13 Nov 2015

Competition leaders, Huatoki, are at home to a full strength Oakura line-up this week.  Oakura have the services of four men that have played representative tennis for Taranaki, in the form of Graeme Mitchell, Jaime Simpson, Brady Simpson and Beauden Fleming.  They will take on Alister Nairn, Jayden Harrison, Chris Avery and Ronan Avery with only Jayden Harrison showing up as a prospect for a Huatoki victory.  No respite from Oakura in their line-up in the ladies with Sue Oldfield, Bailey Bruckner, Jackie Keenan and Chris Davies looking to capitalise on the lead that the men will have given them.  Trying to peg Huatoki back into the tie are Tracey Old, Ellen O'Byrne, Chris Wilson and Janelle Wilson.  Oakura should have a handy lead after singles play and should continue to pick up doubles victories to give themselves a well deserved win over the reigning Soffe Cup champions.

Second place RE/MAX Pukekura will host fifth placed Farmlands Okaiawa/Manaia and it could be a tight contest.  Pukekura look to have the edge in the women with Louise Waite and Linda Reid being too strong for Lauren Fraine and Georgia Jackson but the No.3 and No.4 matches could go either way.  A couple of veterans will contest the No. 3 spot with Pukekura's Donna Thorne playing Helen Johnston whilst the No. 4 match will be between Jeanette Harding and youngster Dayna Corbett.  In the No. 1 men's match, Pukekura's Meto Snegirev may find that the combined side's Mark Laurence has too much firepower.  David Barnard will take on Vince Baylis and Barnard will be looking to reverse last years' comfortable win by Baylis.  Pukekura's  remaining men of Thomson Matuku and Andrew Hood will be coming up against Josh and Alaister Murdoch and they may also find the combined side too strong.   This tie should be decided in the doubles and combines matches.

In the remaining match which is also in New Plymouth, Central Finance Rotokare host Thomson O'Neil Stratford.  Both teams have a predictable men's line-up.  Rotokare will have Blair Crowley, Kyle Crowley, Shane Devlin and Laurie Jordan.  Stratford will have the services of Andy Roberts, Bruce Cleland, Grant Kite and either Michael Boland or Ryk Fergusson.  At the top of the order matches are expected to go to Rotokare, with the pendulum swinging back in favour of Stratford at the bottom of the order.  On paper, the Rotokare women look to have a good advantage over their central opponents.  Karen Cranston will take on Lyn Stanners, which will be the feature match of the day.  Julie Foley, Juliet Farquar and Tania Atkinson will try to counter the challenge from Mylie Thwaites, Reagan Boland and Katie Stanners and should be able to do so.  Stratford may come back in the doubles matches, having strong, experienced combinations, and they will probably have to do that to see this being a close tie overall.