10 December 2007

Expecting a closer Christie Cup encounter without premier players Michael Fleming and Lucy Barlow, Taranaki's senior representative tennis team, instead had a comfortable win 18-6 against Wanganui yesterday, in Wanganui.
Wanganui's top men, who play Wellington interclub, were always going to provide top competition and so it proved with Jonathan Ussher narrowly going down to No 1 Simon O'Leary in a tight three set encounter.  Ben Pollard was on top of his game playing at No 2, winning 6-3 6-4.  Chris Popata's singles was viewed as the crucial game to give Taranaki the edge. He duly obliged by grinding out a very long two set win 7-5 6-4.  Both Josh Walden and David White came out on top as expected.  Andrew Powell lost at No 4.
Wanganui's No 1 import Chrstina Ploetz ,who coaches and plays at a high level in Germany, provided stiff opposition for Nicole Koch. Nicole lost her singles 7-6 6-2 but gained revenge in the doubles, teaming up with Alesha Ford, winning in three sets.  Ford, Leah Fletcher, Linda Reid, Donna Thorne and Becky Bruckner all had comfortable wins in their singles and doubles.  The men's doubles results went as predicted winning two out of three.  Debutants Bruckner and Pollard won all three games as did Ford, Popata, Josh Walden and Linda Reid.
Taranaki has matches against Hawkes Bay and Manawatu early next year.