12 March 2008
“NEWCOMERS MEET DEFENDING CHAMPIONS”
This weekend sees Oakura squaring up against Huatoki in the semi-finals of the season’s Soffe Cup competition.
Huatoki are last season’s defending champions. They have held the cup for only one season after prying it away from Manaia, who had it for 7 consecutive seasons (2000 to 2006).
Third placed Oakura battle it out against Huatoki at the Huatoki courts on Saturday, to decide who will reach the final to be played on Saturday 29 March.
This is the first time in the history of the Oakura Tennis Club that it has competed at Soffe Cup level, having gained entry by winning the A2 (Wilson Trophy) competition last season.
When Oakura last met Huatoki in round play, Huatoki won 11 games to 5.
In this weekend’s clash, Huatoki is minus its top man Jono Ussher but with the men’s team likely to consist of the Stayt brothers, Neil Bridgeman and Amrit Rai, the line up looks to be strong.
The Huatoki ladies line up should be equally as strong if it includes Lucy Barlow and Saori Han.
In the other semi-final, 4th placed Pukekura face top of the points table, Rotokare, at Rotokare. This should be a comfortable win for the highly competitive Rotokare team, ably led by Ben Pollard; especially so if Pukekura is without its number 1 player Michael Fleming who has been under an injury cloud for the past few weeks.
The Rotokare team is likely to consist of Ben Pollard, Chris Popata, Mike Roberts, Greg Hareb, Kelly Toa, Leith Atkins, Maureen Whiting and Kate Laurenson.
The Wilson & Sumpter Trophies semi-finals are also being played for this weekend.
In the Wilson Trophy Okaiawa 1 compete against Huatoki 1 and Hawera against Okaiawa 2.
In the Sumpter Trophy Stratford meet Manaia 1 and Waitara meet Manaia 2.
All in all some great tennis will be had on Saturday so come along and support the teams.