16 Dec 2011

Returning to Soffe Cup this weekend, the Representative players will be buoyed by their win in the Central Districts Hexangular Tournament.  The spearhead of that side will play for Sandford Manaia at home against city side AWE Huatoki.  Taranaki's Number 1, Nicole Koch will play Alice Caskey.  Their last match was possibly the closest competition Koch has had in the Taranaki competition.  Koch winning that encounter 6/2 6/4.  Caskey also represented Taranaki last weekend and with the tougher match-play under her belt, she should be looking for a better result.  In the men's Taranaki Number 1 Jordan Fleming may play Amrit Rai.  These two have not played each other in recent times and should be the match to watch.  Cameron Koch (Manaia) is just too consistent at 2.  Huatoki's Alistair Nairn will have to be at the top of his game.   This weekend is combined doubles weekend, and Manaia's combination have been the same each week and Huatoki, who have not really fielded a consistent men's line-up all season, will have to rely on their ladies to provide the stability. 

Hareb Deken Motors Oakura have hit the second round running.  After a draw against competition leaders Manaia, they will be looking for a big win against Farmlands Okaiawa to close the gap between them and the rest of the teams.  Oakura will be without their number 2 Josh Walden, however, they have been able to slot into that role, ex-Taranaki representative Aaron Hine.  Hine will play Mark Laurence.  Laurence has had a mixed bag in the first round and if he gets away to a fast start, should be able to edge out Hine.  Okaiawa should have Amelia Weir returning to the team and her opponent will be Sue Oldfield.  Last round Oldfield was unavailable, and Weir played Louise Brankin.  Brankin is playing number 4 this week.   (Weir won that match 6/3 6/2).  Oakura will be too strong in the ladies, but donít write off Okaiawa as they have a history of pulling off a result with their doubles teamwork. 

Icon Sports Tariki Pukekura will host Central Finance Rotokare.  Malcolm Elder leads Rotokare in their quest to duplicate their first round win.  Elder will play Callum Old.  Last round Elder won 6/2 6/3, however Old returns after last weekend's representative fixture with plenty of match-play.  Old will be hoping to reverse the results from the first round.  At three, Pukekuraís Chris Jury will play Shane Devlin for the first time this season.  Jury has been just too consistent at 3.  Rotokare's Laurie Jordan has found himself playing almost all of the first round at 4.  His opponent this weekend will be 16 year old Jaime Simpson.  Jordan will have the edge with experience, however, Simpson has taken some surprising wins so far this season.  This could be the match to watch if you're at Pukekura.  Again, Pukekura have fielded the most consistent squad between these two clubs this season, so the Combined Doubles should fall the way of the home side.