15 December 2007

In Soffe Cup interclub tennis on Saturday, competition leaders Rotokare, increased their lead at the top of the points table with a 9-7 win over Hooker Pacific at Rotokare.  It was Pukekura's first defeat of the season, in what could be a precursor to the final.
It was a tight match with the singles being shared 4-4.  In the top men's singles, Pukekura's Michael Fleming had an easy win over Ben Pollard, 6-3 6-0 but Rotokare won the rest of the men's matches easily.  No 2 Chris Popata beat Zac Wills 6-2 6-2, Mike Roberts beat Dennis Reid 6-1 6-4 and No 4 Shane Devlin beat Ben Aves 6-3 6-1.
In the women's singles, Rotokare's No 1 Kelly Toa beat Linda Reid 6-1 6-1 and Pukekura won the rest of the singles.  No 2 Donna Thorne continued her good form this season with a three set win over Leith Atkins while Jeanette Harding and Kirsten Adam defeated Michelle and Beccie Atkins easily.
 Rotokare gained the advantage in the No 1 men's doubles with Pollard and Popata defeating Fleming and Reid in three sets, 4-6 6-4 7-6.  They won two other doubles matches and Pukekura's only win was the No 2 women's combination of Harding and Adam beating the Atkins sisters, Michelle and Beccie.
Going into the mixed doubles, Rotokare had a 7-5 lead and maintained that by winning two out of four.  Rotokare's Chris Popata won all three, as did Shane Devlin.  For Pukekura, their best player was Jeanette Harding; she was the only one to win all her matches.
AWE Huatoki defeated Sandfords Manaia 10-6 at Huatoki.  Manaia did not have their No 1 woman Nicole Koch or their No 2 Jason Mills who is yet to play a game this season.  Without these players it was always going to be difficult to beat the Cup holders.  Huatoki were without their No 1 Jonno Ussher who is playing in the National under-18 champs in Auckland but were boosted by the introduction of former Waiwaka player, Tristan Stayt,  who has been living in Cambridge.  Stayt was too good for Jordan Fleming, winning  6-2 6-0.  At No 2, Neil Bridgeman had an equally easy win over Michael Gates, 6-2 6-1.  Manaia hit back winning the No 3 and 4 matches.  No 3 Jacob Gopperth beat fellow Taranaki junior rep Amrit Rai 7-6 6-4 and No 4 Steve Lloyd beat Ben Robbins 6-4 6-4.
The women's singles were shared 2-2 after Huatoki's No 2 and 3, Janice Taylor and Chris Wilson had easy wins over junior reps,  Shinae Bailey and Maree Gopperth. Manaia's No 1 and 4 were not troubled in their matches against Saori Han and Robyn Hinton.  Huatoki's superior doubles play won them the tie. They only dropped two out of six.
Hareb Deken Oakura almost had a clean sweep over Waiwaka/Stratford/Midhirst at Waiwaka.  They won 15-1, with the only joy for the combined side being the No 1 mixed doubles combination of  Gavin Phelan and Krystal Oakes beating Aaron Hine and Leah Fletcher 9-6.  Hine beat Phelan 7-5 6-3 and all the rest of the singles were easy wins.  No 1 Fletcher beat Oakes 6-4 6-2.
 In the No 2 men's doubles match John Hardie-Boys and Horrie Hubbard beat Michael O'Sullivan and Grant Kite in the third set tiebreaker.  Kite was involved in another tiebreaker in his mixed doubles match with Yvonne Chamberlain, losing 9-8 to Hubbard and Miaana Walden.
McDonald Real Estate Matapu had the bye.
This season the Taranaki Tennis Association has decided there will be no promotion relegation for any A grade team after the first round. Points will carry through to the second round which starts next week.
Wilson Trophy
Hawera 9 Oakura 7
Sumpter Trophy
Manaia (1) 9 Manaia (2) 7, Stratford def Kaponga by default
Soffe Cup Points
Central Finance Rotokare 78, Hooker Pacific Pukekura 69, Hareb Deken Oakura 65, AWE Huatoki 62, McDonald Real Estate Matapu 42, Sandfords Manaia 36, Waiwaka/Stratford/Midhirst 26