TBHS Tennis Team measure up at National Secondary Schools Finals

The Timaru Boys High School tennis team of James Watt, Josh Cameron, George McAleer, Matt Ellis and Connor Crotty earned the respect of their opposition teams at the National Secondary Schools Tennis Finals held in Christchurch this week with competitive matches and several upset wins.

Facing the premier number one seeds Wellington College on Day One was always going to be a big ask. TBHS faced the challenge and put up a good show. It was George McAleer who produced the match highlight winning the only match in the tie against Daniel Fleming, a much higher ranked player. McAleer won 6-4 6-0. James Watt’s match against in-form top NZ junior player Isaac Beecroft was a close encounter however it was Beecroft who nailed the crucial points to take the win.

Close matches were the order of the day in the tie against fourth seeds Tauranga Boys. Watt playing at number one had a 3 setter on his hands but couldn’t quite close out the third going down 4-6 to Caelan Potts. Going into the doubles 4-0 down in the singles matches it was the bottom doubles pairing of McAleer and Matt Ellis that gave TBHS its only win in the tie.

Next up TBHS met Westlake Boys and this tie proved to be full of emotion and was the closest tie of the week for TBHS. Again McAleer produced an upset win which didn’t please his opponent and Josh Cameron came back from a set and 0-4 down to turn the match around to a win and sealing two crucial match wins in the singles. Watt’s match against Chris Zang went to the wire with a thrilling battle with Zang taking it 7-6, 7-6. So it was two a piece going into the doubles. The top doubles pairing of Watt and Cameron netted a win and the bottoms double pairing bowed out on a set tie break in the second. The result was a draw. However, Westlake won on a set countback and edged their way into the top four play-off.

TBHS ranked 7th going into the finals were now playing off for positions 5-8 alongside Tauranga Boys, Hamilton Boys and Palmerston North. Having already met Tauranga in pool play, Hamilton Boys were our next opponents on Day three. The tie was a mixed bag with Hamilton Boys taking out the singles matches and TBHS winning both the doubles.

Unfortunately, Day four was washed out. TBHS didn’t get to play off against Palmerston Boys so share the seventh/eighth position.

In their debut at this prestigious national secondary school tennis event, the team from Timaru Boys High School showed they were worthy of making it through to this level. The boys displayed good character and sportsmanship and represented both their school and the South Island Secondary Schools in a positive light, pleasing both their coach Rachel Ellis and team manager, Jane Sullivan.

Jane Sullivan
TBHS Tennis Team Manager