Rory Nicklin and Sam Ashoo report.
Sheffield Hallam fought out an 3-2 overall victory against their rivals The University of Sheffield at the Hallamshire Tennis Club today.
The University of Sheffield took the tennis points 2-1 after a fine display by both their men’s teams. The day didn’t all go Uni’s way however, as the Sheffield Hallam Women’s tennis team battled their way to victory in what can only be described as one of the most thrilling ends to a tennis varsity tie ever seen.
The Men’s first team began the day relatively well when Martin Spudeny, in his first ever Varsity event beat Yasen Tsanev 6-3 6-3 in a closely fought battle. Spudeny however, who only joined the team half way through the season, produced some amazing tennis, with some spectacular winners being produced. A break of serve at 4-3 in the second set proved to end Tsanev’s challenge, and Spundeny ended the match in style with an ace. Much to the roaring Hallam fans delight. The cheers however, were short lived. The University took the other three singles ties with relative ease, and Hallam found themselves going 6-2 down heading into the doubles. The doubles pairing of Tsanev and Grocott proved too strong for Spudeny and Lighthowler . Running out 6-2 6-1 winners. A similar score in the other Men’s first doubles resulted in Sheffield Uni defeating Hallam’s first team 10-2.
The Men’s second team also found themselves struggling against a strong University side. When Hallam lost three of its singles ties, it was down to Jan Chojnacki to keep the tie alive. After racing out of the blocks to a 4-0 lead in the opening set Jan began to slow down, giving his opponent Alex Stoia a glimmer of hope. Stoia took this chance; winning the set 7-5. All seemed to be lost for the second team. But Jan fought back, and despite losing seven out of eight games at the end of the first set, Jan won the second 6-4. Despite the spirited fight back however, Chojnacki ran out of steam, and lost the deciding set 6-2 giving University the win overall. 12-0 the final score between both sides men’s second teams.
The Women’s tennis proved to be very different. The tie was built up to be a closely fought battle after the previous encounters earlier on in the season, and it exceeded those expectations. The women played their doubles matches first and got off to a flying start as the partnership of Charlotte Sykes and Becky Cole ran out 6-0 6-0 winners against their University rivals. In the other doubles match Hannah Parker and Lauren Trigg lost a closely fought battle 6-4 6-3 to tie the scores at two apiece after the first two matches. Trigg and Sykes however, who along with Cole, are featuring in their last ever varsity event came out into their singles games and cruised to victory winning 6-1 6-3 and 6-1 6-2 respectively.
The girls now couldn’t lose going into the last two singles rubber’s 6-2 up. Parker battled hard against her opponent as she featured in her first ever varsity, but despite her spirited efforts she fell just short. Losing 7-6 6-2. It was then left to Cole to bring home the point for Hallam. Having already lost the first set 6-4 to a battling Anabelle Sidwell however, it was going to be tough to do this. But Cole fought back and took the second set in a tie break to set up a third set that would decide who would win the tie. Cole took an early lead and lead 3-0, but the University fans spurred their team mate on and Sidwell broke Coles serve to level the scores at 3-3. The girls couldn’t be separated and it was left to a third set tie-break to decide the winner. Cole rose to the occasion much to the delight of her team mates and the on looking Hallam crowd. A long fought battle between the girl’s teams, which will go down as one of the greatest ever.
In the squash Team Hallam took both points in two fascinating encounters. The day began with a round of 2nd team matches in which Hallam dominated, winning five matches and losing just two. Stand-out performers were Alex Lewis who brushed Jagnesh Sukhramani aside winning 3-0 and Ben Dinsley who saved a number of match points to grind out a 3-2 victory over Matt Fisher. The match didn’t come without its moment of controversy however after a collision between the two players during the final point ended with a Dinsley victory to the shock of Fisher.
Charlie Yeardsley 3-2 Lucy Tetlow
Alex Lewis 3-0 Jagnesh Sukhramani
Sam Whedler 3-1 Johnny
Adam Snow 3-0 Kritting Gutpo
Kyle Barlow 1-3 Matt Oakes
Ben Dinsley 3-2 Matt Fisher
Pat Reed 1-3 Jack Ithell
The 1st team matches were a much closer affair and at 3-3 and the first to 4, it all came down to the final encounter where Matt Pearson held his nerve to ride out a comfortable 3-0 victory against Oli Drewe to the delight of the Hallam fans in the seats behind. Other fine victories came from team chairperson Lara Cooper who beat Elaine Dean 3-0 and Jack Alcock who beat Toby Cockill by the same scoreline.
Lara Cooper 3-0 Elaine Dean
Robin Crease 2-3 Lemmie Green
Dan Hindmarch 2-3 Paul Snape
Laurenne Davies 1-3 Tom Anthistle
Jake Brynne 3-1 Jac
Jack Alcock 3-0 Toby Cockill
Matt Pearson 3-0 Oli Drewe