Narrabri and District Tennis Association’s second and final 2021 season four-person teams competition got underway last week when 32 players across eight teams took to the Dangar Park Tennis Centre courts to compete in round one on Wednesday.

Teams have been split into two grades again this season.

There are currently five A-grade teams and five more in B-grade.

Two teams did not play in round one after being drawn the bye.

Narrabri Tennis’ Shane Murphy told The Courier that new players and teams were welcome.

He also encouraged all teams to submit team names to enable the competition organisers to release a full season draw.

Like previous four-person teams competitions, each match consists of six sets, during which each team member plays three sets, one with each of their three teammates. The winner is the team that scores the most games across those six sets.

The victorious teams earn four competition points, losers pick up two, and teams receive three points each if a draw occurs.

Wednesday night’s action was the first of eight weeks of play, with the final night scheduled for Wednesday, December 15.

The NDTA competition’s defending champions have returned for another crack at the title with a slightly new-look lineup. Brock Heideman, Jon Welsh, Scott Castlemaine and Warwick Moppett teamed up to win four of the past five competitions, the most recent of which was earlier this year in the February-June competition alongside Rodney Dunlop.

The team has since lost Welsh, who has relocated from Narrabri, but has added Rob Eaton and Michael Smith.

They combined in style to begin their October-December campaign with a come-from-behind 26-24 victory against Ryan Steel, Rhys Hayne, Mitchell Wilson and Blake Jarrett.

The defending champions trailed by two games at the completion of the first two sets after winning one 6-2 but losing the other 0-6. The two sides then traded 6-2 wins in the third and fourth sets as the defending champs remained behind by two games.

Moppett and Smith then defeated Steel and Jarrett 6-5 in a set five tie-breaker which reduced the deficit to one game. That saw the match come down to the sixth set in which Eaton and Castlemaine won 6-3 against Hayne and Wilson to earn their team a two-game victory.

The other victorious A-grade team in round one was the 2020 October-December champions which also has two new additions. Shane Murphy, George Bennett, Callum Wales, Mitchell Wilson and Ed Chaplin won the grand final in December, last year. The team has lost both Wilson and Chaplin this season but has added Annabel Read and Jack Hartnett.

Murphy, Bennett, Hartnett and Read took on Dugald Locke, Todd and Jacob Nichols and Joe Roy in round one and scored a 31-19 victory. The winning side claimed four of the six sets and lost one in a tie-breaker as it cruised to a 12-game win.

The other A-grade team, which had the round one bye, includes Rod Kirk, Josh and Erica Campbell and Will Sharpe.

In an entertaining round one B-grade contest, Dean and Alexis Holland, Damian Murphy and Alistair Dowdell scored a four-game victory against Ava and Sonia Garbutt and Lily and Fiona Campbell.

The score was locked 13-all after four sets after both sides had earned a 6-0 set win and a 6-1 set win. The Campbell duo then won the fifth set 6-5 in a tie-breaker. However, Murphy and Dowdell won the sixth set 6-1 to earn a four-game match victory for their team.

The other B-grade match was won by Jad Harris, Charlie and Cooper Butler and Taryn Kirk, who beat Adam Hatton, Tom Nolan, Clare Campbell and Jessie Melbourne. The winners claimed five of the six sets and outscored their opponents 34 games to 26 overall.

The other B-grade team, which had the round one bye, includes Bec Cope, Katie Broughton, Xavier Dean and Nick Buchanan.

Meanwhile, Narrabri District Tennis Association will host its annual club championships event at the Dangar Park Tennis Centre this weekend.

The singles competition will be played on Saturday afternoon from 1pm and will most likely wrap up that night under lights. The doubles action is then scheduled to commence on Sunday from 9.30am.

In both singles and doubles, the age groups will be as follows: 8-years-and-under, 10-years-and-under, 12-years-and-under, 14-years-and-under, 16-years-and-under, and senior A-grade and B-grade.

To order photos from this page click here