19 March 2005

Sandfords Manaia take a bow!  They etched their name in Taranaki tennis history at Manaia on Saturday, beating Nag 'n' Noggin' Rotokare 14 - 2 to win the Soffe Cup for the sixth successive year. 
They have been the most dominant club in the Soffe Cup competition for about 15 years, since Huatoki and Pukekura reigned supreme.
The top men and lower order women had very little trouble with their singles, dropping only eight games in their five matches.
Irene Cruikshank kept her unbeaten singles record for the year beating Kane Murakami 6-1, 6-0.
Team Captain Aliaster Murdoch,at No 4, won a marathon singles match against Chris Pulford.with the third set tie-breaker going his way.  He won 4-6, 7-5, 7-6.
The other tight singles was the No 1 womens' where Rotokare's Leith Atkins won the first set 6-3.  Manaia 's Nicole Koch fought back to take the second set 6-2, then went on to take the third set tie-breaker 7-3.
Rotokare's only singles win  was the No 3 men's with Jonathan Ussher beating Cameron Koch in a tough match, 6-0, 4-6, 7-6.
All but two of the doubles were easy wins to Manaia.   Rotokare captured the No 2 mens doubles with Mike Roberts and Pulford defeating Koch and Murdoch 6-4, 6-2.  Murdoch and Cruikshank held on to win the tiebreak and so come out the winners in their combines 9-8 against Pulford and Cheryl Lawrence.