Simon Phillips in action at the Nelson Tennis Club on Sunday. Photo: Andrew Board.

Nelson wins back tennis shield

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Nelson has won back the Winstanley Shield after a solid display against Marlborough on Sunday.

The Winstanley Shield is one of the three senior tennis fixtures played annually.  Former Nelson College pupil, David Winstanley, introduced the shield in the early 1980s.

The tie is traditionally a triangular fixture between Nelson, Marlborough and the West Coast, with two men and two women from each association. This year’s fixture was contested between Nelson and Marlborough.

Marlborough women Jade Otway and Donna Clark dominated the doubles in the first leg of the fixture, winning comfortably 6-2, 6-0.

The men’s doubles played out in quite the opposite way with a hard-hitting battle between four experienced doubles players. Simon Phillips (Nelson) bringing out a strong serve and competent volley against the quick reactions of Marlborough pair Hamish Morrow and Dave Sandford. 

Phillips strong play was complimented by Taylor Bianco’s ability to get to almost every ball, the Phillips/Bianco combination prevailed giving Nelson the win 7-5, 7-5.

Singles play began at one match all. Marlborough’s Jade Otway proved her abilities again in the singles wining comfortably 6-0, 6-2 over Robyn Sheves. 

Holly Mace balanced the ledger for Nelson with her win against Amber Lyons 6-3, 6-0. Bianco’s tenacity saw him grab the win from Morrow 1-6, 6-0, 6-4, with Phillips being pushed for a final 3rd set by Marlborough youngster Torban Otway.  Phillips held back the challenge to win 6-2, 7-5.

The tie came down to the final mixed doubles leg.  After a cautious start, Nick Caton and Holly Mace chased Torban Otway and Donna Clark to take the second set and force a final tie break, Otway and Clark came back to take the win 6-4, 4-6, 10-6. In an entertaining game of volley, lobs and powerful serving Phillips and Sheves managed to keep Jade Otway and Dave Sanford at bay to take the match 6-4, 7-6 and clinch the win 5-3 for Nelson. Team; Simon Phillips, Taylor Bianco, Nick Caton, Robyn Sheves, Susan Rooney, Holly Mace.