Melle Van Duijn competing for Nelson in the Gardiner Trophy on Sunday. Photo: Phillip Rollo.

Juniors seize trophy back from Marlborough

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Nelson’s junior tennis players have won the Gardiner Trophy for the third time in four years.

The Gardiner Trophy is the largest junior tennis fixture on Nelson Bay Tennis Association calendar and is contested between players aged 10 to 16 years old. In total, 32 juniors from Nelson competed against Marlborough in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Tasman Tennis Club on Sunday. Marlborough won the trophy last year, but were no match for Nelson who pulled out all the stops to win 36-20. The Nelson 10 year olds dominated their age group with a final score of 14-2. Ryan Mairs and Kvido Tayerle showed particular fortitude, coming back from 5-2 down to win 9-8 against Oscar Sandford-Jury and Liam Blackmore.

However, the Marlborough 12 year olds proved too strong, edging ahead to a 10-6 win.  Samantha Scott and Olivia Hiku played fantastic tennis, winning their doubles despite being 4-2 down in the second set against Carla Hauswirth and Bella Rose. Both girls went on to win their singles and doubles.

The 14s age group showed strength and unity beating their Marlborough counterparts 12-4. Both the doubles and mixed doubles combinations dominated play with Nelson losing only one doubles game out of eight.

The oldest age group (16s) saw a tie at four matches all.  Melle Van Duijn and Sam Edens were a particularly good combination, breezing through their doubles 6-2, 6-2, against Lee Harbourne and Josh Winter. Both Sam and Holly Mace had convincing singles wins.