HELENSBURGH Tennis Club’s men’s first team came away with a narrow win from their latest league fixture at home to Glasgow University Staff on Friday.

At first couple, Fraser Fulton and David Reid were in commanding form, taking all three sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, but second couple David McCowan and Kevin Stephen struggled with the dominant play of the opposition and were outgunned 2-6, 0-6, 4-6 despite a rally in the final set, eventually losing it after a break of serve in the ninth game.

At third couple, Bobby Kerr and Phil Hamilton started well, but Phil was having problems adjusting to the courts, as he had been playing recently on artificial clay which is far slower than the synthetic grass of Helensburgh.

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The pair lost the opening set 3-6, but soon got into their stride and won the next two 6-3, 6-3 as Helensburgh triumphed overall by five sets to four.

The Helensburgh men’s second team continue to struggle in Division 5B, in which they have yet to field a full-strength squad; captain Keith Love is currently relying on third team players to boost his squad due to a number of regular players being absent, and the team lost 0-9 to Hillhead in their latest fixture to leave them second from bottom of the table.

The men’s third team found the going tough against an in-form Stepps side last week: first couple Mike Bews and Maurice McIntyre lost all three sets, as did Clive Charters and Ralph Ward at second couple.

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Third couple Mike Wright and Raymond Mathers did manage to salvage something, winning the first two sets 6-2, 6-1 before narrowly losing the third 4-6.

Meanwhile, Helensburgh’s ladies’ second team travelled to play Bishopbriggs, and found it hard going at one of the few clubs left in the region who still have blaes courts; Val Pace and Jackie Hunter lost all three sets, and Joanna Crumless and Ann Sills did likewise, though the first and second were both lengthy and closely fought, the pair eventually losing 6-7, 5-7, 2-6.

Janette Howieson and Fiona McLaren at third couple lost their opening set 4-6, but took the second 6-4; in a marathon final set the Helensburgh pair fought all the way only to lose 6-8 in the tie break, as an exhausting evening for the Helensburgh ladies came to an end with only one set to show for a hard fought match.

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Finally this week, the Helensburgh ladies’ 60+ team drew 3-3 with Kilmacolm, with Trish Schooling and Phyllis Fullarton winning 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 and Carol Young and Ann McKelvie narrowly losing by two sets to one.