SOFFE CUP REVIEW
Sandfords Manaia 1 blitzed Accent on Curtains Waiwaka 16-0 in the Soffe Cup at Manaia on Saturday. It was an astonishing performance against the only other unbeaten side in the competition. Waiwaka were missing their regular No 3 and 4 men and No 4 woman but Manaia were without their No 2 Thomas Luxton (for the second week running ) and their No3 woman Irene Cruikshank.
The top two men’s singles were decided in the third set tie-breaker. Jason Mills defeated Aaron Hine 6-0, 5-7, 7-6 and Alaister Murdoch defeated Nick Creery 7-6, 5-7, 7-6.
Top woman, Nicole Koch made no race of it against Clare Fairey, winning 6-3, 6-1. No 2 Cindy Death’s match against Nicki Mills was closer; Death won the first set 7-5 before easily winning the second set 6-1. The rest of the singles matches were easy wins.
The men’s doubles were closer with Mills and Murdoch defeating Hine and Creery 6-3, 7-6 and Cameron Koch and Michael Gates defeating newcomers Shane Devlin and David Chamberlain 6-4, 7-5.
The only other match where Manaia was tested was the bottom women’s doubles. Ashlee Murdoch and Abby Death were taken to three sets by Glenda Frost and debutant Adele Meyers.
Midhirst’s 12 – 4 defeat of wooden spooners, Manaia 2 at Midhirst was predictable with the Manaia team struggling in this grade this season.
Midhirst were ahead 6-2 after the singles with all the matches being easy victories. Manaia’s veteran Grant Gopperth made his first interclub appearance of the season, at No 4 and picked up his singles 6-2, 6-3 against Ross Topping and his combines with Shinae Bailey 9-4 against Topping and Marlene Foreman. He lost his doubles with Kelvin Tosland 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 to Topping and Ross Slinger.
The three combines wins by Midhirst were crucial and all close, two were 9-7 and the other 9-8. The Midhirst player’s experience shone through, had Manaia picked up those three it would have been a different picture, an overall score of 9-7.
Manaia’s other wins were from their No3 woman Alesha Ford who blitzed Gloria Wilson 6-1, 6-1 and then teamed up with Bailey to defeat Wilson and Foreman 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.
Pukekura had little trouble against Hawera in their away fixture. Although they were without their top players, Zac Wills and Linda Reid they shot to a 6-2 lead after the singles. Hawera’s top man, Crichton Parker beat Tony Radich 6-4, 6-2 and No 3 Conrad Heron defeated Ben Aves 6-3, 6-2.
Heron teamed up with Stu Pennefather to defeat Aves and Damian Stewart in three sets.
The rest of the matches were easy wins, apart from the top women’s doubles, Donna Thorne and Kirsten Adam won the first set 6-1 against Joanne and Megan Gyde before the Hawera pair came back in the second set. The Pukekura pair went on to win it 7-5.
On the points table the only change in placings is Midhirst has moved from 6th to 5th and Stratford has dropped from 5th to 6th. Manaia 1 is way out in front; they have a 25 point lead. Then there is a battle for the next three places, only four points separates the three New Plymouth sides, Waiwaka, Rotokare and Pukekura.
Okaiawa 15 Huatoki 1, Kaponga 15 Waitara 1, Matapu defeated Rotokare by default.
Manaia 92, Waiwaka 67, Rotokare 65, Pukekura 63, Midhirst 45, Stratford 41,
Hawera 30, Manaia 2 29
Kaponga 81, Matapu 67, Okaiawa 62, Manaia 31, Rotokare 29, Waitara 27, Huatoki 26