Dimboola and District Tennis Association’s District Cup belongs to Hopetoun for the 2021-22 season after a cliffhanger on the Health and Fitness Centre courts in Dimboola.

Minor premier Antwerp and Hopetoun played out a thrilling contest to the final set where Hopetoun prevailed 13 sets to 11.

As mentioned in last week’s review, it was a hard selection for a winner between the two combatants, and the mixed section result would probably point to the winner. Hopetoun won this section four sets to two and ended up winners for the day, but everything didn’t go to plan.

The mixed section started with an entertaining set with some high-quality tennis between Tim Jorgensen and Abbey Greig against Taylor Donnan and Trudy Cook of Hopetoun.

The latter prevailed seven games to four even though, by observation, the score would have been more even. However, Antwerp hit back with a good win by Chris Avery and Carley Werner over Mal McLean and Jonti George.

Hopetoun then struck back with a solid win to Coleman Schache and Remy George over Daniel Greig and Tahlia Avery. The veterans of the day from Antwerp showed their team how it was done as Don Clark and Heather Jorgensen, the brick wall couple, defeated Zac Robins and Shelby Monaghan 7-2.

At this point, it was two sets apiece and one game separating the teams. However, the last two sets were significant to how the day would play out. Hopetoun came home with a win in the first of these, with Lou White and Tahlia Durie beating Nathan and Alicia Albrecht.

Now Antwerp needed to hit back to tie up the sets, but Hopetoun had other ideas and finished strongly with a win to Jonti Bellinger and Joanne Campbell over Simon Albrecht and Ant Toet. Hopetoun claimed the first point four sets 33 games to two sets 27 games.

The men’s section would be the next testing ground. Could Antwerp match and steal some sets to support their favoured women’s side?

The first set was as good as tennis you will see at this level, with some hard-hitting, skilful reflex volleys and extended rallies where you thought the point would have ended shots ago.

Hopetoun’s pair of Taylor and Coleman won a tiebreaker over Tim and Daniel, which would be a lost set Antwerp would rue at the end of the day. Hopetoun went on to win the next two men’s sets, making it hard to see where Antwerp would bridge the set gap.

At this point, Hopetoun was looking pretty and feeling pretty confident. The only problem was the pressure and the heat that took their toll on their new recruit in Joanne, and she had to pull out of her first ladies set at five all.

Unfortunately for Hopetoun, they only had a male emergency, and there was no amount of dress ups and make-up that was going to get him over the line to be able to fill in as a female emergency. So Hopetoun had to hand over the balance of the games plus the set to Antwerp. As it turned out, Joanne didn’t return to the court, meaning Hopetoun had to forfeit another two sets 7-0.

Antwerp’s women dominated this section but couldn’t keep Hopetoun from winning one set, which was all they needed to do to help their men out. Remy and Trudy overcame Carley and Alicia and almost snuck another but lost it in a tiebreaker when Abbey and Alicia narrowly defeated Jonti and Trudy. As a result, Antwerp won the ladies section point eight sets 61 games to one set 28 games.

After the first round, Antwerp’s men needed to regroup to see if they could find a way to win a couple of sets. In the second round, that win did come via brothers Nathan and Simon defeating Zac and Jonti. With the final round, the Antwerp men needed to find a way to win at least another set, but Hopetoun held firm and continued their good form to win all three and secure the men’s section eight sets 59 games to one set 38 games.

The overall tally for the day showed Hopetoun had won 13 sets and 120 games to Antwerp’s 11 sets and 126 games. Hopetoun had done enough, but only one set going a different way would have seen the District Cup staying in Dimboola and not travelling up the Henty Highway.

Congratulations to Hopetoun on securing another win and Antwerp for being a very worthy contender, although they will be rueing one that got away.

After finishing runner-up the last two seasons, Hopetoun returned to the premiers circle, giving them four premierships since the new competition was formed in 2015-16.

2021/22 Grand Final Results

Hopetoun 13 sets, 120 games defeated Antwerp 11 sets, 126 games

Mixed: Tim Jorgensen, Abbey Greig lost to Taylor Donnan, Trudi Cook 4-7, Chris Avery, Carley Werner d Mal McLean, Jonti George 7-3, Daniel Greig, Tahlia Avery lost to Coleman Schache, Remy George 2-7, Don Clark, Heather Jorgensen d Zac Robins, Shelby Monaghan 7-2, Nathan & Alicia Albrecht lost to Lou White, Tahlia Durie 4-7, Simon Albrecht, Ant Toet lost to Jonti Bellinger, Joanne Campbell 3-7.

Men: T. Jorgensen, D. Greig lost to T. Donnan, C. Schache 6-7, C. Avery, S. Albrecht lost to M. McLean, J. Bellinger 4-7, D. Clark, N. Albrecht lost to L. White, Z. Robins 2-7, D. Greig, C. Avery lost to C. Schache, M. McLean 5-7, T. Jorgensen, D. Clark lost to T. Donnan, L. White 3-7, N. Albrecht, S. Albrecht d Z. Robins, J. Bellinger 7-3, T. Jorgensen, C. Avery lost to T. Donnan, M. McLean 4-7, D. Greig, N. Albrecht lost to C. Schache, Z. Robins 3-7, D. Clark, S. Albrecht lost to L. White, J. Bellinger 4-7.

Ladies: A. Greig, C. Werner d J. George, R. George 7-4, A. Albrecht, A. Toet d T. Cook, J. Campbell 7-5, T. Avery, H. Jorgensen d S. Monaghan, T. Durie 7-1, C. Werner, A. Albrecht lost to R. George, T. Cook 5-7, A. Greig, T. Avery d J. George, S. Monaghan 7-1, H. Jorgensen, A. Toet d T. Durie, J. Campbell 7-0, A. Greig, A. Albrecht d J. Bellinger, T. Cook 7-6, C. Werner, H. Jorgensen d R. George, T. Durie 7-4, T. Avery, A. Toet d S. Monaghan, J. Campbell 7-0.