29 February 2008
Tomorrow is the
last round of games before the semi-finals in all three A grades or
interclub tennis. In each grade the top four have already been
established as they have a substantial lead over of the next teams. The
finishing order will determine home or away matches.
In the Soffe
Cup, Central Finance Rotokare, AWE Huatoki, Hooker Pacific Pukekura and
Hareb Deken Oakura make up the top four.
front runner Rotokare is away to third placed Pukekura and both teams are
hit by injuries to key players and unavailability. Rotokare's No 2,
Chris Popata will hopefully be recovered from the back injury which kept him
out of the rep team last Saturday. Their No 3 Greg Hareb played with
his knee heavily strapped two weeks ago and their No 4 Shane Devlin pulled a
calf muscle last week which kept him out of the Taranaki B team.
Pukekura' s No 1 Michael Fleming may still be nursing an ankle injury which
force him to withdraw from the rep team and Ben Aves has returned to
university. The possible top three match ups are Rotokare's Ben
Pollard against Meto Snegirev, Chris Popata against Dennis Reid, Mike
Roberts against Nick Steventon. Rotokare are favoured in the No 1 and
3 games but Pukekura's Dennis Reid will give Chris Popata a good game.
In the women's
singles Rotokare's likely line-up of Kelly Toa, Leith Atkins, Anita Walpole,
Kate Laurenson and Leanne O'Hallahan will face Linda Reid, Donna Thorne,
Jeanette Harding and Tania Fleming. In the first round Toa beat Reid and
Thorne beat Atkins while the line ups were different in the No 3 and 4
positions. In the first round Rotokare won 9-7 so it is bound to be
another close one.
Manaia who are in fifth place are at home to AWE Huatoki, in second place.
In the first round it was 10-6 to Huatoki but the line ups will be different
this time and both teams are likely to be strengthened by the inclusion of
their No 1 women. Manaia's Nicole Koch is likely to face Lucy Barlow
who should be too strong for her and in the No 2 spot two rep players,
Manaia's Alesha Ford and Saori Han will play each other. Ford won in the
first round. In the men's singles, Huatoki's Tristan Stayt should be
too good for Jason Mills and Jordan Stayt will start favourite over Jordan
Fleming. The match is likely to be played on the hardcourts rather than the
astroturf so it will suit Manaia, but Huatoki should still win.
Oakura, in fourth place, are at home to the combined
Waiwaka/Stratford/Midhirst team. In the first round Oakura won 15-1
but although Oakura are strong favourites, the combined side should improve
on that score. In the top spot, Oakura's Josh Walden will play Gavin
Phelan and in the No 2 match, Aaron Hine will play Michael O'Sullivan.
Oakura should win those matches.
two women are Taranaki A reps, Leah Fletcher and Sue Oldfield and they will
play Taranaki B reps Krystal Oakes and Alison Chamberlain.
Estate Matapu has the bye.