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Premier League semi-final win

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Stirling KeyInvest 3 rubbers 8 sets 61 games defeated West Lakes 1 rubber 4 sets 46 games

Todd Ley defeated Ben DeGilio 6-3 6-2
Tim Mittiga defeated Greg Stephenson 6-2 2-6 6-2
Yuri Bezeruk defeated Matt Fitzgerald 6-2 6-4
Stefan Pretorius lost to Jed Stanford 5-7 4-6

Ley & Pretorius vs DeGilio & Stanford 7-5 1-0
Bezeruk & Bolt vs Stephenson & Fitzgerald 1-6 6-1

Stirling KeyInvest hit the big time in just their second season in Premier League with a gutsy Semi Final win against a strong and experienced West Lakes unit on Friday night under lights at Memorial Drive . The Hills based team followed up their top of the table minor round effort last season by setting up a Grand Final appearance for this Friday evening under lights at the Memorial Drive complex against the perennial Premier League winning team Trinity Gardens .

Fielding their strongest Stirling KeyInvest team for the season, the Hills representatives won impressively 3 rubbers to one - with sets in hand with the match closing once the win was secured. Todd Ley as always was extremely impressive in his number one position. Nursing a blistered hand from a weekend of tournament tennis, Ley set the scene with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over West Lakes number one Ben DeGilio who defeated Ley in three sets in their most recent encounter just three weeks ago.

Tim Mittiga who was missed for so much of the season whilst interstate with tournaments committed himself to playing finals for his Stirling KeyInvest teammates and rallied well and net rushed against the consistency and experience of West Lakes ’ Greg Stephenson to finally win an epic contest 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.

With all four singles matches being played concurrently under lights on the four magnificent Memorial Drive courts, the on lookers were treated to a superb array of tennis. Yuri Bezeruk’s at three continued his fine form and revealed his fighting spirit for his adopted Hills team with his two set 6-2, 6-4 victory taking as long as his Mittiga team mates three set victory. Bezeruk back from Europe - is still yet to drop a set in his singles and has been a valued addition to the team in the absence of Josh Tuckfield who missed his team mates success as he prepared for his wedding on the Saturday following his team’s Semi Final victory.

Stefan Pretorius in the pick of the four contested singles matches lost narrowly to West Lakes ’ undefeated Jed Stanford in an incredible hard hitting and skilful contest of Stanford’s back play versus Pretorius net skill 5-7, 4-6.

With three rubbers to one in the bank, the Stirling KeyInvest team needed to win two doubles sets to secure victory and book a spot in the Grand Final. Tim Mittiga was nursing a sore wrist and gave the opportunity to one of his young team stalwarts Alex Bolt and Matt Campbell to experience the elite tennis competition at finals level. Both players had played in every Premier League match of the season for which they were available. With Campbell having played the previous match, the A-Bolt was given the opportunity and accompanied the experience of Bezeruk in the second double.

In the first double, Ley and Pretorius lost a serve to be a break down early whilst in the second double contest Bezeruk and Bolt also were struggling against the much older and experienced pairing of Stephenson and Fitzgerald in their first set to be two breaks down. The Stirling KeyInvest first double pairing saved a set point and then broke serve against the West Lakes pairing of DeGilio and Stanford for 5 games all while Bezeruk and Bolt continued their struggle and lost their first set 1-6.

The Hills spectators were very anxious but breathed more easily when Ley played a brilliant forehand to set up a break point for the first doubles pairing. The Hills pair continued their aggressive come from behind play to again confirm the young Stirling KeyInvest team’s doubles capability by converting their break point and going on to serve out the set and win 7-5. On the neighbouring court Bezeruk and Bolt had their West Lakes opponents rattled as they fought back in the second set to break serve early. They continued to pile on the pressure and in a complete turnaround took the second set 6-1with the 16 year old Bolt hitting winners from everywhere to secure a winning position and a Grand Final appearance for the young Hills team.

With the win secured the match ended without the need to complete the two doubles rubbers.

Stirling KeyInvest who were unlucky to lose their number one player, and Burr Medallist Callum Beale to Australian Open practice duty with Ana Ivanovic during the finals last season, have fought their way through a difficult season where the young skills of Bolt and Campbell were required and much appreciated weekly as the team continued to find a way to win with just two losses for the Premiership season.

Playing Trinity Gardens on Friday night for the elite competition’s Premiership the young Hills team has taken another finals step and is hoping for considerable support from Hills tennis lovers in the Memorial Drive stands where entry and parking is free for what will be a magnificent contest. The match commences at 6pm and will be an incredible contest between two very evenly matched teams.

Last changed: May 18 2009