Definitely the best season in the history of Hawke's Bay tennis ... without a doubt.
Within a month of the Hawke's Bay senior side locking away the Christie Cup, the symbol of Central Districts tennis supremacy, after 21-3 drubbings of Whanganui and Taranaki and a default win against Manawatu, for the second consecutive season and eight gold medals, six silver and one bronze being won by Bay players at the national seniors tournament the Hawke's Bay-dominated Tennis Eastern under-11, under-14 and under-16 teams won their respective inter-regional tournaments which also involve Waikato-Thames Valley, Western Bay of Plenty and Bay of Plenty.
"This is the first time we have won three of the five age groups. It's great that our junior players are emulating the feats of our seniors and each of the other three associations we play against have all commented on how much our juniors have improved," a delighted Tennis Eastern development officer Sean Davies said.
The under-16 team, which was coached by Havelock North-based former New Zealand No 1 man Dan Willman, who also played for the Christie Cup holders, beat Waikato-Thames Valley 5-1, Bay of Plenty by the same score and Western Bay of Plenty 4-2. Three members of this team, Sophie Ward, Alex Cave and River Apatu, all experienced Christie Cup play this season.
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A Woodford House Year 10 student, Cave, will attempt to retain her Hawke's Bay Residentials senior women's title at the Hawke's Bay Lawn club this weekend.
Eastern's under-11 team, which was coached by Greendale's former Auckland senior and junior representative Janine Perkinson, who won gold and bronze medals at the national seniors, recorded 6-0 victories against Bay of Plenty and Waikato-Thames Valley and a 4-2 win against Western Bay of Plenty.
Eastern's under-14 team, which was coached by long-serving Hawke's Bay Lawn professional Simon Winter, beat Waikato-Thames Valley 8-4, Western Bay of Plenty 10-2 and Bay of Plenty 7-5.
The Eastern teams were:
Under-11s: Girls: Vanshika Prasad, Lily Warren, Kendra Wise. Boys: Mayank Giri, Harry Driscoll, Nate Fraser.
Under-14s: Girls: India Apatu, Mansi Giri, Penny Forster; Phoebe Driscoll, Belle Kinnear. Boys: Finn Willman, Monty Cullwick, Zuriel Paulsen, Freddy Hoggard, Tavian Roberts.
Under-16s: Girls: Alex Cave, Sophie Ward. Boys: Hunter Every, River Apatu.