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Big numbers at Martinborough Lawn Tennis Clubs “Over the Hill” Tournament.

February 9, 2021 February 2021 No Comments

The 2021 ‘Over the Hill’ Tennis Tournament held over the weekend of the 9th-10th January at the Martinborough Lawn Tennis Club will be remembered for the large numbers that attended, but also the nervousness of the organising Committee as 20mm of rain came thundering down the day before. It only caused a slight delay to play on the Saturday morning though, as the grass courts dried out and the two days of glorious weather made for an excellent tournament. 

Both the Men’s doubles and the Mixed doubles draws were oversubscribed and there was a very strong Women’s doubles draw too. It made for long days, but the army of club volunteers again made it an enjoyable event for all.

In the Men’s doubles on Saturday the competition was as strong as it has ever been. While most players come over from Wellington, there was good representation from Wairarapa with the pairing of Ed Wilkie (Martinborough) and Boon Huxtable (Masterton) making it all the way through to the Championship final. They were up against the impressive pairing of Jason Canning and Marc Paulik from the Hutt Valley who had been dominant all day. And so it proved in the final with Canning and Paulik (nephew of local tennis coach Cilla Paulik) stepping up a gear and taking out the title convincingly. 

Other good showings by local players was from the pairing of Chris Wilkie and Steve Chapman beating out the Nicholson brothers, Dan and Matt in the Plate final, while another Martinborough team of Simon Campbell and Matt Thomas won the Special Plate.

The Women’s doubles Championship final was a closer affair with Leonie Campbell and Emily Dine edging out the Hawkes Bay pairing of Treacy Lucas and Hannah Kennerley. This was the second win in a row for Dine but with a different doubles partner this year in Campbell. It was a very long day on the Saturday with the last games being played under lights and the prize giving done in the dark, so it’s a credit to all to get through all the games in the spirit the tournament has become known for.

The Mixed doubles were played on Sunday with the grass courts playing well in even hotter conditions. It was great to see the range of ages playing in the Mixed draw, from players whose bodies held together by tape but still showing some great touches, through to father-daughter combinations, introducing another generation to the tournament. And it was a father-daughter combination that was going for a three-peat as Trevor and Emily Dine fought their way through the draw to the Championship final. 

There they faced another finalist from the previous day, Marc Paulik and his partner for the Mixed draw, Nichola Boyles. A great fight was put up by the Dine’s with Emily hitting some wonderful base line shots to keep them in the contest. But in the end, it was the consistency and superb ground strokes from Paulik who has a back-hand that Roger would be proud of, which got the Paulik-Boyle combination through to their inaugural OTH Mixed draw title.

The OTH tournament is a fantastic fundraiser for the Martinborough Lawn Tennis Club, which goes towards the upkeep of the grass courts and improvements to the clubhouse. The iconic clubhouse on Regent Street will have its centenary in 2023, so the Committee is looking at plans to strengthen it and make the facilities fit for purpose. Hopefully these will be underway for next year’s tournament which will be Sat 8th – Sun 9th Jan 2022. 

All of this wouldn’t be possible without the support of the great local businesses that help us with sponsorship and prizes, especially major sponsors Porters Pinot Wines, Pain & Kershaw and Neighbourhood Coffee.

Photo caption: –  Mixed Doubles winners Marc Paulik (centre) and Nichola Boyles, with Club President Charlie Cresswell

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