SUMMER 2012 started with a dry spell in late March and early April when Keith Douglas and his hard-working staff had the courts in excellent condition for the opening day during the Easter holiday.
However, from then on it was all downhill as the weather and poor drainage system made it virtually impossible to play tennis on two consecutive days – and only three Monday club nights went ahead all summer. While this affected how often members of the public were able to play and it certainly had an impact on the gents’ and ladies’ teams who struggled to find any continuity, it didn’t deter the junior section from making their mark.
The winter coaching programme, under the watchful eye of Lesley Thomas, Ethan Simpson and Rachel Thomas, gave youngsters a good base for the Border schools under-eight indoor competition in early March, when the Trinity/Denholm squad, comprising Sam Scott, Sam Allott and Marcus Brogan, lost in the final to St Boswells.
Two weeks later, the Border schools individual competition, held at Galashiels Academy, was another successful outing with Ruathy and Marcus Brogan reaching the semi-finals in their respective age groups, and Hawick under-six teammates Irvine Welsh and Noah Erkes-Gray meeting in the semi-final. Noah won an evenly-contested match but couldn’t quite find the same form in the final. All of the other Hawick contingent, namely Louisa Goldie, Martin Goldie, Sam Allott, Sam Scott, Phiebe Gale and Robbie Welsh, enjoyed their day.
The gents’ team, captained by Ryan Scott, and the ladies, captained by Karen Telfer/Ruth Hounam, struggled to practice during the summer and both had a very mixed season, although hopes are high for 2013.
Richard Allott took over the role of youth coordinator, starting up high school coaching on Wednesdays after school. And although sessions were cancelled due to the weather it became more and more popular.
The under-12 squad had a strong look to it with Greg Ford, Fin Bell, Euan Chelley, Paul Goldie and Iain Rolland all becoming more confident and finishing third in their group of six.
The summer also saw the ten-and-under league start on Friday nights, and this allowed Charlie Welsh, Ben Scott, Sam Frizzell and Harris Brogan to play against other Border District players in a round-robin format. All four boys enjoyed their tennis and the regular hitting time allowed them to become more skilful and take their tennis to another level. The Wilton Park boys won the competition outright and Sam Frizzell received the most improved player award.
The Tennis Borders district squad at Galashiels Academy has no fewer than seven Wilton Park players: Ben Scott, Marcus Brogan, Paul Goldie, Martin Goldie and Sam Frizzell, all of whom also attend an east of Scotland programme in Edinburgh, along with Sam Allott and Harris Brogan.
Trinity pupil Harris enjoyed another excellent year, during which he has reached a ranking of second in Scotland and in the top 30 nationally.
He has also played for the South of Scotland under-nine, ten and county teams.
The highlight of the year in the district was the Border Confined Competition in August, which was an excellent tournament for the Wilton Park club, with Harris winning the ten and nine-and-under competitions. Not to be outdone, his brother Marcus lifted the eight-and-under title.
Martin Goldie reached the semi-final of the under-eights’ competition, and Ruathy Brogan reached the semi-finals of the girls’ eight-and-under. Other entrants were Paul Goldie, Sam Frizzell and Ben Scott.
At the club’s annual general meeting, Tracy Jackson and Jennifer Ellis both stood down from their roles of secretary and treasurer respectively after many years, and were replaced by Rob Goldie and Richard Common. New faces to the committee were Ian Frizzell and Daniel Hirstein.
Winter coaching is to start again after the mid-term break, and parents interested in signing their children up should contact Jan Patterson on 07787 377170 or Richard Common on 07866 962787. There will be a registration day at the high school on February 2 between 9am and 9.30am. Coaching will start on February 16 up until the Easter holidays.