Tennis aces’ regional title sets a new school record

The BHS quartet of Sophie, Jo, Laura and Charlotte.
The BHS quartet of Sophie, Jo, Laura and Charlotte.

Twenty years ago this month, five tennis aces from our town were smashing their way into the history books.

November 1992 saw the girls’ team from Boston High School crowned the North Midlands queens of the Midland Bank Tennis Under 15s Championships.

Back in the days when Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf were reigning Wimbledon champions, Joanna Guthrie, Sophie Holland, Charlotte Tinn and Elizabeth Veal were enjoying their own successes.

They had battled through county and regional knockout stages to reach the regional final.

There, at Wigan Tennis Centre, they came up against Derby’s Woodlands Community School.

After the four singles matches, the two teams were deadlocked at two rubbers and 17 games each.

This meant that victory or defeat would come down to the doubles.

But a 6-1 win - coupled with a 6-2 loss - was enough to see BHS crowned the North Midlands champions... by a just single game.

However, more was to come.

And this time, the action wasn’t as close as the quartet eased past North West champions St Michael’s School, from Chorley.

After Elizabeth, Charlotte and Sophie dispatched their opponents in the singles, Jo and Elizabeth won their doubles, giving the Boston team an unassailable 4-1 lead.

That booked the High School girls into the last eight teams in the event, which was open to all schools in Great Britain.

But the quarter-final match would be where the girls came unstuck.

With Rebecca Hall replacing the injured Sophie, they lost convincingly to Newcastle’s Central High School, the North East champions.

The final score was 5-1, with BHS managing the solitary victory.

However, they took credit in knowing that, back then, this was the furthest the school had ever progressed in the event.