Robins need second life

March 06, 2018

Tatura’s Brooke Starling crushed Olivia Quigley 8-0 in Sunday’s preliminary final to help her side to the Goulburn Murray Lawn Tennis Association grand final.

The Goulburn Murray Lawn Tennis Association’s two powerhouse sides will square off in this season’s grand final.

Tatura and the Shepparton Bulls qualified for the decider with strong performances across the weekend.

The Bulls locked down their spot by knocking off the Robins in Saturday’s semi-final, but Tatura made the most of its double chance to win through on Sunday.

And if the weekend’s form is any indication, expect another ding-dong battle in the grand final on Saturday next week.

The Bulls’ major weapons were on full show as the sides met in the semi-final, as Luke Dixon, Jarrod Bingham and Eliza Long all claimed their singles matches to build a lead.

Leanne Moore knocked off Katie Ferguson to keep the Robins in the tie, and a three sets to one advantage in doubles further tightened the contest.

But the size of the singles wins — Long won 8-2 against Brooke Starling, Bingham 8-2 against Regan Moore and Dixon 8-5 against David Starling — carried the Bulls to a 4-53 to 4-46 overall win, and into the grand final.

Top of the table heading into the finals, the Robins were forced to win through the hard way after facing the Shepparton Lakers in Sunday’s preliminary final.

The Lakers snuck through their elimination semi-final against the Shepparton Hornets by a mere three games.

Nick and Georgia Gattuso won their doubles match with Hugo Kearney and Jessica Dalton 8-5 in what turned out to be crucial to their side’s progresssion.

Dalton had put the Hornets into a brilliant position to win for just the third time this season with an 8-1 win against Georgia Gattuso.

The Lakers just did enough to hang on, taking the win 5-53 to 3-50.

But the following day they ran into the force of nature that is a wounded Tatura Robins side.

The talented Robins, dominant through so much of the season, were never likely to lose twice in a weekend and fired back by winning seven of the eight sets on offer.

Leading the way were Leanne Moore and Brooke Starling, who won 8-1 and 8-0 respectively, to build some of the 24-game margin.

Nick Gattuso got the Lakers on the board with an 8-3 win against David Starling, but it was one of few highlights for his side on a tough day.

The Robins ran up the score with a clean sweep of the four doubles matches, winning overall 7-59 to 1-35.

The grand final will be the third meeting between the sides, with the Bulls owning the edge 2-1.

In GM2A, Dhurringile-Stanhope will take on Shepparton Saints in the grand final.

It won easily when the two teams met in the semi-final to seal a place in the decider, but the preliminary final proved far more comfortable for the Saints, dismissing the Shepparton Lions 9-74 to 2-49 to move through.

The Lions beat the Tatura Mudlarks 7-72 to 4-54 to keep their season alive, but could not challenge the Saints and push for a grand final spot.

John Evans and Yvonne Maxwell were heroes for Dhurrungile-Stanhope, each winning a singles and two doubles sets to get the side towards a win.

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