Sun shines on Penarth LTC championships

CHAMPIONS: Winners and finalists in the junior championships at the Penarth Lawn Tennis Club.

CHAMPIONS: Winners and finalists in the junior championships at the Penarth Lawn Tennis Club.

First published in Penarth sport

THE Penarth Lawn Tennis Club has enjoyed a really busy July in which more than 130 players of all ages competed in annual club championships.

Around 60 adults entered the annual club championships which culminated in a fantastic finals day when the men’s singles titled was retained by PLTC head coach Rob Cunningham, who defeated Gavin Seymour in the final. Unfortunately, the ladies' singles final was marred by injury, with PLTC’s longest standing champion, Alex Robinson, having to retire injured with a snapped Achilles tendon, when leading the final 6-1, 3-1 against Alys Cunningham.

R Cunningham and Seymour retained the men’s doubles title, overpowering 'young guns' Joe Hall and Tom Bellingham in the final, while the ladies doubles final was postponed after Alex’s injury.

In the mixed doubles final, a new partnership of Seymour and Caroline Hazel defeated 2013 champions Martin Radford and Nicola Gauci.

Defeating Niall Seeley in the final, the U21 boys' singles title was retained by Spencer Robinson, while, in the same age group, the grils' singles was won by Olivia Muse, who beat Gnielle Rodgriguez in the final.

Alongside the main draw, there was a plate event, with Dave and Deb Wilson making it a family double with wins in the men's and women's events respectively. Runners-up were Mike Matthews and Victoria Radford.

The annual junior club championships attracted an impressive 71 youngsters and included 16 events from U8 to U18.

The championships were run over five days and, for the second year running, the players were basked in sunshine for the entire week.

Organised by PLTC head coach Rob Cunningham, who was supported by assistant coach Tom Bellingham, the tournament was played in fantastic spirit. And, alongside the coaching team, a large group of parent volunteers ran the kitchen and tuck shop, and the tournament even benefited from official photographer Steve Parselle. As well as the tennis, there was plenty of off-court activity with cricket, table tennis, loom band making, patio drawing, henna tattoos and a few water fights.

Results were as follows:

U8 - Singles, Edward George; runner-up, Martin Peacock. Doubles, Edward George and Martin Peacock; runners-up, Dylan Gelling and Archie Evans.

U9 - Singles, Katie Savill; runner-up, Keaton Kegelmann. Doubles, Katie Savill and Jemima Robinson; runners-up, Tomos Ayres and Rhys Mottram.

U10 - Singles, Charlie Jones; runner-up, Megan Hadfield. Doubles, Charlie Jones and Megan Hadfield; runners-up, Katie Savill and Rowan Jenkins.

U14 - Singles, girls, Megan Hadfield; runner-up, Lucy Jones; boys, Iwan Hadfield; runner-up, Rory Wiltshire, Doubles, girls, Lucy Jones and Zoya Yousef; runners-up, Megan Hadfield and Caitlin Hancock; boys, Rory Wiltshire and Sam Hancock; runners-up, Tom Jenkins and Zain Yousef; mixed, Zain and Zoya Yousef ; runners-up, Iwan and Megan Hadfield.

U18 - Singles, girls, Gnielle Rogriguez; runner-up, Chloe Parselle; boys, Spencer Robinson; runner-up, Tomos Jones. Doubles, girls, Chloe Parselle and Rebecca Humpage; runners-up, Gnielle Rodgriguez and Zoya Yousef; boys, Spencer Robinson and Zain Yousef; runners-up, Rory Wiltshire and Sam Hancock; mixed, siblings Dan and Chloe Parselle; runners-up, Tomos Jones and Lucy Jones.

The end of the junior championships was celebrated in style when over 100 players and parents gathered at PLTC to congratulate all players and finalists on their achievements.

A club spokeswoman said: "After the massive redevelopment of the Rectory Road club in 2013 and the expansion to six all-weather courts, there was a noticeable improvement in the standard of tennis on show in this year's junior championships.

"There has been a large increase in the number of teenage players at the club in the last 12 months and this has allowed for more regular junior social tennis, which, along with increased coaching and more team tennis, has paid dividends in the quality of the junior tennis at the club."

Penarth LTC hosts an open junior and adult event from August 4-8. For the remaining four weeks of the summer holidays, PLTC will be running tennis camps for ages four to 12. These are available to members and non-members.

More information on tennis camps and junior and adult tennis at PLTC can be found on the club website - www.pltc.org.uk.

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