Tennis: Depth key as absence-hit Blackhall bid for Cup glory

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Blackhall women will bid for glory as they clash with Newlands in tomorrow’s Scottish Tennis Cup final at Craiglockhart.

The Keith Terrace outfit will be without top junior Millie Stretton, but her absence – due to her representing Great Britain at an international event in Tunisia – is balanced by Newlands’ Anna Brogan appearing at the same competition.

Another concern is the unavailability of Rosie Dennis who, as well as captaining Blackhall to the cup final, helped them secure this season’s East Division One title.

Brian Barnet, the Blackhall club coach, insists strength and depth will be crucial. He said: “Sisters Hannah and Alison Sharp have been doing well and Sarah Murray and Fiona Gallagher have joined the club from Ireland.

“In addition, Gill Mollison and Sonia Vickers were crucial to the club winning the league.”

Vickers moved to Blackhall this season having previously enjoyed Scottish Cup success with David Lloyd (Newhaven).

She said: “Newlands will be tough to beat but I feel we are definitely in with a shout.”

To succeed, Blackhall will have to defeat a team likely to include the evergreen Marjory Love, former Scottish No.1, as well as Heather Lockhart, a current Scottish women’s rugby internationalist from a notable sporting family — her brother, Dougie has more than 100 cricket caps for Scotland.

Reigning champions Newlands are also likely to include Elizabeth Watt, Jennifer Shaw, Heather Lockhart and Caitlin Steel.

The men’s final is between holders VA Lanarkshire and Thorn Park, who edged out Edinburgh’s Thistle Club 5-4 in last weekend’s semi-final.