19 Nov 2010

Today is the last game of the first round of the Soffe Cup.  Holders and competition leaders, Sandfords Manaia are away to third placed AWE Huatoki and are favourites.  There are sure to be some great matches.  The No 1 clash will be between the top players in the province; Manaia's Jordan Fleming and Huatoki's Jono Ussher and the No 2 match will be equally as good with Manaia's Cameron Koch meeting Chris Popata.  The remaining men's singles are between No 3 Jacob Gopperth and Dave Geange and No 4 Michael Gates against 11 year old prodigy Ajeet Rai.
 In the women's matches, the No 1 match will be between Nicole Koch and Alice Caskey.  Caskey has been in good form having only lost once,( to Karen Cranston) but it is a tough ask to beat Koch, the Taranaki No 1.  In the no 2 match, Manaia's Sarah Kelly will play Chris Wilson who is returning after 3 weeks off with a back injury.
The No 3 and 4 matches will be between Manaia's Maree Gopperth and Grace Kelly and Huatoki's Lorraine Heerdegen and Sophie Robertson.
Second placed Central Finance are away to fourth equal placed Stumble Inn Waiwaka and are likely winners.  Now they have No 1 Ben Pollard back they are much stronger.  He will play David Lace and is expected to win.   However, Waiwaka's No 2 Mike Lace should be too good for Rotokare's Blair Crowley.
In the women's matches Rotokare have a strong top pairing of Karen Cranston and Tania L'Ami who will play Krystal Oakes and Michele Lace, and are expected to be too good. Cranston has only lost once (to Nicole Koch) and L'Ami is undefeated.
Icon Sports Tariki Pukekura, in fourth equal place, should chalk up a win against Hareb Deken Oakura at Oakura.  Oakura has yet to register a win.   In the top men's match, either Pukekura's Michael Fleming or Callum Old will have a tough match against Oakura's No1 Graham Mitchell.  The No.2 match will see either Old or Tony Radich play Teihorangi Walden with whichever Pukekura player takes the court, favoured.  In the women's match Pukekura's Linda Reid and Kirsten Adam will play Oakura's Sue Oldfield and Miaana Walden.  The Reid v Oldfield match could go either way but Oakura's Walden should be triumphant over Adam.