WITH only three rounds left before the finals, teams are awaiting the return of regular players to help consolidate their places on the ladder in Penola and district tennis.
This week teams relied on fill-ins to make up their six players.
Monbulla Tigers were fortunate to have Michael Wetherall available to fill in and this helped them win 10 sets 69 games to two sets 23 games against Wattle Range Green.
Both teams took the opportunity of some seniors players being at the beach to play two keen juniors: Bradley Tregenza, who played his second game of senior tennis, and Simon Weinberg.
These two players will be ones to watch in the future.
The match of the night was between the top double of John Tregenza and Steve Mitchell up against the Ey combination of Peter and Robin.
The Wattle Range pair came out firing and Tregenza and Mitchell were playing off the back foot in the first set going down 6-3.
The Monbulla duo lifted in the second set but could not take the game to a third with the Eys taking out the second set in a tie-breaker.
In the singles Tregenza and Steve Mitchell reversed their luck in the doubles with Tregenza defeating Peter Ey 6-1 and Mitchell's score against Robin Ey 6-4.
Charlie Ey is improving each week and while not getting many games on the board on Friday night he played many impressive shots.
On Saturday the other Monbulla team, the Bulls, headed to Naracoorte where the weather was perfect for tennis.
While the scores show that Monbulla won the day it was very close and could have very easily been the other way around. These are two teams to watch in the race to the finals.
The doubles were highly contested and all players faced long court time. Even though the girls from Naracoorte were unable to win a set the young players of Sonny and Matt had to work hard and earn each point.
Naracoorte's Brooke Harvie has improved each week and is thoroughly enjoying her weekly court time.
Matt Bowden, who is playing his first full year as a listed player for Monbulla, is showing that court time and confidence has improved his game no end.
It has been great to see him so eager.
In the middle double the brother combination of Chris and Andrew Beggs got off to a flying start and took the first set 6-4 but the consistent play of Pete Bissell and the young legs of Justin Koch fought back and reversed the score in the second.
The final set saw Monbulla take the advantage, this game lasted over two hours.
The top double did not disappoint with Steve Biggins and Norbert Wende teaming up for the first time since they played for Frances five years previous. They took on the young guns from the Bulls Mitchell Robinson and Sher Randhawa (who was suffering jetlag and trying to reacclimatise from his trip to India where the temperature was below 14 degrees).
This was a game that held spectators' attention for nearly two hours and the final score went Naracoorte's way two sets to one.
The game of the day went to the top men where Robinson rushed ahead to a 4-1 lead before Biggins slowed down the game and played some amazing shots to claw his way back into the game which was played out in a tie-breaker.
Robinson kept his head and played his shots and won the tie-breaker.
The final score for the day was Bulls 10 sets 71 games to Naracoorte 4 sets 48 games.