6 Nov 2021

HUATOKI AND OAKURA BOUNCE BACK STRONGLY

Two teams that lost in the first round bounced back strongly during round two Soffe Cup action.

Huatoki recorded a rare clean sweep win at their home courts, dishing out a 16 to 0 drubbing to Inglewood. 

A feature of the tie was the return of Amrit Rai to Taranaki interclub competition.  The older brother of Ajeet Rai, found conditions to his liking, accounting comfortably for David White 6-2, 6-2.  Rai then teamed up with Huatoki stalwarts Alistair Nairn and Chris Wilson to record another pair of wins, though it was a close-run thing in the combines, where White and Maria Spurdle went down in a tie-breaker.

Inglewood did not have a day to remember, though their number four man, Alex Gawler, did have the satisfaction of taking Shane Douglas to three sets.

Meanwhile in the seaside village of Oakura the home team proved too strong for Okaiawa, coming out comfortable victors 12 matches to four. The tie served up several intriguing match-ups.
Okaiawa’s Jorja Symes, an accomplished all-round sportswoman, was tested by Taylor Mitchell, with the first set going to Symes in a tiebreaker before she ran away with the match in the second set 6-1. In a topsy turvy three setter, Okaiawa’s Abby Ross won the first set comfortably 6-2 before Jackie Keenan hit her stride to claim the next set, before Ross withdrew with injury.

Okaiawa’s Hamish Mead got the better of Caleb Fleming 6-3,6-2 in another bright spot for the southern team but Oakura’s doubles play sealed the tie comfortably for them, as they won seven from eight.

The scheduled match between Stratford and Pukekura was not played due to uncertainty around the Covid-19 situation in the township over the weekend. The potential to reschedule the tie later in the season will be considered by the Taranaki Tennis Association Board.

Rotokare had the bye.

Wilson Trophy action saw a big win for Rotokare over Hawera 2. Rotokare’s Shane Devlin was taken to a super tiebreaker, eventually edging past Mike Cronin 12-10 but the city side was largely untroubled in the rest of the matches.  The pairing of Mike and Rachel Cronin provided the only bright spot of the day for the team from under the shadow of the water tower, winning their combines 9-7 over Will Gordon and Tania Atkinson.

Huatoki edged Pukekura at Pukekura’s home courts 6-5, with four of the matches decided in super tie breakers.  Pukekura’s Leighton Upson will take satisfaction from his victory over seasoned campaigner David Innes in the super tie breaker.  Innes is a tough, crafty competitor who should not be underestimated.  

In the Fours competition, Waiwaka and Rotokare both chalked up comfortable victories and shot to the head of the table.