In 1981 a young 13 year old stepped on to the court to play the final of the Ladies A grade Championships against a seasoned performer in the late Janet Cheney. In hindsight the overly enthusiastic Helen Nicholson would learn much from the NSW Veteran player about competing and fighting hard to win. On that day it was 6/1, 1/6, 6/1 to the young teen.
Last Sunday some 37 years later and seeing off more than 20 different contenders, it was Helen Magill who prevailed once again. Three aspiring opponents took to the court one after the next to test themselves against the matriarch of Parkes Tennis. One by one, Helen stood tall but it was tough work. Hannah and Phoebe Potts along with Abbey Kennedy have skills to burn and particularly the twins who are a little older are both very athletic and would attempt to chase down every shot.
“It was really difficult playing the girls today” Magill said “I have coached them from their beginnings so I know what their strengths and weaknesses are. They are like daughters to me so I had to take my coaching hat off and put my competitor hat on and use that knowledge”.
Hannah had just returned from her most successful NSW State Finals to date which saw the top 24 players compete. She finished second in her pool in the 16 and under division and defeated the number two seed along the way so has been in good form. Hannah would finish runner-up to Magill on the day but all three are excited for another challenge in 2018.
Jake Magill days shy of his 16th birthday successfully defended his singles title from last year’s final opponent Julian Fyfe. Julian should be congratulated as he only returned to the court last week after an appendectomy and gave it all he had against Jake but a year on and the young buck had grown more powerful in his strokes and Julian couldn’t keep up the pace. The score line 6/2, 6/0.
The B grade Men’s singles was hotly contested between Lachy Tassell, Harry Dawson, James Fisher and Brendon Hunt and it would be the elder statesman James Fisher who would show his hand of competitiveness on court.
James is a competent snow skier but Parkes isn’t really the place to show these skills. Instead the wily left hander would cause too many problems for his younger opponents and come through victorious after three titanic pro sets (first to nine). It would be 16 year old Harry Dawson who has made some massive improvements with his tennis this year through his inclusion in the junior performance squad who would claim the runner-up prize after outlasting his more fancied opponent and good mate Lachy Tassell. Lachy, it must be said, led Harry 6/0 when he broke a string in his new flash Babolat racquet. The game of tennis is as mental as it is physical and sadly for Lachy he couldn’t adjust back to his old racquet and imploded and Harry took full advantage and won nine consecutive games.
Maddy McCormick has had a fabulous year developing her tennis and was the deserved winner of the B Grade Ladies. Maddy was too strong for Molly Kennedy who played well in the final. Maddy had to place the ball well against Molly and her experience under pressure showed.
The doubles and mixed doubles for both A and B grades will be played in a round robin format this Sunday December 10 from 9am. Entries will be taken up until 10pm tonight. Please support this day and consider it another chance to get on court. Cost is $10 per player per event. Entries to Helen Magill on 0407 253 888.
Next Monday, December 11 will see the official opening of the outdoor recreation and BBQ area. Proceedings will commence at 11.30am. All welcome.
McDonald’s/Magill Trophy: Next Monday the annual McDonalds/Magill Interschool trophy will be played. This will involve all 5 Primary schools and over 120 Stage 1, 2 and 3 children. The centre will certainly be a hive of activity throughout the day. Four girls and four boys from each stage will represent their schools and if you are interested please see your teacher involved with tennis at your school. A barbeque lunch is included for all players with extras available for siblings/family in attendance. Start time is 8.30am and finish approximately 2.30pm. Parkes High year ten Sport and Rec students are coming to help out the Stage 1 and 2 players as are Red Bend students with a tennis background.
BOKEYAR CUPS: December 15 is the Bokeyar Cups, the last official event for 2017. It will be a 4.30pm start and finish around 8pm. This is singles only and in age divisions- 5-7 years on red ball courts, 7-9 years can choose red ball or orange ball then there is the Under 11, 13, 15 and under 17 divisions for the Bokeyar Cups. Only Parkes players are involved. There will be lucky draws throughout the evening and a BBQ tea available. If you would like to play please let Helen know by Wednesday December 13.