13 February 2008

The big match of Soffe Cup interclub tennis on Saturday is the holders, AWE Huatoki, in third place, versus Central Finance Rotokare who are top of the table. The match is at Huatoki and Rotokare will start favourites.  In the first round Rotokare won 10-6, inflicting Huatoki's only loss this season; Rotokare are unbeaten.
In the top men's singles, Rotokare's Ben Pollard is likely to face Tristan Stayt as Huatoki's No 1 Jonno Ussher has headed to Otago University, a huge loss for Huatoki. Pollard v Stayt is hard to pick with Stayt, the Taranaki  Open champion, only playing two games of interclub. He did have a good win over Oakura's Graham Mitchell in his last outing three weeks ago.
Rotokare are favoured in the rest of the men's singles going by the first round results,  Chris Popata against Jordan Stayt, Greg Hareb against Neil Bridgeman (in three sets) and Mike Roberts against Amrit Rai.
In the first round, Huatoki's No 1 Lucy Barlow beat Rotokare's Kelly Toa and in the No 2 match Rotokare's Leith Atkins beat Saori Han.
Rotokare won three out of four combines in the first round which was decisive so Huatoki will want to improve on that and reverse the overall result.
Fourth placed Hooker Pacific Pukekura are at home against fifth placed Sandfords Manaia and are favoured to repeat their win of the first round. Manaia is likley to have a stronger team this time however, with the inclusion of Jason Mills and Alesha Ford and it may be closer than the first round result -10-6 .
In the top men's clash Pukekura's Michael Fleming will play Mills and Pukekura's Ben Aves will play Jordan Fleming.
The two Flemings should win making the scores 1-1. Pukekura should take out the No. 3 and 4 matches, likely to be Dennis Reid against Michael Gates and Meto Snegirev or Paul Simpson against Jacob Gopperth.
Manaia should take out the top two women's matches, Nicole Koch against Linda Reid and Ford against Donna Thorne.
The result will hinge on which team is strongest in the doubles.
Seventh placed Waiwaka/Stratford /Midhirst play sixth placed McDonald Real Estate Matapu on the grass courts at Stratford.
  In the first round Matapu won 12-4 but the combined side should have a stronger team this time with Gavin Phelan and Michael O'Sullivan likely to fill the top two spots. They will play David White and Kyle Crowley. White has been in good form, beating Oakura's Aaron Hine last week and narrowly losing to Rotokare's Ben Pollard a fortnight ago. He is likely to beat Phelan while O'Sullivan should have no trouble against Crowley.
In the top two women's singles, Matapu's Jen White should be too good for Krystal Oakes and Matapu's Helen Kelly may be too experienced for junior rep Alison Chamberlain.
Hareb Deken Oakura has the bye.