5 Mar 2012
Whilst New Plymouth staged the Soffe Cup Final last Sunday, Manaia Tennis Club was the venue of the South Taranaki Junior Grand Prix. Amongst the noise of chainsaws (trees on the domain that have fallen due to the weather bomb) 38 children competed for the age group titles. The days saw the weather change from a lovely day to icy cold winds. Pukekura's Brady Simpson won the 14s boys singles with 8 entered into the draw. Simpson played 12 year old Callum Sutherland (Huatoki) in the final winning 6-0 6-2. Simpson then paired with Cameron Jackson to play Sutherland and James Heerdegen losing 9-5. Doubles games were shortened due to rain delays.
14s girls was not as predictable with Huatoki's Ellen O'Bryne (number 1 seed) losing in the final to Pukekura's Holly Pearson (6-4 2-6 10-6). Pearson was un-seeded in the draw and dispatched fellow Pukekura team mate Rebecca Wormald 6-0 6-4 in the first round, then outplaying 2nd seeded Michaela Spurdle (Pukekura) 6-0 6-4. Pearson then teamed with O'Bryne in the doubles to beat Spurdle and Manaia's Dayna Corbett (9-8).
Due to numbers, the 12s girls was played as a round robin with 11 year old Tessa McCann (Hawera) the winner; Pukekura's Alex Spurdle second. Doubles saw Oakura's Poppy Mitchell return from injury. Unable to play in the singles Mitchell joined Spurdle to win the title from McCann and Taylor Mitchell (7-2). The 12s boys was in stark contrast with 11 entrants. Top seed David Barnard (Pukekura) went through to the final relatively untroubled. There he faced Jayden Harrison of Huatoki. Barnard won the final 6-1 6-2. Barnard joined by Jeremy Gopperth of Manaia to win the doubles when they played Harrison and Ryan Gilmour (Pukekura). Score 7-3.
10s Boys was also a round robin. The surprise of this draw was Oakura's Jack Mitchell's win over Opunake's Koby Sinclair (9-2). Mitchell finished the day 2nd behind Pukekura's Caleb Fleming. Fleming and Sinclair went on to win the doubles with a 7-2 win over Mitchell and Charlie Waite (Oakura). 10s Girls was won by newly 8 year old Taylor Mitchell. Oakura's Mitchell won her finals match against Pukekura's Nikayla Barnard 9-0.