Showing what a resilient group of community minded people can do, the Dudinin Tennis Club not only hosted the much anticipated final in trying circumstances but also managed to come away with a convincing win. Western Power had chosen grand final day to do major works and change a number of power poles on the main line. Whilst not the most convenient timing, locals did a Pollyanna, grabbed a generator, and were appreciative that they may have reliable power moving forward.
After last year’s loss to Kukerin at Kukerin, Dudinin were keen to give it all they had. Captains Clinton Mullan and Jo Doney had spent a lot of time in the tactical think tank, working around a few injuries and old man issues. Their careful planning paid off. Although the games were close, Kukerin was 10 sets to Dudinin’s 12 sets going into the ever popular and hard fought mixed.
Dudinin coupled up well and won all but 2 sets in the mixed, running away with a solid win; the final result being Dudinin 22 sets 184 games to Kukerin 12 sets 165 games.
The set score doesn’t give justice to Kukerin and the excellent tennis played with long deuce games and many a tie-breaker.
Presentations were held outside, which worked well considering the limit of 1 person per 4 square metre inside and the 1 metre social distancing stipulation.
Association President, Kukerin’s Nigel Faulkner, presented ‘The Flag’ to Dudinin Captain Clinton Mullan. It will look great next to the other flags proudly displayed in the club house. The shield seemed to be missing in action yet again, and rumours were that Kukerin thought they might be keeping it so forgot to ‘pop it in the car’.
Jamie Dare and Megan Henry attended the day and worked with the captains to run the courts.
The food was exceptional and enjoyed by all. Gloves, hand sanitizer and paper towels (and fortunately enough toilet paper) were the order of the day.
Apparently, it’s about the tennis, but the food does come a very close second! Special mention to Elise Mullan and Mel Miller who went beyond the call of duty given the circumstances and organised magnificent pulled pork and coleslaw gourmet buns which attendees managed to squeeze in after the incredible afternoon tea spread supplied by both clubs, chased by a myriad of savouries provided by the host club.
Carmen Bairstow, Dumbleyung, was awarded the coveted Liz and Owen Dare shield for the most number of sets won over the season with 26 sets. The joint runners up on 24 sets were Kukerin’s Ross Gooding and Nathan Ditchburn.
Jamie Dare presented the shield on behalf of his parents and as Carmen was unable to attend due to self isolation Megan Henry read Carmen’s heartwarming speech (see full speech in Sports Update).
Well done to both Dudinin and Kukerin. Congratulations to all finals players and those absent who helped get the team there.
Best wishes and thoughts to all of the tennis community, here and across the world, and all in general, as we continue to self isolate and go closer to lock down. May you stay safe, well and sane. Don’t forget that a tennis ball is an amazing item and can be used for so much more than just playing tennis, including muscle and stress relief. Stay connected and share your favourite tennis ball moment!
Article by Davina Gossage