11 Dec 2014
Soffe Cup Preview - Sat 13 Dec 2014
There is a top of the table clash in the final game of the first round of Soffe Cup with leaders Huatoki hosting RE/MAX Pukekura Park. Huatoki have the services of Ajeet Rai at No.1 and he will be too good for the promoted Shaun Alborough. Murray Keast at No.2 for Huatoki may be too wily for Meto Snegirev. Pukekura will be looking to capture the bottom two men's singles with David Barnard and Thomson Matuku taking on Chris Avery and Quinn Rosa respectively. Pukekura should pick up the top three women's singles with Louise Waite, Kirsten Adam and Donna Thorne being too experienced for Sophie Robertson, Hikaru Han and Tracey Old. Lorraine Heerdegen will pull a match back for Huatoki at No.4 against Nell Hernandez.
With Pukekura expected to have a slight lead after the singles, the doubles matches will become crucial leading into the combines. The doubles could easily be shared but overall, Pukekura, with a team of greater experience, should be able to narrowly secure the tie with enough victories in the combines.
Third placed Farmlands Okaiawa/Manaia travel up to Inglewood and they will have a difficult matchup, with some of their top order absent. Vince Baylis will step up to the No.1 spot for Okaiawa/Manaia and will do battle against Diego Carrasco. Carrasco has only played one match so far this season in Soffe Cup and is talented but somewhat an unknown quantity. Josh Murdoch, at No.2 may struggle against Inglewood's Malcolm Masters but Rhys Butler (No.3) should get one back for the southern team, playing against Luke Brown. Inglewood's Campbell Mace will be too strong for Andrew Baylis in the No.4 position. The situation won't improve for Okaiawa/Manaia with the women having to take on a higher-ranked line-up. Inglewood has Krystal Oakes, Maria Spurdle, Michaela Spurdle and Shona Salisbury looking to overpower Grace Kelly, Jaimee Baylis, Carolyn Jackson and Georgia Jackson. Best hopes for Okaiawa/Manaia will be with the improving No.1 of Kelly and at No.3 with C. Jackson. If Inglewood are ahead after the singles, they will not relinquish anything during the doubles/combines and will be looking at a sizeable win.Central Finance Rotokare have a predictable line-up when they travel to Hareb Deken Oakura. Leandro Fossa and Jane Symons are top of the bill for Rotokare. Oakura are still finalising their team and the unknown will be the quality of the menís line-up. Oakura can field a very good women's team and that could go a long way towards possibly obtaining a draw.