Successful summer season for local village tennis club

East Hoathly & Halland Tennis Club has had one of the most successful summer seasons in recent history – particularly the ladies first team, Horam League first team and the juniors.

The ladies first team finished second in division eight of the Sussex League, gaining promotion to division seven next summer, and have their first match in division six of the Sussex Winter League on the first Sunday in October. The Horam League first team finished second in division two, missing out on promotion to division one by just one point.

The junior section of the club has had hectic season, when Head Coach Greg Watson was named as Sussex U9 team coach and will train the best in the county on a monthly basis.

A total of 30 children aged between 6-15 years competed in the Team Challenge events at various clubs throughout East Sussex, and many also took part in the Sussex Team Tennis leagues, with some amazing results and some excellent performances, as the U9s defeated Maresfield and Meads, the U10s beat Storrington, and the U12s recorded victories over Horam and Maresfield.

Several juniors also competed on an individual basis in tournaments around the South East of England – nine played at the end-of-season County Championships, and three represented Sussex. In the County Champs, Amelia Devlin, a member of the ladies first team and the top-ranked U14 in the county (and number three at U16), achieved the runners-up spot in the U14 girls’ singles, made the semi-finals of the U18 girls’ singles and won the U14 girls’ doubles title. Ruby Wood achieved the runners-up spot in the U9 girls’ singles and won the U9 girls’ doubles title. Ewan Gretzer achieved fifth place in the U9 orange ball singles, and was the runner-up in the U9 doubles, whilst Rory Bowman achieved also achieved fifth place in the U8 red ball singles. Theo Hall, Tom Zlattinger, Lucy Gretzer, Islay Bowman and Torin Bosse also took part. Amelia, Ewan and Ruby played for Sussex in the U14 girls’ team, and U9 teams respectively, when Ewan and Ruby also paired up in the mixed doubles, winning three out of their four matches.

The recent club finals weekend was blessed with ideal tennis weather, and in one of the longest matches between two members of the older generation, Club Captain David Tomsett outlasted Club Chairman Roy Broad to win the men’s singles title. Other highlights included the ladies doubles final which pitted first team captain, Gillian Luis-Ravelo and second team captain, Joanna Chopping against Sarah Keegan and Teresa Hamilton, a match that lasted 2.5 hours before Gillian and Joanna secured a hard-earned victory 7-5, 5-7, 6-1. Gillian also teamed up with Horam League second team captain Simon Hollingdale to take the mixed doubles title over Leesha Daniells and James Spurgeon. Simon and James took the men’s doubles title over singles finalist Roy and his partner Eric Hunter. The Laker Plate, for first round losers in the mixed doubles, went to Alex Twiddy and Alistair Guest, who defeated Joanna and Steve Morris.

A friendly and welcoming club, East Hoathly has something for everyone, with three floodlit hard courts for social and competitive play (which were recently repainted), catering for all standards including adults and juniors. Current membership stands at just around 200 with an even split between adults and juniors.

Friendly games, club sessions, coaching sessions, fun tournaments and match practices are on offer and the club enters two ladies and one men’s team in both the Summer and Winter Sussex League competitions, two teams in the Summer Horam League, plus junior teams in the Team Challenge events, Sussex Team Tennis leagues and new for this season, a Winter Junior Team Competition.

In addition, social events are arranged throughout the year. New members are always welcome – especially at the next fun tournament on Sunday 6th October.

Further information about East Hoathly & Halland Tennis Club is available at www.easthoathlytennis.com or by contacting Club Secretary, Joanna Chopping joannachopping@gmail.com