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Eardley displays super form to blitz opponents

TENNIS by Jackie Thorley

FORM GUY: Josh Eardley picked up three titles

STAFFS teenager Josh Eardley warmed up for the junior county closed championships with a title treble in the Basford open tournament. The 15-year-old clinched the under-18 boys' singles with a straight sets victory on home territory over club-mate Tom Ellis and only conceded two games to his doubles partner, Harry Smith, in the final of the under-16s. The Staffs county player then stormed to an impressive hat-trick when he teamed-up with Smith to lift the under-18 doubles, beating Dean Eagles and Martyn Worsdale 4-6, 7-6, 10-8. Eardley will hope to maintain his winning form at Wolverhampton this week as he bids for glory in the top county event.

Thirteen-year-old Basford member Amy Ellis also impressed when she beat Hannah Parker 6-1, 6-1 to win the girls' under-16 tournament, then repeated her success in the under-14 competition when she saw off Parker 6-4, 6-3. Last week Ellis was in action at the All England Club in the finals of the under-14 Road to Wimbledon tournament, where she reached the last 32.

Meanwhile, Tim Bradbury bagged the boys' under-14 title at Basford with a straight-sets win against James Whitmore (Alsager). Draycott's Adam Twigg defeated Jack Eagles 6-2, 6-1 to win the under-12s, while Stone youngster Ryan Baxter beat Elliot Farmer (Florence) in the under-10s. The under-14 doubles crown went to James Whitmore and Marcus Jones.

Tournament organiser Mike Armstrong said: "The standard of tennis was good, especially in the doubles. "Many players concentrate on singles, so it is encouraging to see doubles played so well, especially as most of these young players will go on to compete in the City and Suburban and county leagues."

STAFFORD veteran Benson Greatrex captured the British over-55s grass court open doubles title at Wimbledon with Avon partner Godfrey Evans. The top seeds defeated Roy Halfpenny {Hereford and Worcester) and Wilf Jessop (Yorkshire) in straight sets. Their success offset Greatrex's earlier disappointment in the singles, where he lost in three sets to Bob Whitehead (Kent) in the quarter-finals. Staffs veteran June Fisher also competed in the British, national championships at SW19, where she reached the quarter finals of the over-60s singles. The Basford player and Glasgow partner Christine Lockhart finished runners-up in the doubles, losing 7-5, 6-4 to top seeds Sue Hill and Jenny Waggott. Stone's Barbara Capper reached the semi-finals.

Sentinel, 28 August 2007
Courtesy of The Sentinel News & Media

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