14 Nov 2010
Central Finance Rotokare surged into second place after this weekend with a comprehensive 11-5 victory over Tariki Icon Sports Pukekura. The return of the key members of their squad, Ben Pollard, Blair Crowley and Kyle Crowley illustrated to full effect just how sorely missed they have been in recent weeks on top of last season. Although Ben Pollard conceded defeat in the top mens match he responded with a win in the top doubles match paired with Blair Crowley. Meanwhile Blair and Kyle Crowley returned with two out of three wins for their side. Thus Rotokare were in a commanding position after the singles capturing three wins apiece from the mens and womens singles to lead 6-2. Blair Crowley earned a thrilling 3-6 6-3 7-6 win over Tony Radich; while Kyle Crowley shone with a 6-1 6-2 win over Meto Snegirev.
Karen Cranston and Tania L'Ami are fast becoming the most dangerous No. 1-2 combination in Soffe Cup- Cranston defeated Linda Reid 6-3 6-3 while Tania L'Ami won her match 6-1 7-6 over Kirsten Adam. Callum Old and Donna Thorne were the two Pukekura players to earn wins for their side- Callum Old beat Ben Pollard 6-2 7-6, and Donna Thorne defeating Rebecca Atkins 6-3 7-6.
Rotokare effectively sealed the match in the doubles, winning every match to take an unassailable 10-2 lead.
Ben Pollard and Blair Crowley won a close match against Callum Old and Dennis Reid 5-7 6-3 7-6. Malcolm Elder and Kyle Crowley then defeated Tony Radich and Meto Snegirev 6-4 6-3.
Perhaps the defining doubles match was Karen Cranston and Beccie Atkins beating Linda Reid and Donna Thorne 6-4 6-2. Tania L'Ami and Frances Gray beat Kirsten Adam and Jeanette Harding 6-2 6-3.
Sanfords Manaia is slowly marching forth in defence of its premiership title from last season, this weekend dispatching Hareb Deken Oakura 11-5 at the Manaia Courts.
Jordan Fleming floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee on Saturday- the victim: Graham Mitchell, succumbing 6-1 6-4. Fleming has emphatically cleared himself from the rest of the men in this competition thus far, and will undoubtedly be in hot demand for representative honours if available this season. Cameron Koch and Jacob Gopperth then both won in straight sets- defeating Tei Walden 6-0 6-1 and Jamie Hareb 6-3 6-3 respectively. Len Adamson scored a good win against Michael Gates 6-4 2-6 7-6, making himself the lone singles victor for Oakura.
Sarah Kelly produced a superb performance in being elevated to the No.1 spot in Nicole Koch's absence. She beat Miaana Walden 4-6 6-1 7-6. Maree Gopperth also had a long battle with Becky Bruckner but pulled it out in the clutch moment to win 6-4 3-6 7-6.
Grace Kelly and Helen Kelly then completed Manaia's dominance in the singles- beating Louis Brankin and Shae Martin 6-3 6-2.
Oakura salvaged some pride in the doubles and combines squaring the two sections 2 a piece in both. Tei Walden and Jamie Hareb continued their flourishing combination beating Michael Gates and Jacob Gopperth 6-4 2-6 7-6, while Miaana Walden and Becky Bruckner won the top womens doubles 6-1 7-5.
Overall however it was Manaia's day as they continue to dominate this competition, while the North Taranaki sides are left floundering as to deciphering the solution to beating this tight-knit unit.
Stumble Inn Waiwaka hosted AWE Huatoki at the Waiwaka courts on Saturday ending 8-8 with one result TBC. The match was evenly balanced throughout the day, and so it finished that way in the wet conditions. Huatoki's No.1s got the ball rolling for the visitors winning their matches- Jono Ussher beat David Lace 6-2 7-6, while Alice Caskey beat Krystal Oakes 6-1 6-1. Mike Lace and Nga Nga Nicholas then came back strongly for the hosts defeating David Geange 7-5 6-2 and David Innes 6-3 2-6 7-6 respectively. Diane Carswell and Ajeet Rai then beat Michelle Lace 6-2 0-6 7-6 and Michael Lloyd 7-5 6-2 for Huatoki, before Jaydn Bruce and Sharon Bruce showed their value and quality to this Waiwaka side; they beat Megan Walsh 6-3 6-4 and Sophie Robertson 6-4 6-0 respectively.
At 4-4 the doubles and combines were also shared. David Innes and Ajeet Rai beat Nga Nga Nicholas and Michael Lloyd in an entertaining match 7-5 7-6. Krystal Oakes and Michelle Lace meanwhile won the top womens match 7-5 6-1.
In the combines Jono Ussher and Alice Caskey defeated David and Michelle Lace 9-3 while Michael Lloyd and Sharon Bruce won 9-5 over Ajeet Rai and Megan Walsh in the No. 4 combines match.