18 Mar 2018
Pukekura Dominate Soffe Cup Tennis Finals.
Rotokare found themselves outclassed in the final of the Soffe Cup, losing 14-2.
With Pukekura‘s women of Louise Waite, Nikayla Barnard, Ella Rogers and Caitlin Haylock so strong, it was crucial that the men were equally as dominant for Rotokare. Unfortunately, with Ajeet Rai away, it left all the Rotokare men playing one position higher than they would otherwise have needed to. Pukekura’s number 1, Caleb Fleming, accounted for Malcolm Elder 6—1 6-0. Rotokare’s Blair Crowley, at 2, did manage to wear down Brady Simpson for a 3-6 6-0 6-1 victory. Rotokare’s Scott Campbell almost managed a similar feat, having lost the first convincingly to David Barnard, Scott bounced back to claim the second 6-3. Unfortunately, having lead 4-2 in the third and final set, Scott made crucial errors that allowed Barnard back into the match. Barnard kept his head to claim an invaluable final set 6-4. With all the women winning for Pukekura this left the score at 7-1 after the singles.
In the doubles Pukekura’s women’s domination shone through, with Waite and Barnard winning 6-0 6-4 and Rogers and Haylock winning 6-2 6-0. The men’s doubles matches were much tighter with both going to deciding third set tie breaks. These were split, with the top doubles of Simpson and Belcher prevailing for Pukekura and the bottom pairing of Crowley and Campbell winning through for Rotokare. At this point the title was already in the bag for Pukekura. Perhaps with this knowledge went any fight Rotokare had. All of the mixed doubles went to Pukekura in convincing fashion.
In the Wilson Trophy Stratford were upset by Pukekura 9-7. Having beaten Pukekura relatively comfortably during the last round, Stratford would have fancied their chances. After the singles it was all tied up at 4 all. The separation in the teams came in the doubles, where Pukekura managed to win 3 out of the 4 match ups. This left Stratford needing to win 3 out of the 4 combines. They only managed 2 and the day belonged to Pukekura.
The Sumpter Trophy was a much more one sided affair, with South Combined running out winners 13-3. South Combined’s male dominance took its toll over the course of the day and Waitara could make little inroad into the South Combined attack. With Seasoned campaigners like Andrew Baylis leading the way, the title was in safe hands.
In the A4 Men’s final, Waiwaka had a convincing win over Pukekura 5-1. Waiwaka showed the cooler heads in tight situations. In the singles two match deciding tie breaks went to Waiwaka’s Trent Senior and Leighton Upson, meaning what could have been 2-2 was 4-0. The doubles matches were split between the teams.It has been a great season of club tennis in the Taranaki region with all fixtures being played with enthusiasm.