16 Nov 2019
 

Tight Contests in Soffe Cup Third Round
 

The third round of A grade tennis saw some extremely tight contests take place.
 

South Combined hosted Huatoki and squeezed through by 19 sets to 18 on countback after the match count was all square at 8 all.  Hamish Mead made the trip back for his first Soffe Cup appearance of the year, which was a great boost for South Combined.  However, Southís number 1 woman was unable to play, which meant all the women for South Combined were making the step up a ranking place.  The result was South Combined dominating the menís side and Huatoki dominating the womenís side.  Dee Werder-McCrea, for South Combined, managed to buck this general trend, scoring a 6-4 6-3 win over Ellen OíByrne.  The doubles were shared evenly and Huatoki won 3 out of the 4 combines.  A junior national doubles champion, Meadís doubles ability was probably what made the difference for South Combined.  When all other combines pairings were falling to Huatoki, Meads and Symes managed to stem the tide and contribute the telling blow for the overall win.
 

Rotokare ran out comfortable winners in a rain-affected contest with Stratford 9-4.  Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the day was the good form of Courtney Tippett and Michael Boland.  Tippett has been known to have good and bad days, so to see her starting to play more consistently for her club is encouraging.  Also, Michael Boland has often demonstrated pure talent but tended to play without control.  Whilst he lost narrowly last week, he fronted again this Saturday and produced a solid effort that ended in a singles win.  He could, in fact, be the strong top-order player the club could certainly do with; allowing Bruce Cleland to also pick up wins at 2.  Rotokare had won the tie outright, even though the last three combines were a wash out.
 

A tightly fought tie saw Pukekura sneak through 9-7 over Oakura.  Oakura, once again, suffered without Jaime Simpson in the top menís spot.  It allowed Pukekura to win 3 out of the 4 menís singles, which ultimately gave Pukekura the edge when all other areas of the tie were evenly split.  The two telling blows were the 10-8 super tie break win in the menís doubles for Pukekuraís Erb and Whittleston versus Walden and Handschuck and the mixed doubles victory of Pukekuraís Barnard and Haylock over Walden and Keenan; 7-5 in the tie break.  Effectively the tie swung on 4 points.  Pukekura now has 3 wins from 3 outings.

Pukekura leads the Soffe Cup competition with 42 points from South Combined on 29 points  Oakura are third with 28 points followed by Rotokare 27.5, Huatoki 24 and Stratford 11.5.
 

In the Wilson trophy, Oakura beat South Combined 12-4, Pukekura lost to Rotokare 9-7 and Waitara lost to Inglewood 15-1.
 

In the Sumpter trophy, South Combined won by default over Oakura and Huatoki lost to Pukekura 10-6.