30 Jan 2021

Exciting Tennis in Soffe Cup

Another exciting weekend of tennis was completed on Saturday.  Okaiawa travelled up to Huatoki and got the better of their hosts.  Oakura welcomed Pukekura and also found themselves bettered by the visitors.  Stratford were at home and suffered the same fate as the other hosting teams; losing to Rotokare.

Okaiawa’s battle with Huatoki saw Okaiawa’s men dominate and Huatoki’s women do the same.  Okaiawa’s Doc Murdoch rolled back the years to outlast Huatoki's Shane Douglas in the men’s four spot 6-4 4-6 6-2.  Huatoki looked as though they would have the same ascendency in the women but Okaiawa’s Jorja Symes had other ideas in the top spot against Huatoki’s Sophie Robertson.  Symes played the more consistent brand of tennis and, after some key learning from her representative experience the week before, did not become overawed by the big hitting Robertson. Symes improved and improved to win the match comfortably 6-3 6-2.  The rest of the matches for the day would be evenly split, making Symes’ key win the one that ultimately carried the day for the visiting Okaiawa team 9-7.

Oakura fielded an understrength team and paid the price with a heavy loss.  Oakura’s number 2 woman Tayla Mitchell was the only player to have a singles win, over Ella Rogers 6-3 6-2.  So Oakura were trailing 7-1 after the singles.  Pukekura then claimed all of the doubles matches to take an unassailable 11-1 lead.  However, there were some tight matchups; the men's top doubles was 1-6 6-4 7-6(3) and the women’s top doubles was 6-2 3-6 7-6(2).  The mixed doubles were shared two rubbers each to give Pukekura a final winning margin of 13-3.

Rotokare managed to edge out Stratford but it was a close run affair.  There were three key matches that all went the way of Rotokare, ultimately giving the team their sizable winning margin.  The first of these matches was the number two men's singles rubber between Rotokare’s Luis Silva and Stratford’s Bruce Cleland.  Cleland drew first blood by winning the opening set 6-4 but then conceded the second 6-1.  Silva was the one who managed to hold on during a nail biting third set, claiming it 7-6.  The second tight match was the top women’s singles between Stratford’s Lynn Stanners and Rotokare’s Chantelle Peters.  Peters pulled out a similar escape act having conceded the first set 6-3, she recovered to win the next two sets 6-1 7-5.  The third and final nail in the coffin for Stratford was the number three mixed doubles result between Rotokare’s Bill Husband and Chantelle Peters versus Stratford’s Grant Kite and Sue McGrath.  The Rotokare pairing managed to get ahead and claim the victory 9-7.  These three results blew the score out to slightly flatter Rotokare with a winning margin of 11-5.

The Soffe Cup takes a break for Waitangi Weekend and will be back on the 13th of February where Inglewood will take on Pukekura at Midhirst, Okaiawa will be at home against Oakura and Huatoki will be welcoming Rotokare.  Stratford will have the bye.