The penultimate round of the Stawell Tennis Club Bendigo Bank Friday Night Competition saw O'Jones Mitre 10's grand final aspirations close to being snuffed out with a soul destroying loss to premiership favourites Stawell Toyota, while Stawell Goldmine took another big scalp, accounting for second placed Carey Covers in a thrilling contest.
O'Jones Mitre 10 will need a minor miracle if they hope to play off in the big dance this season, following the loss to ladder leaders Stawell Toyota. Despite winning the same number of sets as their rivals, some heavy defeats took its toll on the scoreboard for Mitre 10, eventually going down 12 sets 131 games, to Stawell Toyota's 12 sets 157 games.
The ladies section toiled away valiantly for Mitre 10, with Holly Graveson, Jordan Austin and Jemima Harney all saluting in their three sets, however the men's division was a one sided affair, with Stawell Toyota's Lewis Reading, Henry Clough and Tom Monument dominating, to steer their team to victory.
Stawell Toyota have one hand on the premiership cup, and it will take a herculean performance from an opposition team to prise that off.
Mathematically Mitre 10 can still make the final, however they will now also be locked in a dogfight with Stawell Goldmine in the last round for the battle to avoid the wooden spoon.
Stawell Goldmine continued their outstanding second half to the season, this time accounting for Carey Covers in a fierce battle. Stawell Goldmine will be ruing a slow start to the year, except for the top placed Stawell Toyota, they have been the form team in the competition.
It was the ladies who led the way, with Molly Orr and Elise Monaghan in scintillating touch, Claire won the bragging rights in the Hodgetts household over sister Amy, while Jack Hoffman was solid. Theo Browne and Hugh Carey both tried hard to keep Carey Covers within striking distance, however in the end, they fell five games short.
The final score line reading Stawell Goldmine 14 sets 149 games def Carey Covers 10 sets 144 games.
Carey Covers faces an uphill battle if they hope to challenge Stawell Toyota for the title.
All teams have this weekend off due to the long weekend, with the last round to take place on Friday March 12.
Round 11 Ladder
Stawell Toyota 193pts
Carey Covers 149pts
O'Jones Mitre 10 138pts
Stawell Goldmine 135pts
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