29 March 2008

In the Soffe Cup final played at Rotokare on Saturday, the provisional result is a win to Central Finance Rotokare, beating AWE Huatoki on a countback. The matches were 8 all and the sets even at 17 all but Rotokare won 137 games to 132.  However, one match is in dispute, the top singles match between Huatoki's Lucy Barlow and Rotokare's Kelly Toa.

Barlow arrived just less than an hour late after being held up in road works on the drive from Kihikihi to New Plymouth. Although she advised that she would be late she was defaulted by the TTA Official, Bruce Cleland.

This has been disputed by Huatoki and it will be resolved at the Taranaki Tennis Association's Board meeting on Tuesday night.

The result will then be confirmed.

In the top men's singles, AWE Huatoki's Tristan Stayt came up against Central Finance Rotokare's Ben Pollard.  Having experienced defeat against Oakura in the semi-finals at the hands of Josh Walden in a game that Stayt should have won, Stayt, from the outset, showed a determination to stamp his mark early in the game.   Both players were playing mainly baseline rallies.  Stayt comfortably took out the first set 6-2 by hitting superb shots from the base line and running Pollard around the court.  Although Pollard was able to hit some passing ground shots Stayt won by far the most percentage of points.  Stayt took out the match in straight sets 6-2 6-1. 

Rotokare's No 2 and 4 men, Chris Popata and Greg Hareb won their matches against Jordan Stayt and Amrit Rai 6-1 6-0 and 6-4 6-3 respectively. 

Rotokare's No 3 and 4 ladies, Anita Walpole and Kate Laurenson won their singles against Chris Wilson and Megan Walsh. 

The stalwarts of Huatoki tennis, Neil Bridgeman and Saori Han both put in solid performances to win their singles matches against Mike Roberts and Leith Atkins respectively.  Bridgeman and Han then went on to combine superbly and take out the mixed doubles against Roberts and Laurenson.    

The score after the singles was 5-3 in favour of Rotokare.   However after the doubles the score was even at 6 all with Huatoki taking out three of the four doubles matches.  The pressure was on both teams going into the mixed doubles which saw Huatoki & Rotokare each winning two matches.


In the Wilson Trophy final, Hawera defeated Okaiawa (1) at Okaiawa 9-7.  This is a rapid rise to the Soffe Cup next season for the team that won the Sumpter Trophy last season.  Hawera led 5-3 after the singles with all their women winning along with their top man and captain, Conrad Heron, winning his 6-3 6-3 against Andrew Powell.   

The men's and women's doubles were shared with Okaiawa winning the men's matches and Hawera the women's.  The mixed doubles was also shared, with Hawera winning two of the crucial mixed in tiebreakers, 9-8.  There were 5 matches decided in tie-breaks, all won by Hawera.

Okaiawa, who were relegated from the Soffe Cup last season, will be back next season as both finalists are promoted.


In the Sumpter Trophy final at Midhirst, Manaia 2 beat Stratford 10-6. The result could have gone either way as there were six games decided on tiebreakers with Manaia winning five of them.  Manaia were winning 6-2 after the singles and the remaining doubles matches were shared 4 all.

Both teams earn promotion to the Wilson Trophy next season.