Tennis: Juniors light up rivals to win title

Left-to-right is Patrick Donohoe, Jack Bourne, Finn Greasley, Charlie Parfett
Left-to-right is Patrick Donohoe, Jack Bourne, Finn Greasley, Charlie Parfett
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Limited court time and training outside through the long, cold winter months has all been worth it for Brentwood Tennis Club’s under 12s.

The team managed to go unbeaten throughout the entire season to win the Sheffield and District Division One League.

Coach Ben Howarth said he was delighted for the team, particularly with their preparation being hampered during the winter.

He said: “This success is even more greater considering Brentwood failed to get planning permission for floodlit courts earlier in the year.

“This means the team has trained outside on the only floodlit court the club has throughout the winter months.”

However, when it came to match action the team of Patrick Donohoe, aged 11 from King Ecgbert school, Jack Bourne, aged 11 from Greystones Primary, Finn Greasley aged 10 from Nether Green Juniors and 12-year-old Charlie Parfett from High Storrs swept all before them.

They beat Doncaster 6-0, Graves Tennis centre 6-0, Beauchief 5-1, and Fulwood 5-1, with 3-3 draws against Hallamshire and Abbeydale 3-3.

Howarth said it had been frustrating not to be able to upgrade the club’s facilities and suggests it may prevent young players from starting to play the sport: “Brentwood is a local community-based club in Nether Edge.

“It is a great club for families and players of all abilities. Everyone is welcome.

“The club has tried to improve its facilities by increasing its outdoor floodlit courts from one to three.

“Unfortunately it has been unable to get planning permission which means the club can only provide its members, including juniors, with limited court time.

“I feel funding and planning permission for grassroots tennis club such as Brentwood is important for the growth of the game and introducing children to game for life.”

* Meanwhile at Graves Tennis Centre some of the best schools players have been taking part in the AEGON Team Tennis National School Finals. Following regional knockouts, the country’s top 16 secondary school teams will battling out since Tuesday to be crowned national champions today.

Graves will also host the Sheffield Junior Open to be held July 28 - August 3. Boys and girls will compete in a week long singles event in age groups including under 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s.