3 March 2013
Icon Sports Pukekura will host AWE Huatoki in next weekends 2012-13 Soffe Cup final, after overwhelming Hareb Deken Oakura 11-5, with AWE Huatoki easing past title holders Sandfords Manaia 10-6.
Pukekura showed their depth easing past Oakura, without having the services of Callum Old or Chris Jury.
The No.1 men's match saw Michael Fleming continue his unbeaten run, taking out Graeme Mitchell in a hard fought 6-4 7-5 win. Pukekura No. 2 Jaime Simpson confirmed his class with a 6-2 6-2 cruise over Craig Waite. The two veterans at No 3, Dennis Reid and Len Adamson had a three set thriller, with Reid, after being a set down, digging deep to power back to a 5-7 6-4 7-5 win. Matt Bayly at 4 had an easy time of it against one of Soffe's youngest debutants, last minute replacement, 10 year old Jack Mitchell; Bayly winning 6-0 6-1. In the No.1 women's match, Louise Waite, fresh from confirming her no.1 age group ranking in Tennis Central, moved past Sue Oldfield, 6-4 6-2. Kirsten Adam, after pegging back to one set all, had to retire through illness; Oakura No.2 Jackie Keenan taking the match 6-1 4-6 2-1(retired ). Linda Reid was all over Chris Davies, in her 6-2 6-0 win while Donna Thorne showed why she is the "numero uno" No 4 in the competition, with a 6-1 6-0 drubbing of Oakura's Bex Scott. Oakura's Oldfield and Keenan kept fighting to pull back the top women's doubles over Waite and Reid 6-4 7-6, however, by then the tie was gone, and Pukekura were able to cruise into the final.
Manaia and Huatoki slugged it out point for point in the early rounds and after the singles it was 4 all. Amrit Rai started off all guns blazing, but Jordan Fleming quickly showed why he is Taranaki No.1. Fleming finding a way to blunt Rai's power game and win 6-4 7-5. The No. 2 men's match saw Ajeet Rai give Cameron Koch a fright, having a chance in the first set and storming back to take the second set but Koch's superior foot speed saw him through with a 7-5 3-6 6-2 win. Andrew Sangster at No.3 got past a stubborn Michael Gates 6-4 6-4, while Chris Popata had to call on all his experience to subdue Beauden Fleming 6-2 4-66 -1. In the women's, it was business as usual for Nicole Koch as she outlasted Huatoki No.1 Alice Caskey 6-2 6-3. Huatoki No.2 Sophie Robertson was eventually worn down by a determined Trudy Vince, Vince taking the match 6-4 6-4. Chris Wilson shut Manaia's Georgia Bartosh out of the match 6-2 6-1, while Ellen O'Byrne played one of her best Soffe Cup matches to hand fellow Taranaki age group rep, Dayna Corbett, a 6-1 6-1 loss. The turning point came in the doubles where Huatoki took a 7-5 overall lead, losing only the top men's doubles. In the top women's doubles, after taking the first set, Huatoki's top women's combination of Caskey/Robertson, clung on valiantly to take the second set and the match against Koch/Vince 6-4 7-5. On a nearby court, after taking the first set 6-4 and being 4-1 up in the second set, Manaia's No.2 men's doubles combination, Gates / Fleming, lost the second set 6-4 and the tiebreak 10-6 to a jubilant Rai /Popata for Huatoki to maintain 'the break'. With Manaia needing to win all the combines it was a bridge too far. Huatoki taking them 3-1 and a ticket to the final.
Pukekura 10 Oakura 6
Michael Fleming b Graeme Mitchell 6-4 7-5; Jaime Simpson b Craig Waite 6-2 6-2; Dennis Reid b Len Adamson 5-7 6-4 7-5; Matt Bayly b Jack Mitchell 6-0 6-1.
Louise Waite b Sue Oldfield 6-4 6-2; Kirsten Adam lost to Jackie Keenan 6-4 1-2(retired ); Linda Reid b Chris Davies 6-2 6-0; Donna Thorne b Bex Scott 6-1 6-0.
Fleming/Reid b Mitchell/Waite 6-2 6-1; Simpson /Bayly b Adamson/Mitchell 6-0 6-1; Waite/Adam lost to Oldfield / Keenan 6-4 7-6;l Reid /Thorne b Davies/Scott 6-1 6-1
Fleming/Waite b Mitchell/Keenan 9-2; Simpson/Adam lost to Waite/Oldfield –default, Reid / Reid lost to Adamson/Davies 9-5; Bayly/Thorne lost to Mitchell/ Scott –default
Huatoki 10 Manaia 6
Amrit Rai lost to Jordan Fleming 6-4 7-5; Ajeet Rai lost to Cameron Koch 7-5 3-6 6-2; Andrew Sangster b Michael Gates 6-4 6-4; Chris Popata b Beauden Fleming 6-2 4-6 6-1; Alice Caskey lost to Nicole Koch 6-2 6-3; Sophie Robertson lost to Trudy Vince 6-46-4; Chris Wilson b Georgia Bartosh 6-2 6-1; Ellen O'Byrne b Dayna Corbett 6-1 6-1.
Caskey / Robertson b Koch / Vince 6-4 7-5; Wilson/O'Byrne b Bartosh/Corbett 6-2 6-2; Rai /Sangster lost to Fleming /Koch 6-3 6-2; Rai /Popata b Gates/Fleming 4-6 6-4 7-6(10-6); Rai /Caskey lost to Fleming/Koch 9-7; Rai / O'Byrne b Koch/Vince 9-4; Sangster /Robertson b Gates/Bartosh 9-4; Popata /Wilson b Fleming / Corbett 9-1.
Pukekura 12 Waiwaka 4
Stratford 9 Inglewood 7
Matapu 12 Rotokare 4
Okaiawa 11 Huatoki 5
Pukekura Gold 10 Hawera 6
Pukekura Green 9 Huatoki/Oakura 7