Round 9 - December 7
A total of 42 players made up the eight sections of aggregate tennis on Saturday with six players ending the day with a maximum 24 games, walking away with a coveted Wangaratta Lawn Tennis Club glass trophy for their efforts in obtaining the win of their section with the maximum score.
The day started well for John Brunner in section 1 as the first point of match was won with a tip of the net on a glancing forehand return. This point set the tone of the day as John comfortably walked away with the win with a score of 24/15. Coming in second position was Phil Peck with 20 games followed by Kevin NK Callahan who with his missile serves won many a point to end the day with 19 games. Many a sigh could be heard from Barry Sullivan as he could not win a trick as time and again, he lost the point to a net cord, or his would hit the top of net, dance around and drop on his side. Barry’s score of 17 games was enough to fend off Frank Harris with 14 games.
Leigh Hartwig returned to the lawn after a break of some 5 weeks due to farm commitments and R&R of body and return he did as he won section 2 with a score of 22/14. Leigh’s craft is all about the slicing return and follow up with a deft volley to win the point. Coming in second position was another farmer all the way from Benalla in Geoff Davies who ended the day with 21 games from rusty Des Steele with 19 games. Pat Flynn had a rare off day as eventually he succumbed to a torn pectoral muscle to finish fourth with 17 games. Never fear the old silver fox will be out the back of the clothes shop stretching his weary body over an ironing board to be ready for next weeks battle at the lawn.
Christian McGauran took no prisoners in section 3 as he won with a score of 24 games. Time and again Christian would chase down the attempted drop shot or a lob from his opponents to keep in the point and eventually wear the likes of Anita Malcom (20 games), Russel Canning (18 games), Greg Renner (17 games) and the left-handed Phil Dryden out. All players gave their all and the banter under the old oak tree at day’s end was full of praise for one Christian McGauran.
Section 4 had class written all over it as Maree Sullivan continually served the ball with precision to the corners of the service box. If her opponents were lucky enough to get the ball back into play, she then kept the rally going until they made an error. Maree’s score of 24 games was too much for Mason Scholes on 21 games, followed by the hard hitter in Andrew Lindner with 17/18. Alan Busk was sliding his backhands cross court to finish with 17/23 from a new member in the club all the way from the small island of Cebu in Philippines in Chris Lestino. Welcome Chris.
Six players took to section 5 with none more impressive than Russel O’Brien who finished the day with a score of 23/15. It was tight for second position with John Shanley on 20 games just edging ahead of Joel Eulenstein on 19 games. Wendy Hall with that slicing left-handed serve to the backhand court bringing many undone, ending with 17 games from Terry Flynn on 16 games with Noel Boyd bringing up the rear on 15 games.
Jamie Almond returned to the courts after an extended layoff and return he did as he won with the complete score of 24 games. There was a clear margin to the remaining players with the next best being Geoff Allen on 18/15 from Graham Gardiner on 18/18. Coming in fourth was the iceman in Peter Ablazej with 17/20 from Geoff Davidson (16 games) and Carl Cutrona rounding out the section with 15 games.
Last week Max McAuliffe was looking a dejected man under the oak tree and coming in last position, but how a week’s turnaround can change the fortunes of some, as this week Max was sitting back with a career high score of 24/5 to win section 7. At one point even Russell Canning patted him on the back with a “well done Maxxxy” comment. There was daylight to the rest in the section with nearest being Mark Gorman on 15 games from an equal third position of Vu Trinh and Hedley Eulenstein on 14/19 with Mick Keogh on 13 games holding all up.
Sue Piper rounded out the day’s sectional winners with another glass to leave the clubhouse after a score of 24/17 to win section 8. There were only 4 games splitting the remainder of players, Ken Hooper, Anne Leavett Brown, Irene McGauren and newcomer to the lawn in Lyn Masters.
Entries to the aggregate play are needed to be in prior to 12.30 each Saturday and can be done a number of ways; either through the club website www.wanglawntennis.com.au, via phone (03) 5721 2438, or simply by placing your name on the aggregate sheet in the clubhouse.
Your Committee have been concerned about our Clubhouse vulnerability in such a quiet, poorly lit park. Experience at Shepparton regarding repeated break in and theft have suggested that we have had a lucky track record at WLTC.
In seeking better security, we have had a wonderful offer from a great community supporter and good friend of WLTC, Mario Pane of Pinkerton Security. Pinkerton Security has installed a 24/7 monitored security system this year.
Essentially this will only affect you if you are the holder of a clubhouse key. We think we have identified all key holders and given them passwords to turn on/off the alarm as they unlock/lock the door. If you have a key and do not have a password, ring or text Secretary, Michael Falkenberg on 0418392906 or go to our website and use the message option on the “Contact us” page.
This initiative represents a major change for our members. Those intimidated or unfamiliar with the technology, please ask for assistance. We do not want any barriers to members accessing the courts in their own time.
You will notice that unavoidably, we have had to reshuffle numbers on the courts - sorry for the change to tradition!
The technology does not affect you if you just turn up for scheduled events like Twilight, Thursday (Mixed and Ladies), Saturday tennis or any other ‘Light Facilitated’ event we hope to offer this year. On these occasions the gate will be open automatically.
If you want to play casual tennis with friends, one of the party will need to access Book a Court (BAC).
Soon you will receive by email, an invitation to “sign on” to Book a Court – you will then be recognised as a club member (and not charged) when Booking. Those members without a recorded email at WLTC will receive a text - please respond to this text with your email or let us know if you have none.
Thereafter, either from computer at home or from your smart phone (at least 10 minutes before booking time) book a court and time, your PIN will open for the gate from 10 minutes before the booking time. Apart from the fact that you have to book on the half hour, this will be otherwise very easy with a saved web address or use the link on our WLTC website.
There will be signage on the fence to assist non-members and members. In the daytime, your exact court number choice still remains optional after you are through the gate.
Members will play free in daylight, but we ask you to collect green fees ($ as on the hire fee box) from non-members in your party and pay for them, as you have always done.
If (as a member) you book a slot when it will be dark (i.e. the lights will be activated), you will have to pay with your credit card (tick a box to remember your details for easy booking on subsequent times). We decided that the light costs will be borne by “user pays” rather than the general membership. Costs are however reasonable – see table at the end.
Benefits of BAC
The BAC is encouraged by Tennis Australia as part of our lighting system. It has however several advantages for us, that balance the loss of our casual access by having an electronically locked gate.
Firstly, we have realised that since the departure from the Club of the late Bryan Curran, we’ve noticed a dramatic drop in hire fee income from non-members. Many free players are going unchallenged currently. This impacts on the club finances and imposes pressure on membership fees. BAC will alert users that this is a membership club (not RCoW council free facility) that has overheads. BAC can collect the appropriate hire fees electronically for non-member use.
Secondly, our Coach and his staff benefit hugely form light options, and we need this activity to feed in tomorrow’s members and users for tennis generally.
Thirdly, whilst there will be some money in the hire fee box from non-members paying to play with members, parties of non-members, and members using lights will be paying electronically. This reduces our security exposure.
Fourthly, it would be impossible to have ready access to the lights for both members and non-members without a system to turn on the lights (without clubhouse access), as well as quarantining light costs to users only.
Finally, increasingly there seems to be Tennis Australia, Government and Council grants for improvements to Clubs. We have received assistance with several grants towards: the lights (Tennis Australia, RCoW, Sport and Recreation Victoria) Book a Court (RCoW , pending from Tennis Australia) and Hotshots Court Fencing (RCoW community grants).
Initiatives like BAC help us to track participation which is then helpful in future grant applications. With signage and a modest cost structure, increased participation and usage from non-members will be clearly welcomed and tracked – helping our case.
Court Hire Costs