Foreman, just returning to tennis after breaking an arm, narrowly lost. Murray Smith, in this first match for Montrose this season, just lost out in a tie-break decider, but Eve Cowan won thanks to a strong tie-break and Jennie Shanks won easily. Dominic and Murray lost in a final tie-break but Eve and won convincingly.

Montrose Tennis Club held an elimination round in the Road to Wimbledon under-14 national competition in very windy conditions recently. The winning girl was Jessica Alexander (David Lloyd) with runner-up Eve Cowan (Montrose) followed by Niamh McGlynn and Jennie Shanks of Montrose. Also participating were Jane Leckie, Molly Lindsay, Sophie Jacobs and Kate Masson.

The boys’ event was won by Jed Alexander (David Lloyd) with runner-up Findlay Soutar and Cameron Eeles, James Sievewright and Murray Soutar also competing.

Why just watch when you can play?

Montrose Tennis Club’s courts on the Mid Links are open now open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 4pm and Monday to Friday 6 to 8pm at modest half-hourly or hourly rates, although all courts are occasionally booked for club matches and events. Racquets and balls can be hired.