Historic win for Abbs Cross, but Coopers dominate
PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 July 2015
Pupils serve up a surprise at Havering Tennis finals
Abbs Cross recorded an historic victory at the Havering Schools’ Tennis finals, while denying Coopers Coborn a clean sweep in the boys’ competitions at Cranston Park.
The Hornchurch school claimed the under-15 doubles crown, as Joe Baptiste and Sam Buckle defeated Coopers rivals Isaac Bastin and singles champion Brad McDermott.
And that 6-3 victory allowed Abbs to claim a first borough title in their history.
Having beaten another Coopers pair, Harrison Ralph and Jack Payne, 6-3 in their semi-final, Baptiste and Buckle raced into a strong lead in the showpiece match.
But Bastin and McDermott would not lie down and pulled to within one game at 4-3, before their rivals took the next two games to make history.
The Coopers duo had beaten rivals from Campion 6-0 in their semi-final, with Ralph and Payne repeating the trick in the third-place play-off with a 6-2 win.
The doubles tournament concluded an exciting day of action, with McDermott lifting the singles honours after an outstanding fight back in his semi-final tie.
Baptiste looked favourite to go through as he built a 5-2 lead, despite suffering broken strings to his racket early on.
But McDermott won the next two games and, after suffering a broken string of his own, took the next three to run out a 7-5 winner.
Coopers’ year nine pupil Brad Murphy went up against Buckle in the other match and put up a brave fight, before eventually losing 6-4 to the only break point of the tie.
But McDermott, playing in his second singles final, proved too strong for Buckle and claimed a 6-2 win.
He said: “The victory feels great, (the comeback) makes the victory more satisfying and I really feel great about that game.
“I could’ve performed better in the first match, I was slacking a bit. But I was able to bring the game back, which was great.”
The third-place play-off proved to be another thriller on an intriguing day of tennis, going to a tie-break at 5-5.
And Murphy got the better of Baptiste, winning 8-6 to show promise for next year’s event.
Coopers Coborn boys dominated the under-13 tournaments at the Havering finals at Cranston Park.
Neo Wren and Alex Wardell managed to battle through their singles semi-finals to eventually play each other in the final, then teamed up to add the doubles title.
Wren came up against a Gaynes player who had an amazing serve which consisted of power and accuracy in his semi-final.
But the Coopers boy was the best returner in the tournament and managed to send back every strong serve on his way to a 6-0 victory.
Wardell went up against Emerson Park’s Tommy Smith, who was able to build a clear lead early on.
But once Wardell started to gain some points, Smith began to let his frustrations get the better of him and the Coopers pupil moved ahead.
The game remained very close and it was hard to see a clear winner as both boys battled very hard, with neither giving up easy points.
But in the end the Coopers boy came out on top by a 7-5 margin to set up a mouthwatering final.
Wren and Wardell had to put their friendship aside as they fought it out for singles glory.
But Wren proved too strong for his doubles partner, recording a second successive 6-0 victory to be crowned champion.
A relieved Wren said: “I had done quite of lot of training for this event and this definitely helped me beat my opponents. It was one of my good days!”
Wardell added: “Neo played very well. The reason I lost was that I was making too many errors and my serves were not firing down like usual.”
The two then joined forces to beat Hall Mead’s D Parker and S Bridger in the doubles semi-finals and took the title after defeating Smith and M Edwards 7-5 in the final.
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