21 Feb 2015

With the final round of pool play in Soffe Cup approaching, next weekend, premiership leaders Huatoki secured some important points against Okaiawa/Manaia in the weekend with some surprising individual men's results to win the tie 11-5.
The match of the day was the three-hour long battle between Huatoki's young 12 year old Jayden Harrison and Vince Baylis with Harrison battling hard and showing good composure and steady play to eventually overcome Baylis 7-5 6-7 6-3.  After slipping and falling hard in the second set tie breaker and losing this set to Baylis 7-6,  Harrison fought back to a well deserved 3 set victory.  Whilst the youngest member of the Huatoki lineup was securing this victory, seasoned campaigner Murray Keast was making short work of Okaiawa/Manaia's Mark Laurence who last week suffered his first loss this season, with Keast capitalizing on this and making it two in a row winning comfortably 6-2 6-1.  The other two men's games went Okaiawa/Manaia's way but not without a fight with Hamish Mead eventually prevailing over Chris Popata 6-3 6-4 and Josh Murdoch taking three sets to overcome Chris Avery.  The Huatoki women's lineup was too strong for Okaiawa/Manaia with Hikaru Han, Sophie Robertson, Ellen O'Byrne and Chris Wilson having straight sets wins over Capree Wineera, Carolyn and Georgia Jackson and Anna Johnston. 

In the other ties, Central Finance Rotokare's full strength line up proved too strong for Inglewood Club Inglewood winning 13-3 and second placed RE/MAX Pukekura's No1 lineup secured victory over Oakura by the same margin.  Central Finance Rotokare only dropped one game in each of the men's and women's singles.  Victory for Inglewood came from Campbell Mace in the men's, securing a win over Ben Fitzgibbon and from Michaela Spurdle in the No 2 women's match overcoming Jane Symons 6-3 5-7 7-5.

In the Pukekura v Oakura tie, the only men's game to fall the way of Oakura was a win by Caleb Fleming against Meto Snegirev 7-6 6-4 with the other Pukekura men proving too strong for Oakura's Adamson, Johnson and Edler all losing in straight sets.  Similarly in the women's, Pukekura's Louise Waite, Donna Thorne and Marcella Jones all proved too strong for their Oakura counterparts of Fletcher, Davies and Lutterell but Oakura pulled one win back through Bailey Bruckner who overcame the more experienced Linda Reid 6-4 7-5.  The doubles was mostly one way traffic with Pukekura securing all but one of the games.  Oakura's Danni Fletcher and Bailey Bruckner however fought hard to overcome Louise Waite and Linda Reid prevailing 3-6 6-3 7-6. 

The final round of pool play next week sees leaders Huatoki meet second placed RE/MAX Pukekura with Pukekura having the home court advantage. This week's result shows Huatoki do have some depth in their men's lineup which is changing week to week but they will hopefully have top junior Ajeet Rai back to strengthen their lineup.  The other ties are between Central Finance Rotokare and Okaiawa/Manaia and Inglewood Club v Oakura.