Brinkley Tennis Club, association's smallest, wins its biggest prize

In the middle of the night, on a court surrounded by paddocks, the Lower Murray Hard Court Tennis Association's grand final has been decided.

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Celebrating Brinkley Tennis Club’s win are Barb Williams, Wayne Schenke, Ryan Lee, Brendan Lambe, Heather Richards and Phil Roberts; and Matthew and Damien Bates, Paul Hein and Josh Budarick. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

The Lower Murray Hard Court Tennis Association’s smallest club has won its biggest prize.

On their home court, surrounded by spectators in deck chairs and paddocks beyond, the beige got the better of Mypolonga late on Friday night.

The 2021 premiership was the club’s second in a row.

They lost just one match all season.

Not bad for a club which drew most of its players from families local to the farming district, 10 kilometres out of Murray Bridge.

The crowd wasn’t all parochial, either – a few came from Mannum and other towns just to watch, enjoy a chicken schitzel burger and have a yarn.

That was the way country sport should be, club stalwart Heather Richards said.

“There are two or three of us who are quite passionate about keeping it going,” she said.

“This year we’ve had 15 players, so they couldn’t all play every week” – a good result.

“We’re a happy, friendly club.”

Brinkley Tennis Club has operated continuously since 1945, and since the 1960s at its present location behind the hundred-year-old hall.

Its members chose beige as their colour to represent the limestone ground and summer crops, and to be a bit different to everyone else.

In fact, Ms Richards said the colour had become so unfashionable that the club’s shirts had been discontinued.

Still, they had enough left on hand to kit out any newcomers who might want to come and join next season, she said.