Hirst doubles up to secure pair of titles

Dream team . . . Belinda Hirst and Rebecca Ryan won the A grade ladies doubles. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/STU HIRST

North Otago Masters produced another ace Labour Weekend tennis tournament.

The annual doubles tournament, held at the Chelmer St grass courts, produced a strong field throughout the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles grades.

While numbers were slightly down on last year’s event, 17 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams competed on the Saturday, and the following day 22 mixed doubles combinations took to the court.

Tournament controller Peter Simpson said Saturday was a ‘‘little breezy’’ in the afternoon but Sunday produced ‘‘near perfect playing conditions’’ for some great tennis.

Players travelled from Whangarei, Wellington, Rangiora, Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru, Wanaka and Dunedin, and there was plenty of North Otago talent on display.

North Otago’s Rebecca Ryan and Belinda Hirst claimed the A grade women’s doubles.

It was a stellar weekend for Hirst, who then teamed up with husband Stu to win the A grade mixed doubles.

North Otago Tennis president Josh Dalziel won the A grade men’s doubles, alongside partner John Honeywell. Judith Wallace, of Oamaru, and Mel Lesquillier were crowned the B grade mixed doubles champions.

Simpson even tasted success of his own, winning the combined 120-plus men’s doubles with partner Kaydyn Craven, of Whangarei.

Simpson also won the plate division of the combined 135-plus mixed doubles, with partner Barbara Provan, of Wanaka.

South Canterbury’s Malcolm Strang and Mary-Ann Martin won the combined 120-plus mixed doubles, and Allen Martin and Daphne Ledgerwood won the combined 135-plus mixed doubles.

North Otago Masters will play South Canterbury in Oamaru on November 20.

A grade ladies’ doubles (six combinations) — Plate: Dianna Leonard and Jane Brosnahan. Runners-up: Mandy Wilson and Cathy Forrest. Winners: Rebecca Ryan and Belinda Hirst.

Combined 120-plus ladies doubles (six combinations) — Plate: Kay Kirke and Hazel Thum. Runners-up: Judith Wallace and Steph Black. Winners: Irene Enond and Sue Brosnahan.

A grade men’s doubles (six combinations) — Plate: Chris James and Dave Armstrong. Runners-up: Tony Hawker and James Callaghan. Winners: John Honeywell and Josh Dalziel.

B grade men’s doubles (five combinations) — Runners-up: Allen Martin and Robbie Julius. Winners: Brian Goodwin and Anton Kumbaroff.

Combined 120-plus men’s doubles (six combinations) — Plate final: Keith Towns and Paul Fitzgibbon. Runners-up: Colin Jackson and Malcolm Strang. Winners: Kaydyn Craven and Peter Simpson.

A grade mixed doubles (eight combinations) Plate: Robbie Bennett and Dianna Leonard. Runners-up: Steve Muir and Kerry Noble. Winners: Stu and Belinda Hirst.

B grade mixed doubles (four combinations) Runners-up: Bruce and Jenny Eggleton. Winners: Mel Lesquillier and Judith Wallace.

Combined 120-plus mixed doubles (four combinations) — Runners-up: Anton Kumbaroff and Bernie Blackgrove. Winners: Malcolm Strang and Mary-Ann Martin.

Combined 135-plus mixed doubles (six combinations) — Plate: Peter Simpson and Barbara Provan. Runners-up: Peter Meehan and Janet Sime. Winners: Allen Martin and Daphne Ledgerwood.