Ararat hosts Elmhurst with top spot at stake

BALANCED: Ararat's Edmund Bush shows off his backhand technique during the round 11 match on his home court. Picture: Peter Pickering
BALANCED: Ararat's Edmund Bush shows off his backhand technique during the round 11 match on his home court. Picture: Peter Pickering

Ararat will be at home against Elmhurst in round 13 of the Ararat and District Tennis Association on Saturday.

The ladder leaders are eight points clear of Crowlands and will go in as favourites against Elmhurst to maintain top spot.

The home team had a big win in round 12 and Elmhurst will be confident after its strong performance against Crowlands.

Elmhurst captain Malcolm Boatman said he expects another tough match at the weekend.

"It will be another difficult game, we will have to do pretty well to win a section,” he said.

“Our ladies should do better than last week but our men’s will be up against it when they face the Ararat men’s.”

Riley Hamilton will return to the Elmhurst team and will combine with Lyndon Murray to strengthen the men’s section.

Boatman said Hamilton was a good addition to the team.

“Riley is fairly attacking and very fit and agile around the court, so will chase down a lot of shots during the match,” he said.

“We are treating the match as though it could be a grand final preview.

“We are likely to play Crowlands in the first week and if we beat them then we will most likely play Ararat in the final.

“So we are starting to look at structures for the finals knowing we got so close to Crowlands last week.”

Cooler temperatures are expected for the match which will help the older players on the court. 

Landsborough and Buangor will face off with the winner going a long way to guaranteeing itself a spot in the finals.

Both teams are only separated by two points with the home team holding the advantage over Buangor.

Buangor captain Katie Sanford said there will be changes to the team for the match.

“I have six players already confirmed for the match,” she said.

“So we just need to decide one who will fill the two vacant spots.”

With the winner set to finish the round in fourth position, there is a finals spot at stake for both teams.

Sanford said she does not expect the team to struggle with the pressure during the match.

"There is a bit of pressure but we always enjoy playing Landsborough,” she said.

“So we are just hoping for some high quality tennis.

"Finals are not in the team’s thinking yet either.

“We just want to continue enjoying each week on the court and having good sessions against other teams.”

It is usually a pretty close match, similar ability levels between the two teams.

Crowlands will have a chance to reset with only two more rounds after this, as it enjoys the weekend off courtesy of a bye.