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Premier League grand final report

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Trinity Gardens 3 rubbers 8 sets 77 games defeated Stirling KeyInvest 2 rubbers 6 sets 72 games

Todd Ley defeated David To 4-6 6-2 6-4
Tim Mittiga defeated Stefan Szacinski 7-6 6-4
Yuri Bezeruk lost to Adam Alessandrini 3-6 3-6
Stefan Pretorius lost to Andrew Tavella 2-6 7-6 6-7

Ley & Pretorius versus To / Alessandrini 6-2 4-6 2-3 unfinished
Bezeruk / Mittiga lost to Mullins & Szacinski 4-6 6-7

On Friday evening commencing at 6pm Trinity Gardens won their fifth Grand Final in succession by defeating a gallant Stirling KeyInvest combination in a match spanning seven hours with the last shots being played at just before 1.30 am on Saturday morning.

An incredible contest was witnessed on a balmy evening under lights at Memorial Drive with the beautifully lit up Adelaide CBD backdrop and Fringe atmosphere reverberating over the courts. As the contest unraveled Club supporters and family members from both teams remained glued to the Final as fortunes see-sawed from one team to the other as the night wore on.

Each team was able to play up to six players on the evening to enable use of doubles or singles specialists. Trinity Gardens used ex Hills junior Mark Mullins well in his preferred doubles specialty role with Stirling KeyInvest still having to decide whether and how they may play either of their younger players in Matt Campbell and Alex Bolt who each played in the majority of matches throughout the season and had become worthy contributors to their team.

The evening commenced on two courts with the respective number one and two singles players. Todd Ley again reveled in the pressure and revealed the courage he displayed all season when playing with injury - to fight back in his match with Trinity’s David To after losing the first set 6-4. Ley won the second set 6-2 and carried his momentum through in to the deciding third to take it 6-4 and give his Hills teammates great confidence in winning the opening rubber.

The always consistent Tim Mittiga who missed so much of the season with interstate and country tournaments playing his seventh singles for the season for his newly adopted Club and recorded his seventh victory. Mittiga keeps winning the close matches and his 7-6, 6-4 win against Trinity’s Stefan Pretorius was notable for his great work when the heat was on. The Stirling KeyInvest supporters were now nervously excited with a two rubber lead.

All singles matches were expected to be tight and the results of the third and fourth singles which followed were expected to determine who would be the victor on the evening. Trinity Gardens Adam Alessandrini has banked more Premier League Grand Final victories than anyone around nowadays and used all of his pace and experience to be too solid for the normally equally consistent Yuri Bezeruk and recorded an impressive 6-3, 6-3 victory to get a much needed rubber back for his Trinity teammates.

On the next court an epic struggle was taking place between the respective number four players - Stefan Pretorius for the Hills team against Trinity’s Andrew Tavella. Both players have regularly contributed successfully to their team’s endeavours in the number two position confirming the quality and depth of the evenings match ups.

Tavella was too solid in the first set to win it convincingly 6-2. Pretorius however was hungry to share team Grand Final success with his Stirling KeyInvest teammates and fought back valiantly in the second set to win a tight tie breaker 7-6 to level the match at a set all. At this stage the other courts had cleared and everyone settled in to enjoy an enthralling third set with a Stirling KeyInvest victory likely to set up a Grand Final victory and a Trinity victory keeping the tie alive for the doubles.

The Hills player carried his second set momentum early in to the third set and found himself leading 3-0. Pretorius was rushing the net successfully with Tavella the master of angle and heavily top spun passing shots looking rattled. Tavella courageously steadied however to break back and then held serve to create a momentum shift that carried on to another break of the Pretorius serve to level the set at 3 games all. Both players then settled down to fantastic tennis for the next six games as each player held serves solidly to see the third set through to a fitting tie breaker. Trinity’s Tavella started the better and worked his way to a 5-2 lead however Stirling ’s Pretorius fought back with three points in a row to even the tie breaker up at 5 points all. Tavella won the next two points to take the set and rubber for his teammates and level the match.

It was now 11.30pm and the score stood at 2 rubbers all, 5 sets all, and 53 games to 50 games in Trinity’s favour.

The Stirling KeyInvest doubles combinations were discussed between their six players with the youth of Campbell and Bolt bowing to the experience of their older teammates. Trinity decided to split their normal winning combination of Mullins and Alessandrini in an effort to strengthen both doubles pairings.

In the first double, Pretorius and Ley started magnificently to combine magically at net and draw errors from their more experienced opponents in To and Alessandrini to win the first set 6.2 for Stirling KeyInvest. At the same time in the second double, Trinity won a tight and tense first set encounter 6.4 with Mullins proving to be the backbone against Stirling KeyInvest’s Bezeruk and Mittiga.

With neither doubles rubber yet decided the teams now shared the rubbers and sets equally with Trinity holding a one game lead - and it was well past midnight. Pretorius & Ley started the second set well to open up a 4.2 lead however Alessandrini’s coolness under pressure and sure hands at net was pressuring the Hills pairing who dropped serve to allow Trinity back in to the set. The Trinity pair then broke again and when they held serves against the trend of play to win the second set 6-4, they forced the first doubles rubber in to a third and deciding set.

On the next court Stirling KeyInvest’s Mittiga and Bezeruk were down a break early in their second set but managed to break back against Mullins and Szacinski to reach 4 games all. This pattern continued with another break to Trinity and a break back by Stirling – this time saving a match point for 5 games all. Again a break of serve by the Trinity pairing and the Stirling pair breaking back to force the set and match result in to a tie breaker.

The tie breaker was comfortably won by Trinity Gardens with their straight set victory assuring them another Grand Final victory with the valiant Stirling KeyInvest team unable to win on sets regardless of the unfinished first double third set outcome.

A great contest played in the best of spirit drew to a close at 1.30am and the young Stirling KeyInvest team can look to the future with confidence that their turn will surely come.

Last changed: May 18 2009