5 March 2006

Taranaki finished the season unbeaten with a comprehensive 19-5 win over Wairarapa at the Rotokare courts in a Christie Cup challenge in New Plymouth on Saturday. The win means their name will be engraved on the trophy for the first time since 2002-03. The trophy is the symbol of supremacy for Central Districts tennis.
Taranaki got off to a flyer, only dropping two singles matches, No 1 Aaron Hine lost 2-6,1-6 to Jono Hurley and Zac Wills lost 3-6 5-7 to Matt Spooner. No 3, 4 and 5, Michael Fleming, Chris Popata and Cameron Koch all won easily and No 6 Jonathan Ussher won in three sets.  The women's were all impressive winning their singles easily and the Cup was all but in the bag with a 10-2 lead.
In the doubles Wairarapa took the top men's and top women's matches. Wills and Ussher  lost 2-6, 0-6 to Hurley and Spooner while  Linda Reid and  Leith Atkins lost 3-6, 4-6 to Emma Stevenson and Katie Wyeth. Fleming and Ussher won 6-4, 6-4 and Hine and Popata won a tight one 4-6, 6-4, 7-6. Taranaki's teenage pair of Nicole Koch and Aleisha Ford won 6-1, 6 -1 as did Cindy Death and Clare Fairey.  Taranaki won all the combines except the top pairing of Hine and Fairey lost 4-9 to Hurley and Stevenson, making it a clean sweep for the Wairarapa No 1. 
Selector Alaister Murdoch was rapt with the win saying,  " Its a long time since Taranaki's women won all their singles. It was a good team effort.