New kids on the block Melton Mowbray Tennis Club collected the county’s most prestigious mixed trophy after a superb final against Leicestershire Lawn Tennis Club on Saturday.
Melton disposed of number one seeds Ashby, highly-rated Carisbrooke before overpowering an under-strength Hinckley team in their march to the Mercury Cup final.
A healthy crowd approaching 100 at Melton Sports Village were treated to high quality mixed doubles matches as the home side sealed a 6-3 win.
Leicestershire edged in front 2-1, with Marcus Walters and Emma Tootell collecting Melton’s win in two straight sets.
But the hosts turned the match around in the second round by winning all three rubbers to go 4-2 ahead.
Walters and Tootell, as well as skipper Charlie Griffin and Luke Smith, won in two sets before Ben MacTaggart and partner Laura Cooper performed heroics to pinch a third-set tie-break win 11-9 after saving five match points against star pairing Jonny Cloke and Lilia Boutikova.
With the momentum now in their favour, Melton clinched the match when MacTaggart and Cooper defeated third pair Dan Adcock and Lotte Jameson 6-2, 6-2. Smith and Griffin went down in a third-set tie-break against Adam Popowicz and Claire Wynne (Seal) before Walters and Tootell, who proved the match’s outstanding couple, added the icing on the cake with a superb two-set win over Cloke and Boutikova.
Team skipper Charlie Griffin, who had gone into the final unbeaten in the competition with Luke Smith, was quick to point out the contributions of the whole squad with Jess Gadsby and Tom Rowe fully playing their part along the way, including a vital win against Carisbrooke.
Chairman Nigel Haynes and coach Brent Horobin were delighted by the turn-out, as well as the help and support received from Justin Horobin, Neil Johnson, Malcolm Stone, Nigel Haynes, Nicky and Laura Kennedy and their army of helpers.
Brent said: “The club have achieved so much in such a little time and is receiving superb support from the Sports Village management team, ‘Everyone Active’.
“We hope we will be given the green light to erect a club cabin at the end of the courts for players young and old to use when waiting to play or during bad weather.”