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Tennis aces prove to be a smash hit

By David Banner | Grassroots | Published:

An impressive entry of nearly 170 players made it the best supported Shropshire Junior County Tennis Championship for many years.

Olivia Houlston, left, winner of the nine and under girls singles, and runner-up Adela Home

Bob Kerr, chairman of Tennis Shropshire, was delighted with the backing the popular annual event held at The Shrewsbury Club – organised in conjunction with inspire2coach and sponsored by Deloitte – received from young players around the county.

They competed throughout the week at the Sundorne venue to earn the right to feature in last Saturday’s busy finals day, writes Stuart Dunn.

He said: “It’s the flagship event for junior competition within the county and it’s great to see it recognised as such.

“The strongest players do come to the fore in the events, however the Championship encompasses all levels of ability and the tournament is really about involvement and the opportunity to play a lot of tennis.

“One of the highlights for me was to see over 30 mini-tennis players competing, so it looks as if we may hope for even better things in terms of numbers taking part in 2018.”

Tournament referee Simon Haddleton, who was impressed with the quality of tennis on display throughout the event, added: “This was the largest event in recent times with over 270 entries for the various events.

“It was pleasing to see so many of Shropshire’s juniors being competitive but also showing excellent fair play and sportsmanship throughout.

“The event culminated in a hugely competitive final in the 18 & under boys singles, which was eventually won 19-17 in the championship tie-break by Tommy Loxley, aged 15, who trains at The Shrewsbury Club.

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“A big thank you to all the players and parents who supported the event and thanks also to The Shrewsbury Club, who were excellent hosts, especially considering the exciting refurbishment programme which is currently taking place at the club.”

Shropshire junior players competed from eight and under to 18 and under in singles and doubles events while there was also a men’s competition which saw Matthew Lee eventually beat his county team-mate Luke Henley in the final.

Jacob Rogers and Tamzin Pountney were named as the tournament’s most improved players.

The Claire Mowling Cup for determination and dedication was presented to Roan Jones, Alfie Edwards collected the Spirit of Tennis Award while the Shropshire Stars for how they conducted themselves both on and off court during the week were Joseph Clarke and Amy Dannatt.

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