17 March 2008

SOFFE CUP SEMI-FINAL REVIEW 15 MARCH 2008

“DEFENDING CHAMPIONS MAKE IT INTO THE FINAL”

In picture perfect weather conditions, defending champions AWE Huatoki secured their berth in the finals of the Soffe Cup competition by beating Hareb Deken Oakura in a closely fought battle at the Huatoki courts on Saturday.  In the battle of the teenagers, Number 1 for Oakura Joshua Walden showed his staying power by beating Huatoki’s Tristan Stayt, in a thrilling third set tie-breaker.  On the women’s side, AWE Huatoki’s Number 1 Lucy Barlow played superbly without dropping a game, to defeat Oakura’s Leah Fletcher who had no answer for Lucy’s superior ground strokes.

Huatoki was down 6 matches to 2 going into the doubles, with all four Huatoki men having lost their singles.  However, with some strategic doubles combinations being played by Huatoki, they were able to claw their way back to an 8 all draw.  A countback of sets (19 -18) gave the win to Huatoki.  Huatoki now meets the winner of the other semi-final Central Finance Rotokare in the final. 

In a much less closely fought battle, top ranked Central Finance Rotokare easily beat 4th placed Hooker Pacific Pukekura 11-5.  Rotokare’s No1 man Ben Pollard, put in a solid performance against Pukekura’s Michael Fleming.  Ben’s consistent play and strong service game saw him cruise to a 6-1 6-3 victory.  Much less easy to dispense with was Pukekura’s Number 1 lady Linda Reid, who was taken to three sets by Rotokare’s Kelly Toa but was able to defeat the Manawatu import 4-6 6-4 7-6.  Top veteran player Maureen Whiting who played at number 3 for Rotokare showed little mercy to Pukekura’s Jeanette Harding winning 6-1 6-1. 

Huatoki and Rotokare play their Soffe Cup final on Saturday 29 March 2008 at Rotokare.  This promises to be an exciting clash between some top Taranaki tennis players.

In the Wilson Trophy Okaiawa 1 won against Huatoki 1 by default while Hawera convincingly beat Okaiawa 2 13-3.  Okaiawa 1 will host Hawera in the final.  

In the Sumpter Trophy Stratford beat Manaia 1 14-2 and Manaia 2 beat Waitara 10-6.  Stratford will host Manaia 2 in the final.

All finals are scheduled for March 29th.