3 Feb 2013
Icon Sports Tariki Pukekura whitewashed Central Finance Rotokare 16-0 while AWE Huatoki easily beat a second string Manaia side 12-4. Farmlands Okaiawa eased past Hareb Deken Oakura 10-6.
After watching New Zealand bum out in the semis to Kenya, Manaia's Soffe cup contingent at the 'Sevens' would have been doubly disappointed to learn that Huatoki had taken the win and were now just one point behind in the race to the semis. It wasn't easy though and Manaia's women can take some heart that they can step up when needed. After Huatoki's No. 1, Alice Caskey breezed past Sarah Kelly 6-0 6-0, normal No. 4 Trudy Vince at 2, with her retrieving game frustrated Sophie Robertson into submission, taking the game 6-3 6-4. No. 3 Grace Kelly was just too fit and fast for Huatoki stalwart Chris Wilson while Bridgid Annabell outlasted hard hitting Huatoki youngster, Ellen Obyrne 7-6 6-1. However on the men's side, 'brothers Grimm', Amrit & Ajeet Rai were a class above their respective opponents, Michael Gates and Beauden Fleming, with 6-1 6-1 and 6-2 6-1 wins respectively. Huatoki's No. 3, Alastair Nairn played Josh Murdoch and Thomas Burrell played Thomas Kalin, with both Manaia players putting up some spirited competition, before Huatoki players prevailed 6-4 6-1 and 6-0 6-4 respectively. Manaia's bottom women's doubles saved what was an almost clean sweep by Huatoki in the doubles and combines.
It was a tough day at the office for Rotokare, losing 16-0 to a full strength Pukekura side. Pukekura women's no.1, Louise Waite, had to dig deep to fend off experienced Karen Cranston 5-7 6-2 6-4, while Kirsten Adam started off well but toughed it out in the second set in her 6-0 7-5 win over Frances Gray. Linda Reid had some problems early against hard-hitting Beccie Atkins, finally prevailing 7-5 6-2 while Donna Thorne had a comfortable ride past Helena Goodin 6-3 6-2. In the men's, Pukekura's No1 Callum Old was just too consistent for Rotokare's Malcom Elder with an easy 6-1 6-4 win. Rotokare captain, Shane Devlin was out of his depth against Mike Fleming losing 6-0 6-0 while Chris Jury and Jamie Simpson hardly raised sweat, accounting for young Cole Hareb and Laurie Jordan, losing only one game between them. Pukekura were just as ruthless in the doubles and combines
With both Okaiawa and Oakura sides missing key players it was a case of who had the best depth and Okaiawa came through in the end. In the top men's singles, Graeme Mitchell eased 6-2 6-4 past Andrew Powell while Okaiawa's Mark Laurence in reply did the similar vs Len Adamson 6-3 6-3. At No.3 men's, Okaiawa's Vincent Baylis gave young Cory Sutherland a tennis lesson 6-0 6-0 and Okaiawa's No. 4 Ryan Stockman had an easy ride 6-0 6-2 against debutant Matt Peacock. Oakura's Sue Oldfield had to use all her experience to get past young tyro, Amelia Weir 2-6 6-1 6-3, while Jackie Keenan had a 'walk in the park' vs Jo Gyde 6-0 6-1. Beth MacLeod at No. 3 has had little game time this season but it didn't show as she waltzed past Oakura's Rebecca Scott 6-1 6-3, while Vicki Roberts took out a hard fought battle against Oakura's Jacqui Rood 6-2 7-6. The doubles were shared at 2 apiece, before Okaiawa took out the combines 3-1 and sealed the win.