Burnley Tennis, Lancashire
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Established in the 1930’s the club has grown and improved its facilities, recently completing a major refurbishment of the clubhouse and courts. We have 6 all-weather courts, 3 of which are floodlit and a clubhouse which is the centre of social nights and events with a fully licenced bar.
The club has a solid member case of adult, students and juniors who play all year around socially or in one or more of the men’s, ladies and mixed teams which compete in the East Lancs League.
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Team: Chris Rowell (C) Ethan Herron, Steven Holt, Stephen Greenwood, Mick Harris and Steven Palmer
Burnley travelled to Markland Hill Tennis Club on Sunday 13th April to play in their first National Club League game. Burnley expected a tough game against the league winners from last year but had nothing to lose.
Burnley travelled with a team of 6 players to play in the singles and doubles event, Burnley who had Ethan Herron playing at Number 1 in the singles had a tough start against Jack Castledine from Markland Hill as both players had big games. Herron for Burnley started off strong in his match winning the first set 6-2 with a display of powerful serving and crushing winners dominating his opponent. Castledine for Markland Hill started to come in to his own and traded games with Herron until 4-4, Herron broke to move 5-4 ahead and then served for the match. Castledine fought back to break back and then move ahead, a couple of missed shots by Herron and a bit of luck for Castledine saw him take the second set 7-5 against the run of play. The game would be settled by a 3rd set champs tiebreak with the first to 10 points. Herron regrouped and played out a fantastic tiebreak to overwhelm his opponent with a number of aces and clean winners to win 10-5 and put Burnley 1-0 ahead in the match.
Markland Hill came storming back in the match to move 2-1 ahead when their Number 2 and 3 singles players both secured strong wins against Stephen Greenwood and Steven Holt of Burnley. Both Burnley players gave a good account of themselves in their first National League game, Greenwood for Burnley was up against the young and very talented Jordan Halsall from Markland Hill. Halsall proved too strong for Greenwood who couldn’t execute his normal game, Halsall was in fine form winning the match 6-1, 6-3 for the home team. On the other court Steven Holt also making his debut in the National League was also involved in a tough match against Aadam Ahmad, Holt for Burnley gave a good account of himself and on any other day could have won the game the same score line he lost with Ahmad winning 6-1, 6-3.
Markland Hill 2-1 ahead looked sure to move 3-1 ahead when Ged Shepherd got of to a fantastic start against Steven Palmer for Burnley. Shepherd for Markland was using his powerful ground strokes on both sides with his ability to hit a double handed back hand and double handed forehand. Palmer who was returning too many mid court balls was being punished by Shepherd who stepped in time and time again and dominated the first set 6-2, set over and Palmer for Burnley regrouped knowing he had to play his normal game to have any chance. Palmer came out fighting and in a complete contrast from the first set hit winner after winner which seemed to unsettle Markland Hills Shepherd, Palmer was now on top as he stormed through the second set 6-0, into a champs tie break and Palmer started as he left off hitting a number of winners to win the match with a 10-1 tiebreak win.
With the match tied at 2-2 it was all down to the doubles, Burnley who now brought in 2 of their strongest doubles players, Chris Rowell and Mick Harris, both of which are recovering from injuries were still always going to strengthen the team with their ability and experience. Rowell teamed up with Herron and Harris teamed up with Palmer, Herron and Rowell mix of power from Herron and touch from Rowell gave them the first set 6-4, Markland Hill Castledine and Shepherds fought back to take the game into a champs tiebreak after winning the second set 6-4. A brilliantly played tiebreak from Herron and Rowell put Burnley 3-2 ahead with a 10-5 tiebreak win.
On the other court Palmer and Harris were in fine form against Markland Hills Halsall and Ahmad. The Burnley pair moved 5-2 ahead in the first set with strong net play from Harris who used the power from the Markland Hill pair to finish points frustrated the home team. Halsall & Ahmad fought back to 5-4 but a perfect service game from Harris gave Burnley the first set 6-4. The Markland Hill pair started the second set well with a straight forward game before the Burnley pair moved up a gear to take the next 3 games and put themselves 3-1 ahead. The Markland Hill pair held before Palmer and Harris held and broke to move 5-2 ahead for the second time, again Markland fought back to 5-4 but this time it was Palmer who served for the set and match, strong serving and brilliant volleying from Harris gave the Burnley a comfortable 6-4, 6-4 win.
A fantastic performance from all the Burnley team gave them an 8-4 win overall against a strong Markland Hill team. Thanks to the Markland Hill club for a great match and hospitality after the game.
Burnley next game is at home on Sunday 27th April against Palmerston from Liverpool, the game will be a 4pm start and all support is welcome.