Thornhill juniors end long wait to win tennis crown

Thornhill Tennis Club Huddersfield Junior League Intermediate Division A Champions for the first time as they ended a 15-year wait to clim the top flight crown.
Thornhill Tennis Club Huddersfield Junior League Intermediate Division A Champions for the first time as they ended a 15-year wait to clim the top flight crown.

Thornhill Tennis Club won the Huddersfield and District Junior Tennis League Intermediates Division A title for the first time at their 15th attempt.

The Thornhill team were led by rookie captain Harry Strafford, who commented: “The highlight for me was to see all the hard work put in to training over the winter period pay off and we were able to put some great performances in a season as a team.

“It was also really special for me as I was set the task of ensuring we kept our focus and see if we could follow on from our Inters B Division title win last year.

“The strategy found willing players in Charlie Whitlam, unleashing devastating baseline power play, the Davies brothers, junior league veteran Joe and Tom, an LTA level One tennis assistant coach.”

Ensuring that Thornhill fulfilled all their matches were subs John Fisher, Max Chatterton and Matthew Bentham, from Thornhill Academy.

Tom Davies coolly demonstrated some fantastic all round court play to show resilience and winning some great matches against higher ranked players from Huddersfield Tennis Club.

Rearguard action for the team came from Joe Davies, playing in his eighth year and final year before moving to study at university, and he demonstrated some exciting pace and guile to notch valuable wins for Thornhill over the years.

Chatterton and Bentham played a match each and it was a great team effort which saw them crowned champions over the highly rated Thongsbridge and Huddersfield teams by six and 10 points respectively.

Coach Tawona Moyo added: “I am very proud of these youngsters and this historic win is a fitting tribute to their enthusiastic participation in this great league.”

The Intermediates B Division team saw a close fought finish with Stocksbridge going one better than last year and, in a reverse of last year’s result, edged Thornhill B into second place by one point.

Thornhill Intermediates B team featuring Max Chatterton, Harry Hunter, Robert Maxinueic and Sam Kendall dominated much of the season but were left to rue a drawn match against Holmfirth early in the campaign.

Thornhill also featured a junior team comprising of Noah Brook, Matthew Bentham, Joseph Kendall and Anna Davies as they won four out of eight matches and finished third behind the more experienced Thongsbridge and Huddersfield teams.

Moyo added: “Overall we have a great group of kids who just love to play tennis.

“We are also lucky to have a community willing to support our efforts and Graham Harris made a kind donation of £200 from Abbi’s Day, in memory of Abigail Harris.

“I have conducted over 72 hours of free tennis coaching to over 320 including 189 kids in one day at Middlestown and Overthorpe school this season.”