13 December 2009

The 2009 Slazenger Trust House Hexangular was played in Masterton over the weekend with the Taranaki/Wanganui combined team coming agonisingly close to winning the competition.  With the scores level 6-6 against defending champions Wellington in the final, Taranaki/Wanganui was pipped at the finishing line by the difference of two meagre sets.  This was the first time Taranaki and Wanganui had sent  a combined team to this tournament which had previously encompassed only a quintet of teams- thus their participation proved a complete success.

In Pool play Taranaki/Wanganui played Wairarapa Bush in their first match after a first round bye.  Wairarapa Bush had caused an upset in the first round by beating second seeded Kapi Mana and the early signs suggested they might inflict the same damage on Taranaki/Wanganui.  Taranaki/Wanganui quickly gelled together to win three of the four doubles and mixed, then six of the eight singles to dominate the tie 9-3.  Taranaki/Wanganui won four third set super-tiebreakers which was the defining difference between the two teams.  Saturday’s play was carried out in cyclonic conditions, transforming the astro-turf tennis courts into an enclosed desert storm of sand and debris which allowed for little free-flowing tennis.

On Sunday morning Taranaki/Wanganui beat Kapi Mana 8-4 to secure them a spot in the final. No.1 Simon O’Leary saved seven match points in beating Francis Glover 2-6 7-6 7-6.  Cameron Koch played his matches on Sunday with an elbow injury which affected his serving, however he was still able to beat Matthew Grant 6-4 6-0.

On Sunday afternoon Taranaki/Wanganui met Wellington in the final, who had defeated Manawatu 7-5 in the morning to advance themselves.  Taranaki/Wanganui got off to a great start winning 3 of the 4 doubles and combines.  O’Leary and Jono Ussher played superlatively to beat Sam Barr and James Capovilla 6-4 6-2.  Miaana Walden and Nicky Caton also played very well to win a vital third-set tiebreak against Saravinder Pannu and Sam Piercy 6-4 3-6 7-6.  In the singles Nicole Koch defeated top-ranked Kimberly Kain 7-6 6-2 to cap off a great tournament for her.  Koch finished the tournament unbeaten in her singles, as did her brother Cameron Koch.  Cameron Koch was sorely missed when he was made unavailable to play singles in the final as his injury had taken its toll.  Jono Ussher and Nicky Caton contributed their parts to the cause by following up their doubles victories with two third-set tiebreak wins in the singles.  Wellington, however were too strong over the remaining 5 singles matches to level the tie but win on a count back of sets. 




Taranaki/Wanganui def Wairarapa Bush 9-3


Simon O’Leary bt Jono Hurley 6-3 7-6

Cameron Koch bt Baden Stevenson 6-4 5-7 7-6

Jono Ussher lst Matt Spooner 6-4 6-7 7-6

Nicky Caton bt Chris Schofield 6-4 6-0


Nicole Koch bt Katie Wyeth 6-0 6-4

Linda Reid lst Sophie Atkinson 6-3 6-1

Miaana Walden bt Zoe Schofield 6-1 6-2

Karen Cranston bt Ana Von Deventer 6-1 4-6 7-6


O’Leary/ Caton lst Hurley/Spooner 6-1 6-0

Reid/Cranston bt Robinson/Lovell 4-6 6-1 7-6

Mixed Doubles

C. Koch/ N. Koch bt Atkinson/ Wyeth 6-3 6-4

Ussher/ Walden bt Stevenson/ S. Atkinson 4-6 6-3 7-6


Taranaki/Wanganui def Kapi Mana 8-4


Simon O’Leary bt Francis Glover 2-6 7-6 7-6

Cameron Koch bt Matt Grant 6-4 6-0

Jono Ussher bt Zak Gatara 6-2 6-0

David Geange lst Jake Shugg 6-4 6-3


Nicole Koch bt K. Noble 6-1 6-3

Linda Reid bt K. Southwood 5-7 6-2 7-6

Miaana Walden lst R. Murray 6-3 4-6 7-6

Karen Cranston bt T. Atkinson 6-0 6-3


O’Leary/Ussher bt Gatara/Shugg 6-3 6-2

Reid/Cranston bt M. Randall/Southwood 2-6 7-6 7-6

Mixed Doubles

C. Koch/ N. Koch lst Glover/ Noble 7-6 2-6 7-6

Caton/ Walden lst Grant/ Murray 1-6 6-4 7-6 


Taranaki/Wanganui lost to Wellington 6-6 (15 sets to 13) (Final)


Simon O’Leary lst Sam Barr 6-2 6-0

Jono Ussher bt James Capovilla 6-3 2-6 7-6

Nicky Caton bt Luke Piercy 6-4 1-6 7-6

David Geange lst Sam Piercy 7-6 7-5


Nicole Koch bt Kimberly Kain 7-6 6-2

Linda Reid lst Carmel Meachen 6-4 6-0

Miaana Walden lst Hannah Seeman 6-1 6-0

Karen Cranston lst Saravinder Pannu 1-6 7-6 7-6


O’Leary/Ussher bt Barr/Capovilla 6-4 6-2

Reid/Cranston lst Kain/Seeman 6-2 7-5

Mixed Doubles

C. Koch/N. Koch bt L. Piercy/Meachen 6-3 6-1 

Caton/Walden bt S. Piercy/Pannu 6-4 3-6 7-6