Green Island marks return with epic win

Green Island edged Andersons Bay Rennie 5-4 to mark a successful return to the top flight on the opening day of the Dunedin club competition on Saturday.

In an extremely tight contest, it all came down to the last match of the day.

Andersons Bay won all three men's singles and the men's doubles, while Green Island won all the women's singles and doubles, plus the all-important deciding mixed doubles.

Things looked very promising for Andersons Bay as it dominated the men's singles.

However, the tables were soon turned as Green Island fought back.

In the No1 men's singles between George Alexander and Mat McCutcheon, the first set proved crucial, Alexander taking it 7-6, but only after an epic tiebreak in which Alexander prevailed 12-10.

This seemed to sap any remaining resistance McCutcheon had as Alexander raced through the second set without losing a game.

The ever steady Mike Smith proved too resilient for Alex Glotov, winning the second men's singles 6-2, 6-1.

In the bottom men's rubber, veteran Gavin Mockford, making a return to the singles court after having concentrated on doubles in recent years, proved far too strong for Zane Gray 6-1, 6-0.

The top women's singles was a tightly contested match. The fast improving Mackenzie Phillips got the better of the more experienced Ayesha Horley 7-6, 6-4. Horley went unbeaten last year so it ended a good run for her.

Experienced Belinda Hirst showed all the guile and subtlety for which she has become renowned, as she outmanoeuvred Marie Reid to win the No2 women's singles in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

Jordyn Phillips won the No3 three women's singles in straight sets.

In the other tie of the day, Balmacewen was a convincing 8-1 winner over Andersons Bay, Guthrie winning everything except the mixed doubles, which as it happened was the most riveting match of the tie.

At the top of the order, Jack Warner continued his recent run of good form with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Hugo Tomlinson.

At No 2, debutant Angus Liddell, a student from Wellington, got up and running with a 6-4, 6-0 win over the up and coming Anthony Mirfin.

The third singles rubber saw junior Max Gaffaney get the better of the more experienced Andrew Coe 6-4, 6-2.

In the top women's singles, Rileigh Fields played some solid tennis to get the better of Laura Hamilton 6-3, 6-4.

Playing at No2, Kaitlyn Wilkinson, a student from Auckland, showed patches of the ability that got her to be a nationally ranked junior in beating Angela Mockford 6-1, 6-3.

The match of the day, however, was the mixed doubles, where Mockford and Tomlinson prevailed in and epic encounter over Wilkinson and Gaffaney 4-6, 7-5, 13-11.


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