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Fitting victors take out popular tennis tourney

No wonder Martinborough Lawn Tennis Club officials were chuffed with the success of their 23rd “Over The Hill” tournament played over the weekend.

The organising committee might be made up of volunteers but they know what they are doing judging by an impressive entry list with the men’s doubles attracting 30 pairs, the women’s doubles 12 combinations and the combined doubles a field of 34.

And, as usual, a large number of the players came from outside the region, including Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch, many of them being proven performers at the top level.

The women’s doubles saw early upsets with the two top seeds knocked out in the first round.

Eventually it was Vicky Wutzler (Karori and Kapi Mana) and Maree Horne (Upper Hutt) who took the major honours from Diana Maunder (Kilbirnie) and Michelle McKibbon (Stokes Valley).

The plate final went to the Lower Hutt duo of Leonie Campbell and Judi Williams, both of whom are also members of the Kapi Mana Vets, from sisters Felicity Steel (Vogelmorn) and Jo Steel, who plays out of the Elmwood club in Christchurch.

The men’s doubles championship came down to a battle royal between locals Luke Atkinson and Bruce Hollebone and Christchurch’s Phil Wright and Simon Osbourne and it was fitting that Atkinson and Hollebone should win the Tim Pickering Memorial Cup as they are both former teammates of Pickering, a past stalwart of the Martinborough club.

Atkinson and Hollebone won 9-7.

Supporting Atkinson, who has played many games for Wairarapa over the years, from the sidelines were daughters Sade and Georgia, both top players themselves.

Sade has been back in New Zealand for the Christmas break and heads back to the United States next week where she is on a tennis scholarship at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Georgia is a former Wairarapa senior closed championship singles titleholder who is now heavily involved in cricket, having just been named as an all rounder in the Central Districts under-18 side.

The championship final in the combined doubles saw Daisey Leckie, who has recently immigrated from the United Kingdom, teaming up with Andrew Taylor (Karori) to beat the powerful Christchurch combination of Jo Steel and Phil Wright 9-4.

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