Back-to-back title victories

March 14, 2017

Sam Dowler has defended his title at Cobram Lawn Tennis Club’s Labour Day tournament.

Sam Dowler has defended his title at Cobram Lawn Tennis Club’s Labour Day tournament.

Dowler’s title win in the open men’s division sees him continue to taste success at the event, now in its 91st year.

In a repeat of last year’s grand final match-up, Dowler met Matt Findlay in the final as the two continued their long-standing duels at the tournament.

On Saturday it was again Dowler, 28, who took the winner’s trophy in a tough three-set end to the competition.

Findlay gained the early advantage with a first-set win 3-6, but Dowler stamped his authority on the game from then on, taking the final two sets 6-4, 6-2. The win was less of a heartstopper than last year’s 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 thrilling grand final result.

Seeded number one in the competition, Dowler entered the final having defeated doubles partner Matthew Nickels and Sam McHarg in the lead in.

Findlay had an easier path to the final, with Numurkah warrior Nick Fenaughty retiring hurt during the pair’s semi-final match-up.

Teaming up with Wesley Warden, Findlay had the opportunity to square the ledger in the men’s doubles.

He took to the court in the final against Dowler and Nickels, but Dowler was again the victor, 6-2, 6-3.

Goulburn Valley AMT women’s winner Eliza Long returned to the region and did not disappoint in the Cobram tournament.

Unseeded in the draw, a determined Long toppled both the first and second-ranked players to win the championship.

A tough match against second seed Kate Antosik in the semi-final saw Long secure the match 6-1, 7-6, winning through to the decider against top seed Lauren Warden.

Not daunted by what she was coming up against, Long remained in control during the final, cruising to a 6-1, 6-3 victory.

Warden had to overcome Numurkah star Helene Steward in the semi-finals, which was no easy feat.

Steward was competitive against the top seed, but the advantage fell Warden’s way as the Warrior ace went down 6-2, 6-4.

Steward, well known for her supreme doubles form with Caitlyn Price, converted this into a trophy yesterday.

Ranked number two with partner Josie New in the mixed doubles, she was forced to work hard in the final against Long and Kelsey Williams.

While dropping the first set, Steward and New maintained their confidence to become the champions of the open women’s doubles event.

Shepparton talent James Nethersole reached the final of the 16-and-under boys competition, but was unable to overcome Oskar Svihla.

Svihla made the break against Nethersole in the one-set decider, securing the win 8-4.

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