Ballina rises to claim the Phoenix Cup
BALLINA beat Murwillumbah to claim the inaugural Phoenix Cup, aimed at resurrecting interclub tennis on the Northern Rivers.
The teams faced off at East Lismore Tennis Club yesterday with Ballina's strong team too good for its northern rivals.
Ballina won 10 sets to 2 and 68 games to 36 in what the East Lismore club's Bianca Nugent described as a competitive match in which Ballina were "just too good".
"They were definitely too strong for Murwillumbah," she said.
"Ballina has been a very strong team for the entire competition, while Murwillumbah has relied on other players.
"If Murwillumbah had a stronger team here today, things might have been different. They would have been disappointed their stronger players weren't here."
Nugent said the Phoenix Cup had been a great success for tennis in the region and would continue next year.
"We started it last year to try to get another interclub comp going after our old one fell through," she said.
"Our aim is to generate interest in tennis in the region and I think it did a good job of that.
"We're looking at a change of format to get more teams in next year. We'll just keep working at it and trying to improve it as we go."
Ballina defeated Murwillumbah 10 sets to 2 (68 games to 36) to win the Phoenix Cup.
Ballina: Manu Rowe, Leigh Shepherd, Xavier Hawkey, Jai Rowe, Bianca Moseley (filling in, usually plays for Goonellabah), Kym Tonge.
Murwillumbah: Brandon Rowe, Frank Schultheiss, Alan Heathcote, Ces Charlton, Lisa Zoric, Janette Mills.
Third place play-off: Casino defeated East Lismore 7 sets to 5 (52 games to 57)