Getting to the finals is one thing but winning is another. Both minor premiers, The Bad Seeds in Div 2 and The Lions in Div 1, found this out the hard way in finals played last Tuesday at Meridan.
In Div 1 it was 4th placed Tigers (Seng Joo Keng and Patrick Keating) who knocked out the minor premiers, Lions (Jerrod Thomson and Steve Keating), in the 1st Semi Final. They did not even need to play the last singles match.
In the other semi, it was the doubles that got Cheetahs (Luke Thomson and Mike Rogers) over the line against the Cougars (Martin Tribe and Charlie Murong). Ironically I have inside info that Luke does not like doubles and, on the other hand, Martin and Charlie have combined well all season in doubles.
In the grand final showdown, it was 2 all with the last match between Patrick Keating and Mike Rogers. Mike got the first game but Patrick found his rhythm to win the next 3 games and secure the premiership for Tigers.
In my eyes it was the return to form of Patrick Keating after a few seasons off and also missing weeks due to sickness that was the difference on the night. Well done Patrick and Joo.
In Div 2 the minor premiers, The Bad Seeds, were devastated when their highly rated number 3, Ian Cerny was called away to North Queensland just a fortnight before the finals. They grabbed Brendan Cole to replace Ian.
After the 2nd doubles match it was 4 all and the result was to be decided by the last 3 singles matches which, due to the late hour, had to be played at the same time.
Nathan Thomas had a surprisingly easy win over Dale Parkes in 3 and David Harkins got one back for The Bad Seeds with a win in 4 over John Dale leaving it at 5all. Brendan Cole had the chance to snatch victory for the Bad Seeds. He was up 2-1 over Joel Carpenter but could not hold on. Joel winning the last 2 games and the premiership for Midnight Oil. Peter Garrett will be very happy.
For the losers David Harkins put in a strong performance beating Midight Oil No 1, Nathan Thomas. Brendan Cole had a great night with a good win over John Dale, winning his doubles and almost snatching the premiership with his 5 set lose to Joel Carpenter. But it was not a good night for the usually very dependable Dale Parkes who led the rankings earlier in the season. He not only lost 2 of his 3 singles but also his doubles.
But the king pin on the night was Joel Carpenter who won all 4 matches on the night – 3 singles and 1 doubles. Thus having his hand in winning 4 of the 6 matches required.
Well done to Nathan Thomas, John Dale and Joel Carpenter on their premiership win.
A quick look at statistics demonstrates how easily it could have gone the other way. Of the 11 matches in the night, 4 went to 5 setters, 4 to 4 setters, and only 3 were won in straight sets.