7 Nov 2010
Soffe Cup review- Round Three
Round three of Soffe Cup was dominated by the elements on Saturday, as the wind swept through New Plymouth, necessitating an excruciating fashion of tennis for the players concerned, where extreme patience and consistency could be the only measure for success.
In an illustration of how close this year's competition has started, the largest winning margin was achieved this weekend by Sanfords Manaia, 10-6 winners over Rotokare at the Rotokare courts. Manaia shot out of the gates, claiming all four mens single's ties. Jordan Fleming was typically professional in his promotion to the No.1 mens spot, a 6-1 6-4 winner over Malcolm Elder. Greg Hareb toiled hard all day against his younger and much fancied opponent Cameron Koch, and almost caused an upset but Koch, resolute yet again under pressure held true for a 6-7 6-3 7-6 win. Michael Gates and Tommy Death completed the clean sweep both winning in straight sets.
In the women's singles Nicole Koch faced her toughest task of the season against Karen Cranston and struggled early but fought back to grind out a 2-6 6-2 7-6 win. Tania L'Ami continues to shine in her comeback season defeating Sarah Kelly 6-2 6-0. No.'s 3 and 4 matches went both ways - Beccie Atkins playing well to defeat rival Maree Gopperth 6-3 7-6 while Grace Kelly outclassed Frances Gray 6-1 6-1.
Rotokare strove to make headway in the doubles and combines but the games were shared, and thus allowed Manaia to breakthrough from the chasing pack to establish itself as the sole leader of this competition.
The match between AWE Huatoki and Oakura at the Huatoki courts in New Plymouth ended in an 8-8 draw on Saturday, with Oakura being denied their first win of the season at the death after previously seizing the initiative. As the doubles were the first to be played Oakura decisively won both top doubles matches in tight three setters. Graham Mitchell/Len Adamson beat Chris Popata/Jeremy Wichman 3-6 6-3 7-6 (11-9). Sue Oldfield and Miaana Walden beat Alice Caskey and Diane Carswell 4-6 6-1 7-6 (10-5). Coupled with Jamie Hareb/Tei Walden's 6-4 6-3 victory over David Geange/David Innes, Oakura were looking strong early.
In the much anticipated men's single's match of the round, Huatoki's Chris Popata came up against Oakura's Graham Mitchell. The conditions along with each other's probing play tested their mental and physical resolve to the limit. After conceding the first set Mitchell hung in the match to win 2-6 6-4 7-6 (9-7). In the remaining men's singles David Geange and David Innes posted wins for Huatoki, while Len Adamson came from behind to beat Jeremy Wichman 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-7).
In the No. 1 women's singles match Huatoki's Alice Caskey won in impressive style 6-1 6-2 over Oakura's Sue Oldfield. Miaana Walden returned from university with a straight sets win, while Becky Bruckner beat Diane Carswell 6-7 6-3 7-6 (11-9). Megan Walsh conceded one game in her win over Shae Martin. The curtain call appeared drawn after Oakura won the first combines match to lead 8-5, but were unable to find that final gear and Huatoki scrambled to win the remaining three matches.
Tariki Icons Sports Pukekura continues to impress with a 9-7 win over Waiwaka at the Pukekura courts on Saturday. Pukekura dominated proceedings until a late surge by Waiwaka ensured they wouldn't walk away completely empty handed. Pukekura's No. 1's Callum Old and Linda Reid both scored good wins over David Lace and Krystal Oakes respectively. Dennis Reid came out on top against Waiwaka's Nga Nicholas 3-6 6-4 7-6 while Thomas Brown beat Michael Goulding 7-6 6-2. Meanwhile Donna Thorne and Jeanette Harding beat Michelle Lace and Jaydn Bruce both in straight sets. Conversely Sharon Bruce defeated Tania Fleming 4-6 6-4 7-6 and Mike Lace beat Tony Radich 6-2 7-6 to help Waiwaka's disconsolate cause at this stage of the match.
The doubles were shared, Old/Brown achieving a memorable win against the quality partnership of David and Mike Lace 6-4 3-6 7-6. Nicholas/Goulding pegged one back for the visitors defeating Reid/Radich 2-6 7-5 7-6. In the womens doubles Reid/Thorne resumed their winning partnership in beating Oakes/M. Lace 7-6 7-5 whilst Jaydn and Sharon Bruce defeated Harding/Fleming 6-1 6-4.
Waiwaka continued fight hard all day and were rewarded with three combines wins to reassert due respectability to the scoreline
Hawera 10 Inglewood 6, Waiwaka 11 Huatoki 5, Okaiawa 12 Manaia White 4, Oakura 12, Rotokare 4, Stratford 10 Manaia Blue 6, Matapu 13 Pukekura 5
Waitara 10 Okaiawa 6, Stratford 12 Waiwaka 4, Opunake 10 Inglewood 6, Huatoki 15 Manaia 1
Sanfords Manaia 32, AWE Huatoki 29, Tariki Icons Sports Pukekura 27, Central Finance Rotokare 26, Stumble Inn Waiwaka 25, Hareb Deken Oakura 23
Stratford 30, Hawera 27, Waiwaka 26, Okaiawa 25, Inglewood 18, Matapu 18, Rotokare 15, Oakura 14, Manaia Blue 13, Huatoki 12, Manaia White 10, Pukekura 8