Tennis siblings shine at Borders event

(left to right?) Winner Catherine McQuarrie, and finalist Lyndsey Robertson of the U14 Hastings Tournament.

(left to right?) Winner Catherine McQuarrie, and finalist Lyndsey Robertson of the U14 Hastings Tournament.

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Duns siblings Catherine and Gavin McQuarrie were both victorious at the Hastings & Co 2011 Borders tennis tournament - for the second year running.

Proving the family to beat, both McQuarries retained their 2010 titles at the under-14 boys’ and girls’ singles tournament on Saturday at Kelso.

(left to right;) Finalist Thomas Otton and winner Gavin McQuarrie, of the boys U14 Hastings Tournament

(left to right;) Finalist Thomas Otton and winner Gavin McQuarrie, of the boys U14 Hastings Tournament

Despite record temperatures the previous day, the tournament was played in a much cooler climate; better for the players but not so good for the officials or spectators.

Both boys’ semis were extremely close affairs going to one set each then a tiebreak game first to 10 points to find a winner.

In the first semi Nik Stingl of Kelso stormed to a 4-1 win in the first set with some absolutely superb passing and drop shots against last year’s winner Gavin McQuarrie.

However, Gavin began to play more attacking tennis and his vollying and strong ground stroke play proved too much for Nik, with Gavin winning the second set 4-2 and the tiebreak game 10-4.

The second semi between Thomas Otton of Innerleithen and Josh Thomson of Selkirk was even closer, with a huge repertoire of brilliant tennis played by both competitors. Josh took the first set 4-1 and looked a winner when the second set was poised at three games all.

But Thomas then upped the pace and won points from many long rallies to take the next two games and set 5-3, and then the tiebreak game and match 10-5.

The hotly-contested final between Gavin and Thomas was much closer than the final score may suggest, with both players hitting long rallies and placing their shots superbly.

Gavin, however, did have the overall variety of shots to see off Thomas by 4-1 4-2.

In the girls final Lynsey Robertson of Selkirk/Earlston played some top quality backhand and forehand ground strokes and smashes, but could not cope with Catherine McQuarrie’s agility and all round ability on the court; with Catherine winning 5-3 4-0.

The two winners were a repeat of last year with the McQuarries proving the family to beat at this age group - congratulations to Catherine and Gavin.

Main tournament organiser David Laing thanked the sponsors Hastings and Co, his wife Ella and coach Lesley Thomas for their help in and running the tournament, Kate Bull and Sally Thomas for manning the sales table (with Sally making nearly the best toasties!) and selling traybakes and other goodies.

David also thanked non-member Isobel Scott for her excellent baking, the High School head janitor Richard Robertson for attending to the MUGA and the parents and supporters for braving the cold, as well as all the young players who provided everyone with entertaining tennis throughout the day.