ROCHESTER is the Goulburn Murray Lawn Tennis Association (GMLTA) 3 West premier following a dramatic final day of the season.
The day began with the Rochester players unsure who their opponent would be in the grand final.
The result of the preliminary final which saw Stanhope defeat LBU was voided after it was ruled Stanhope had fielded an ineligible player.
As a result, a modified preliminary final comprising four sets was played Saturday morning between LBU and Kyabram.
While travelling to Shepparton for the grand final, Rochester team officials received a phone call at 11.48am from GMLTA president Mark Mills announcing that Kyabram had defeated LBU by 10 games.
Therefore, Rochester would face Kyabram in the grand final at the beautifully prepared Shepparton Lawn Courts.
Rochester hit the courts with enthusiasm and a strong desire to bring home the premiership, keen to shake off their unofficial nickname ‘the bridesmaids’, a title earned after losing the past two consecutive grand finals.
The threat of wearing taffeta dresses if the end score wasn’t in Rochy’s favour, coupled with the dramatic finals series, there was enough inspiration for the team.
Connor Gledhill and Jack Ingram started strongly in the first men’s doubles lining up against Jacob Liversidge and Brett Cox.
Fierce rallying and some classy volleying allowed the Rochy boys to get over the line with an 8-6 win.
In the second men’s doubles, Jaycob Dingwall and Elliott Taylor secured an easy 8-2 win over Mitch Cox and Greg Tarrant.
Jaycob was driving with depth and Elliott pounced on everything at the net to secure a handy win.
In the first ladies doubles, Kate Lee and Lizzie Ingram combined well to take the early lead both setting up some great passages of play.
They were able to take the set 8-5 against Justine McConnell and Taylor Sutton who fought hard until the end.
The second ladies, Sarah Ingram and Rachael Major, played a steady consistent game filled with big rallies.
Their patience paid off to help them defeat Marissa Hooper and Leisa Saywell 8-6.
Connor Gledhill then took on Liversidge in the first men’s singles, opting to turn down his blistering ground strokes and set up strategic passages of play that gave him the 6-3 win.
Meanwhile on the next court, Jaycob Dingwall and Mitch Cox had a mammoth battle running each other from side to side and attacking the net at every opportunity. Eventually Dingwall took the important points to win the set 6-4.
In the first ladies singles, Lizzie Ingram’s beautiful ground strokes had her on the front foot and enabled her to maintain the early lead and defeat Taylor Sutton 6-3.
Sister Sarah Ingram tried valiantly in her singles against Melissa Porch, but was unable to break through her opponents deep drives, losing 2-6.
In the final men’s doubles, Jack Ingram and Stuart Newton had their backs against the wall against Brett Cox and Greg Tarrant.
The Rochy pair lost 1-8 but the score did not reflect the tennis played.
In fhe final ladies doubles, Kate Lee drove with great depth and with Karen Taylor lively on the net the pair was able to dominate the court and win 8-2 against Justine McConnell and Lisa Saywell.
With a handy 16-game lead going into the mixed, the Rochy team was taking nothing for granted.
In the first mixed, Connor Gledhill and Kate Lee turned up the heat and made quick work of their opponents, defeating Liversidge and Hooper 8-1.
Jaycob Dingwall and Rachael Major were determined to win their set and played gutsy tennis to win the tiebreaker against B. Cox and McConnell.
Elliott Taylor and Lizzie Ingram had their work cut out, defending the onslaught of top shots by opponents Tarrant and Porch who took the win for Ky 4-8.
Stuart Newton and Karen Taylor were relentless but Taylor badly cramping towards the end gave Ky’s M. Cox and Sutton the edge to win the tie-break.
At the end of thematch, Rochester had triumphed 10/88 to defeat Kyabram 4/69.
Connor Gledhill was awarded the MVP of the day.