23 Nov 2019

Round 4 of Soffe Cup tennis was played on Saturday with plenty of passion.

South Combined travelled to Stratford and ran out winners 10-6.  Whilst this reads as a relatively comfortable win, the score sheet tells a much closer story.  Hamish Mead played in the top spot for South Combined and this led to dominance for the southern men, winning all four singles.  However, Stratford’s women managed to almost reverse this dominance with only Abby Ross, in the top spot for South Combined, managing to better Courtney Tippett 6-1 6-4.  This gave South Combined a 5-3 lead heading into the doubles.  Surprisingly, the doubles were also evenly split.  Stratford’s Bruce Cleland and Grant Kite produced the biggest upset of the season with a 5-7 6-3 10-7 victory over Hamish Mead and Mark Laurence.  This left Stratford needing at least 3 of the 4 combines matches to go their way. Heartbreakingly for Stratford, tight matches tipped in favour of South Combined.  Two of the combines were decided by tiebreakers, which were also decided by margins of only 2 points.  Stratford can certainly take heart that the first win of the season is within reach.

Huatoki lost to Pukekura 15-1.  Alistair Nairn had a tight tussle with David Barnard in the top singles match but eventually lost to Barnard 7-6 6-4.  Murray Keast and Alistair Nairn looked like they might be able to pull off a comeback for Huatoki in the top doubles against David Barnard and Mike Erb.  Having been down 4-1 in the second set, they came back to lead the set 5-4.  Unfortunately for the Huatoki pair, Erb and Barnard kept their nerve and went to claim the set 7-5, having won the first set 6-0.  The only win for Huatoki came from the combines pairing of Alistair Nairn and Sophie Robertson, who managed to squeeze past David Barnard and Ella Rogers 9-8. 

In the third and final Soffe Cup matchup of the day, Rotokare hosted Oakura and lost on a countback by 18 sets to 15.  Oakura’s fortunes were greatly assisted by the presence of Jaime Simpson, who won all three of his matches in the top spot for Oakura.  However, credit must be paid to the never say die attitude of the Oakura players in general.  Heading into the combines, Oakura needed to win 3 out of 4 to force a countback.  Not only did Oakura manage to win the combines they needed, but they also restricted Rotokare’s pairings to less than 6 games in these matches.  This gave Oakura the advantage they needed to carry the overall victory by a solitary set.

In the Wilson Trophy, South Combined were victorious 13-3 over Waitara, Pukekura defeated Oakura 10-6 and Rotokare succumbed 12-4 to Inglewood. 
In the Sumpter Trophy, Huatoki went down 16-0 to South Combined and Oakura on their home turf, lost to  Pukekura 10-6.

The Soffe Cup points table is now Pukekura Park 59, South Combined 41, Oakura 38, Rotokare 35.5, Huatoki 25 and Stratford 17.5.
The Wilson Trophy points table is now Inglewood 59, Oakura 42, Rotokare 35, South Combined 32, Pukekura 31 and Waitara 17.

The Sumpter Trophy points table is now South Combined 60, Pukekura 42, Oakura 25 and Huatoki 11.