28 Oct 2017
Summer is upon us and Soffe Cup tennis swings into action this weekend. Last season's champions Pukekura will be at home, taking on Rotokare. Oakura are playing Okaiawa/Manaia and Pihama will play Stratford. As with any sport and a new season, all the teams will want to start positively.
Pukekura will be full of confidence after closing out the finals so convincingly at the conclusion of last season. A relatively young team, Pukekura should feel confident that they will have too much firepower for Rotokare. There will be a change in the men's line up for Pukekura. Brady Simpson will slot in as an exciting player who can lurch from the sublime to the ridiculous within the space of a point.
Oakura vs Okaiawa/Manaia is a battle that could see some close matchups. Debuting for Oakura this year is Andrew Hood. Hood is a player who plays with passion; leaving it all out on the court every match. Beaten Finalists last season, Oakura will want to get off to a solid start. With the experience of players like Graeme Mitchell to steady the ship, Okaiawa/Manaia will need the best efforts of every player to come away with maximum points. The men for Okaiawa/Manaia are Mark Laurence, Vincent Baylis Josh Murdoch and Ryan Stockman. The women are Capri Wineera, Sheri Hughes, Helen Johnston, and Jaimee Baylis.
The final clash between Pihama and Stratford could go either way. The Fleming influence will be key again this season for Pihama. If the men can perform at their best then it will be hard work for Stratford. However if the Pihama men do not fire, then the quality of the pairings in the mixed doubles could be the difference between winning and losing. There is no doubt both team captains will have their thinking caps on when selecting combinations for any of the doubles.
Huatoki have the bye for the first week.There will be some quality tennis being played. So if the sun does shine, get out and support your local club.