13 Feb 2021
 

Soffe Cup Semi Final Race Heats Up 

Another exciting weekend of Soffe Cup tennis has flown by.  Inglewood lost to Pukekura at home, Rotokare won out over Huatoki at Huatoki and Oakura squeaked past Okaiawa, with Okaiawa hosting.  

The junior Taranaki tennis team was away competing in the quadrangular so teams were depleted of some of their top players. This made for some interesting results. 

Pukekura managed what at first glance, looked like a relatively solid victory over Inglewood 11-5.  However, on closer inspection of the score sheet, it is clear to see Inglewood put up a good fight. There were six tiebreakers played across six three-set matches.  Had Inglewood managed to reverse these close matches they could well have headed Pukekura.  A classic example of this was the men’s bottom doubles between Pukekura’s Chris Avery and Doug Neilson, taking on Inglewood’s Baxter Rogers and Derek Spurdle.  The Pukekura combination managed to come out on top but by just a couple of points, 6-0 3-6 7-6(8).  Pukekura ultimately won the tie 11-5. 

Rotokare managed to triumph over Huatoki by a same margin 11-5.  The closest match was probably the men’s number three singles with Ross Lilley just managing to edge Bill Husband 7-5 6-7 7-6.  Huatoki should also feel encouraged by their level of competitiveness with five matches being decided in three sets. 

The closest tie of the round was the one between Okaiawa and Oakura.  Okaiawa won all men’s singles and one of the ladies singles to lead 5-3. Hamish Mead continued his good form at the no.1 spot for Okaiawa, defeating Graeme Mitchell 6-7(2) 6-2 6-4.
The doubles were shared two apiece with the top doubles combinations in each gender going to Oakura and the bottom combinations going to Okaiawa, leaving the tie at 7-5 to Okaiawa.  Okaiawa picked up the no.4 combines giving Marissa Clough and Grant Morris three wins for the day, but Oakura picked up the no.2 and no.3 matches 9-8(7) and 9-6 respectively.  Okaiawa defaulted the top combines leaving the teams locked up at eight matches all and 18 sets all.  A countback of games just swung in Oakura’s favour 135 games to 133. 

After the weekend’s matches, Pukekura lead on 138 points, Rotokare chasing on 123 points.  Okaiawa and Oakura remain in third and fourth places with 101 and 91 points respectively.  Then there is a gap to Huatoki 61, Inglewood 56 and Stratford 51.