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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Creative deuces flowing for Ulverston tennis aces

FIVE talented tennis playing youngsters have stormed on to the national scene with an impressive campaign in the National Schools Championships.

The boy’s under-14s team from Ulverston Victoria High School reached the last 16 in Britain in the competition after an impressive run of results.

The quintet of Thomas Gregg, Luke Oxenham, Peter Spence, Joseph Wilkinson and reserve player Stephen Herbert have benefited from regular sessions at Lakes Leisure Ulverston.

Under the tutelage of respected local coach Gary Weatherburn, they have honed their talents and taken them on the road to beat the best the North of England has to offer.

From an initial field of more than 3,000 schools across England, Scotland and Wales, UVHS started off by being crowned as Cumbria county champions in the summer term.

They then beat a team from Durham, who had previously conquered the Scottish champions before facing tough opponents in their next tie. Newcastle Royal Grammar School were the side standing in their way at the last-32.

Of the six matches – four singles and two doubles – five went the way of UVHS, including all the singles matches, as they produced a remarkable victory. That set up a play-off for the North of England and Scotland crown against Ilkley Grammar School, in Yorkshire.

This time, the home side were just too good as they triumphed over the Ulverston side, though number two player Spence won his game 6-0, a great feat at this level.

Weatherburn said: “This has never been done before at this age group that we have had lads from this area reaching the last four in the North of England or the last 16 in Great Britain.

“The win against Newcastle was particularly good. I wasn’t that sure how well the lads would do, but fantastically they won all four singles matches – they did phenomenally to do that.”

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