St Peters sweep Hamilton aside

Last updated 05:00 09/12/2013

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St Peters showed total dominance in the 2013 grand final of the Waikato-Thames Valley premier tennis championship at the weekend.

The young guns from St Peters rewarded their supporters with some scintillating tennis in Friday night's final against Fairview Motors Hamilton, winning all the men's and women's singles.

Hamilton have reached the final every season for the last 10 years. St Peters hadn't had the trophy since 1998-99 and the team had plenty of supporters keen to see the trophy back in its cabinet.

Luke Hamilton, St Peters' No 4, showed no signs of nerves as he destroyed his veteran opponent Phil Hempstead with forehand winners being hit with incredible power and accuracy from all over the court to gain the first point of the tie with a 6-1 6-2 win.

Hempstead said his opponent's forehand was just too good and he had no answers to it.

In contrast St Peters' No 2 Jack Guilford showed his opponent Steve Pett what a well-hit backhand could do when he sent sizzling strokes down the line that left Steve Pett standing and only able to applaud. Pett stayed close in the second set but Guilford had an edge with his extra power, winning 6-2 7-5.

The St Peters men polished off the other two singles but they were not easy. Hamilton No 1 Matt Johnson fought hard against Jono Merchant but Merchant's consistency and habit of returning intended winners back with interest frustrated Johnson and he finally succumbed 6-4 6-2.

The No 3 men's singles, with Sam Howard (St Peter's) up against Warren Lovegrove, was the longest match of the evening. Howard won the first set comfortably and had two match points at 5-4 in the second set but gave them away and then lost the set in the tiebreaker. He rallied in the third set and took the match 6-3 6-7 6-4.

The women dominated for St Peters as well with Frenchwoman Laura Verges showing her solid game and experience for a comfortable 6-0 6-1 victory against Hamilton's Nicola Blake, while No 2 Sarah Knighton, recently returned from injury, was too strong for Amber Barry in winning 6-2 6-1.

Dave Werder, manager for St Peters Tennis Club, was thrilled at the win and said the project to get this young team into a winning position was three years in the making. He was as proud of their win as he was of their attitude on and off the court.

Thames beat Cambridge for the third-fourth playoff and Lugton Park-Beerescourt beat Te Awamutu for fifth.

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