TENNIS: Gunnedah tennis players Aaron Osmond and Taya Powell were in fine form to win titles at the NSW Country tennis championships in Forster last week.

The stand-out performance came from 16-year-old Taya Powell, who swept through the field to win the women’s singles championship, in the final defeating Whitney Moon, of Grafton, 6-1, 6-1. She also linked up with Laia Pasini, of Forster, to win the doubles final, 6-2, 6-1.

Aaron Osmond won the Country under 18 championship, downing Coffs Harbour player Charlie Pade 6-2, 6-4 in the final, which was sweet revenge for him after Pade had beaten him 6-4, 6-4 in the men’s championship semi-final the previous day. Pade went on to win the Country men’s title.

Vitorio Sardinho, another emerging local player, was also in good touch and in round play thoroughly extended Aaron Osmond to two tie-breaker sets 7-6, 7-6 in the Country singles. 

He then lined up in doubles with Pade, going down in the final to Nick de Vivo and Jonathon Cooper, of Gosford.

Other Gunnedah players who took part in the titles were Dale Martin, Andrew Osmond and Lucas Sardinho, who reached the semi-final of the under 18 singles second tier.

Gunnedah coach Dale Martin said the two Gunnedah singles titleholders had been in good touch through the championships.

“Tara is a really talented strokemaker and she was far and away better than anyone else,” he said.

The 16-year-old lives in Tamworth and has been coming to Gunnedah three times a week for coaching by Dale Martin for the last four years.

Coach Martin said Aaron Osmond was continuing to make a steady rise up the rankings.

“He is prepared to work very hard and he has ambition, which is an important quality in players who want to move up the rankings.

“He was slightly off key in the Country open semi-final, which he lost, but he came back out the next day and beat the same player convincingly in the under 18 final.”

 The Country championships were first held in 1910 and for almost 100 years were played in Sydney in conjunction with NSW Country Week, which used to draw hundreds of teams to the city to play on grass and hardcourts each year.

To order photos from this page click here