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Youngsters net rewards

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

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A host of young tennis aces have turned out in force at Writhlington Sports Centre in recent weeks to compete in various age-group competitions.

Thea Sprawson beat Frome's Lenny Oruz in the final of the mini red section for players aged between five and eight.

The mini orange tournament for those aged eight-ten, refereed by George Beechener and involving a series of tie-break matches, produced tennis of an excellent standard.

William Padfield beat Elanor Nobbs 7-1 7-1 in the final of the sanctioned event, although the scoreline does not reflect how close the contest was. They had overcome Joseph Milton 7-4 7-3 and Billy Hughes 7-6 7-3 in their respective semi-finals.

In the round-robin non-sanctioned tournament, where players were over-nine, Willem Buurman came out on top and Aidan Rickets was runner-up.

The green tournament for those aged nine-12 was an exciting example of how the LTA mini tennis system of red, orange and green helps youngsters develop into adept players using smaller rackets and low-compression balls.

Players travelled from Bristol, Bath and Glastonbury to take part and the round-robin group of five for those with an LTA rating of 10.2 saw Dominic Black inflict the only defeat on Ben Beechener to finish with a 100 per cent record of four wins from four.

The sanctioned tournament saw the winners of three round-robin groups of four and the best runner-up progress to the semi-finals, where Hugh Hudson beat Ben Phillips 5-3 and Archie Grayson overcame Sam Scott 4-1.

An evenly contested final went to a championship tie-break and was locked at 8-8 before Writhlington's Hudson claimed the last two points to be crowned overall winner.

Meanwhile, another three youngsters have received awards for their tennis prowess during the ten-week coaching sessions at Writhlington.

Freya Caldwell took the junior of the block honours and her coach, Patrick Lodge, said: "Freya has shown great enthusiasm over the last block of lessons, constantly trying to improve her game by playing outside her regular lesson.

"She is keen to learn and always plays with a smile on her face."

In the mini section, for U10 players, Trinity School pupil Cameron Porch was runner-up to seven-year-old Lenny Oruz from Frome.

Head coach Tom Entwistle said: "Lenny has improved a lot during this block of lessons and this is because he works hard every session. He listens well and always enjoys competing.

"His behaviour on court is very good, which enables him to concentrate on the small details and make him a better player. He appears to love the sport and is developing as a determined player."

Lodge, who coaches Porch, added: "Cameron is always willing to work with anyone in the group and continues to try his best to improve every session. He is a pleasure to teach as he concentrates superbly."

Tennis camps and numerous activities will be operating at Writhlington Sports Centre during the October half-term. More information is available from www.writhlingtonsportscentre.co.uk or by calling 01761 438559.

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