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
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
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.