17 Nov 2017

Hold your tennis loving breath Taranaki because this weekend is going to be a Soffe Cup scorcher!   

Oakura will be at home to a Pihama team on the rise. After acquitting themselves so well against Pukekura, Pihama must really feel they have the firepower to worry last year's finalists. This situation is made even more interesting when Oakura's regular top man, Jamie Simpson will be missing from the line-up. Graeme Mitchell will once again laugh in the face of Father Time, taking on a player close to half his age in the rarefied air of the number one spot. Graeme Mitchell will be supported by Andrew Hood, Sammy Lewis and Jack Mitchell. Pihama's Jordan Fleming will have Rob Haveswood, Beauden Fleming, Kyle Crowley, Sean Edmonds and Patrick Stevenson supporting him. This must be close to the strongest line up of men that Pihama can muster.  With this many players listed, it is likely that fresh legs will be coming in for the doubles and mixed doubles. The Oakura women are Paula Evans, Sue Oldfield (singles), Ana Spurdle, Jackie Keenan and Beckie Bruckner (doubles and mixed). The Pihama women are Ngakuira Osbourne, Brianna Mattthews, Courtney Joyce and Georgia Smith. This will be a close contest where every match, set and game could mean the difference between winning and losing.

Okaiawa/Manaia will be taking on Stratford. The Okaiawa/Manaia men are Hamish Mead, Mark Laurence, Vince Baylis, Josh Murdoch and Ryan Stockman. The Stratford men are Bruce Cleland, Grant Kite, Michael Boland and Michael O’Sullivan. The Okaiawa/Manaia women are Capree Wineera, Sheri Hughes, Jaimee Baylis and one more mystery player who the selector was keeping under wraps.  Stratford's women will be Lynn Stanners, Katie Stanners, Kristen Lowry, Courtney Tippet and Anna Hutterd. Both sides had narrow wins over Pihama, suggesting that a tight battle will ensue.

Huatoki will still be without their top man this weekend. This makes things tough. The Pukekura men are looking every bit as strong as Oakura's quartet last week.  Another long day at the office for Huatoki could well be in the offing.  Huatoki's men of Alistair Nairn, Murray Keast, Luis Silva and Shane Douglas will square up against Pukekura's Caleb Fleming, David Barnard, Michael Erb and Meto Snegirev.  Huatoki's women will be Tracey Old, Ellen O’Byrne, Jae Wilson and Erin Annabelle. They will play Pukekura's Nikayla Barnard, Ella Rogers, Linda Reid and Caitlin Haylock.

Rotokare has the bye.