Tennis: Local lads bow out of Doncaster LTC Junior Open

(l-r) Mark Hanson, George Fisher and Joshua Cussack-Hughes
(l-r) Mark Hanson, George Fisher and Joshua Cussack-Hughes
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Hopes of a local victory in the inaugural men’s open at the annual Doncaster LTC Junior Open were dashed on Bank Holiday Monday, writes Steve Hossack.

Teenager Jake Prime, seeded fourth, suffered a straight sets defeat against the more experienced Tom Loughton in their quarter-final.

The Hull-based LTA performance coach and former GB junior triumphed 7-6, 6-4.

Kris Bell also lost interest in the competition, losing 6-3, 6-2 against Richard Furness, who had earlier had to drive back to Sheffield after leaving his tennis shoes at home, in their first round tie.

Hall Cross sixth-former Ed Morris served up a 6-4. 6-3 first round win over Michael Smith only to lose 6-3, 6-2 against top seed Liam Earnshaw despite a spirited showing.

Second seed Vishnu Panikkar booked his place in the semi-finals of the 16 and under boys’ singles.

The No 2 seed, who had received bye in the first round, beat Cheshire’s Ben Leeman 6-0, 6-2.

Leeman had earlier beaten Doncaster’s Joseph Keir Eaton who subsequently won through to the consolation final after his opponent Nicholas Knowles, who had won the first set 6-3, retired hurt when trailing 4-0 in the second.

Will Scott (Doncaster) cleared the first round hurdle when beating James Benbrook (Essex) 6-1, 6-4, only to go down against Cumbrian rival Bill Brown, seeded four, 6-2, 6-0 in the quarter-final.

Doncaster’s Jacob Bennett, beaten by Cheshire’s Adam Bolchover 6-3, 6-1 in their first round tie, lost 6-3, 6-4 against Benbrook in the first round of the consolation event.

Doncaster’s Mark Hanson produced a gutsy showing in the 12 and under boys’ singles but failed to qualify from Pool B after losing all three games.

Club-mate George Fisher initially failed to qualify from Pool A but following a withdrawal he was placed in the main draw as a result of winning one of his three qualifying games.

He suffered a 6-1, 6-0 first round defeat at the hands of Michael McDougall but bounced back to beat Robert Sanford, who had earlier topped Pool B with a 100 per cent record, on a tie-break in their consolation first round clash.

Doncaster’s Joshua Cusack-Hughes, who qualified from Pool B, battled his way into the last four of the main draw.