15 Dec 2019
Taranaki kicked off its representative tennis season with a strong win, 16-8 over Wanganui at the Hawera grass courts on Sunday.
The tie was the first of the season, competing for the Adidas Cup. This is a trophy which has been played for since the 1988-89 season. Taranaki also competes with Manawatu, Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa for this trophy.
The singles matches saw Taranaki take an early advantage 8-4, through the strength of the women. Taranakiís men were level at 3 matches each, whilst the women had dominated by 5 matches to 1. Caleb Fleming had a tight battle with ex-US college player, Kyle Butters in the number one menís match. Unfortunately, he was eventually beaten 6-3 6-7(5) 7-5. Taranakiís Nikayla Barnard started slowly but eventually overcame Wanganuiís Ngakuira Osborne 6-7 (4) 6-3 6-1 in the top womenís spot.
Taranaki maintained their ascendency during the doubles matchups, winning 5 out
of a possible 6 matches for an unassailable 13-5 lead. Wanganuiís top
menís pairing of Kyle and Sam Butters were the only partnership to record a win.
This meant the pressure was right off for Taranaki heading into the combines. These were shared 3 matches each. A notable event for the Fleming family occurred during these combines, with Taranaki stalwart Mike Fleming returning to representative tennis to play alongside his daughter Derryn. Unfortunately, they were narrowly beaten 9-8(1) by Nicholas Caton and Paula Fore.