18 Mar 2016
The symbol of supremacy in Taranaki club tennis, the Soffe Cup, is to be decided this Saturday with Huatoki hosting Pukekura Park starting at 10am.
With both clubs presenting their best available line-ups, the tie is predicted to be a very close affair and could he decided by a single rubber.
Huatoki look to have the edge in the men's matchups but Pukekura Park look to have the overall strength in the ladies.
Ajeet Rai is a certainty to pick up the win for Huatoki at No.1 when he plays Meto Snegirev. Jayden Harrison at No.2 and Chris Popata at No.4 should add to the Huatoki tally when they play David Barnard and Thomson Matuku respectively. Andrew Hood could draw one back for Pukekura Park when he plays Alistair Nairn. Louise Waite is the certainty for Pukekura Park when she takes on Hikaru Han in the top spot. Other wins on the board may come from Kirsten Adam at No.2 and Marcella Jones at No.4 as they battle against Tracey Old and Chris Wilson respectively. Huatoki will be relying on youngster Ellen O'Byrne to continue her winning run against Donna Thorne to level the tie up after the singles matches have been completed.
With their respective strengths, Huatoki are expected to be dominant in the men's doubles and Pukekura Park to be almost as dominant in the ladies doubles which will leave the final result in doubt as they progress into the combined doubles matches. Generally, the team with the stronger men's line-up should perform better in the combines but a lot will depend on who makes the most of innovative combinations and who can handle the pressure of finals tennis the best.
Matapu host Pukekura Park in the final of Division Two, the Wilson Trophy.