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Thorn Park and Newlands celebrate 2024 Scottish Cup success


Thorn Park and Newlands are celebrating Scottish Cup success after an incredible Finals Day at Whitecraigs Tennis Club.

In a thrilling and feisty final that went the distance, Thorn Park ended Newlands’ dominance of the men's competition, winning back-to-back tie-breaks as they came from a set down in the deciding rubber with the scores locked at 4-4.

The winning moment, which saw Fraser Craig and Finlay Watters edge Liam Hignett and James MacKinlay, sparked some wild on-court celebrations from the new champions.

On the women’s side, Newlands lifted their fifth consecutive Scottish Inter-Club Challenge Cup by beating Braid 6-2 following a series of hotly contested encounters.

That brought an end to another dramatic season of Scotland’s premier club competition, which saw a big crowd gather to enjoy the Finals Day action on a (mostly) sunny Saturday.

Women’s Final: Braid 2-6 Newlands

Following the first round of women’s fixtures, Newlands took a 2-1 lead over Braid into the lunch break thanks to a clutch match tie-break performance from Anna McKnight and Rachel Pang to beat Suzie Provan and Eva Vrhunec 6-1, 2-6, 10-5.

The second round also went 2-1 in Newlands’ favour, the crucial moment coming when Jennifer Steel and Sorcha Caves came through a second-set breaker to beat Provan and Vrhunec 6-4, 7-6.

They wrapped up the title in the third round with two straight-sets wins, Jennifer Steel and Caves beating Heather Croll and Emily Gates 6-2, 6-4 and Caitlin Steel and Heather Barlow overcoming Provan and Vrhunec 6-2, 6-1.

After lifting the famous cup again, Newlands captain Jennifer Steel said: "It's great to have won again. This was our fifth in a row, so it was brilliant to get over the line. It was the same final as last year and it was just as tight, so we needed everyone to contribute and win matches. It was a real team effort and we’re all delighted.”

Men’s Final: Thorn Park 5-4 Newlands

In a repeat of last year’s final, Thorn Park and Newlands produced a fierce battle that was still being tightly contested right down to the last ball.

The first round went Newlands’ way as the holders headed into lunch with a 2-1 lead, but the crucial moment came when Kyle McKay and Cameron Fryer struck a vital point for Thorn Park by beating Liam Hignett and James MacKinlay 6-7, 6-2, 10-6.

Thorn Park turned the tables in the second round with two wins, the defining moment coming when Hignett and MacKinlay were again edged out in a breaker, with Robert Cowley and Jordan Gray chalking up a 6-1, 2-6, 10-7 victory.

With the scores locked at 3-3, there was some serious anticipation around Whitecraigs as the men's final headed into a third round which more than lived up to expectations.

Gray and Cowley edged Thorn Park ahead in the tie with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Robert Dalgetty and Patrick Young, before attentions turned to a topsy-turvy battle between Scott Duncan and Scott MacAulay and Fryer and McKay. The Newlands pair took the first set 6-1, but dropped the second 0-6. All eyes were on the match tie-break as Duncan and MacAulay found their form to win 10-3.

That meant it all came down to the final rubber and incredible scenes of celebration as Craig and Watters hung tough to win two breakers and seal the title with a 3-6, 7-6, 10-7 triumph.

Thorn Park captain Craig said: “We might have looked down and out, but we got it back and held our nerve well to get over the line – so we’re really happy. We’ve all played together since we were young, so it’s really nice to be able to win together and captain a team of guys I’ve known my whole life. Newlands are top quality so we knew we were underdogs, but we gave it our all and it paid off.”

Centenary celebrations

The event also marked 100 years of the women’s competition, with Tennis Scotland hosting a series of presentations to honour some of those who have contributed to the event over the years.

Among them, Dunfermline Tennis Club received a commemorative quaich to celebrate their record number of 18 wins, while presentations were also made to 75+ ITF world number one Marjory Love, long-serving Scottish Cup player Christine Lockhart and 15-year-old Newlands star Anna McKnight, who is one of the youngest-ever winners.

Stay tuned to the Tennis Scotland website and social media channels for more coverage of the centenary celebrations.

‘Everyone should be proud’

Blane Dodds, Chief Executive of Tennis Scotland, said: “Congratulations to Thorn Park Men and Newlands Women for deservedly winning the Scottish Cup after some hard-fought battles. All the teams were excellent on the day and everyone involved should be very proud of themselves for getting this far.

“This was an extra special Scottish Cup Finals Day as we celebrated 100 years of the women’s event, which gave us the opportunity to honour many of the clubs and players who have contributed so much to this historic competition.

“Thank you to Whitecraigs for being an incredible host, the organisers for once again putting on a fantastic event and all the spectators who created a wonderful atmosphere for the men and women on court.”

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