It will take more than a strained Achilles tendon to force long-serving Hawke's Bay tennis representative Shane Wilson from the courts.
Wilson, a Bay rep since the mid 1990s, collected the injury in the second set of the top doubles match, as his Hughes and Smyth Unichem Pharmacy Team Wilson took on Shed 2 Team Donovan in the feature tie of Saturday's round in the province's premier men's competition at Napier's Onekawa courts.
Wilson and partner Trevor Hinton had won the first set 7-5 against Andy Reynolds and Russell Broughton but dropped the second 6-4 after Wilson collected the injury. Hinton told Wilson they didn't have to continue but Wilson told his partner he was determined to win the third set as the tie could be decided by a countback of sets and possibly a countback of games.
Hinton and Wilson went on to win the third set 7-5. Wilson had earlier recorded his first singles loss in the competition when beaten 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 by the province's top man Luke Donovan, who also plays premier interclub in Auckland and Wellington.
"I was stoked to get the set off Luke and I thought at the time it could prove crucial," Wilson recalled yesterday.
His prediction proved correct. With the tie ending in a 3-all draw a sets countback saw the teams tied at 7-all and Wilson's team won the games countback 75-67. This victory leaves Team Wilson with a one-point lead over Sainsbury Logan and Williams Team Curtis at the top of the standings.
Wilson said he would still take the courts this weekend, with the aim of keeping his team on top.
"With some physio sessions between now and then I should be fine to play," Wilson said.
The eagerly awaited father-and-son clash saw Team Wilson's No2 Finn Reynolds, the country's No2 under-14 boy, beat his father Andy 6-3, 6-3.
Tracta Team Kitching's No1 Jason Kitching dropped the first eight games before beating his Jeff Gray Land Rover Team Giddy counterpart Craig Giddy 0-6, 7-6, 6-3.
"At one stage I was hoping I wouldn't go down 0 and 0 but with three racket changes I managed to get there in the end," Kitching said.
However, Giddy's team still won the tie 4-2, with wins in both doubles matches.
The other tie resulted in Team Curtis beating Rowe Light Team Cooper 4-2.