9 Dec 2012
Hareb Deken Oakura almost caused the upset of the season, in a valiant loss to 2nd placed Icon Sports Tariki Pukekura 9-7. AWE Huatoki in the end had a comfortable win over Central Finance Rotokare ,14-2. As expected, current Soffe Cup champions, Sandfords Manaia were too good for Farmlands Okaiawa, winning 14-2.
Manaia were clinical in their 14-2 win over Okaiawa , with only minimal resistance. Nicole Koch was far too good for Jaimee Baylis winning 6-0 6-0; Jordan Fleming and Cameron Koch won their singles matches 6-2 6-2 (Andrew Powell) and 6-1 6-1 (Mark Laurence) respectively. Most of the remainder in the Manaia team provided sterling supporting roles by winning their matches in straight sets. The shining light for Okaiawa was in the No.3 women’s slot where Beth MacLeod, in a three set boil-over, won over Sarah Kelly 6-4 4-6 6-2. Manaia took out all the doubles and most combines easily, with sister–brother act Jaimee Baylis and Vincent Baylis taking Okaiawa's only win, 9-4 in the mixed doubles.
If only Oakura could have squeezed another win, they could at least have got a well earned draw against the competition leaders. Pukekura No. 1 Kirsten Adam had a ding dong battle against Sue Oldfield with a 6-0 1-6 6-1 win, with Pukekura No. 2 Linda Reid having a tough win over Miaana Walden 6-3 7-6. But Oakura's Jackie Keenan and Chris Davies pulled two matches back with 6-0 6-3 and 7-6 6-1wins respectively over Jeanette Harding and Chantel Peters. On the men's side, the mercurial Graeme Mitchell was in commanding form dispatching Callum Old 6-1 6-3 while the score didn’t reflect the effort in Len Adamson's 6-0 6-1 loss to Pukekura's Mike Fleming. Charlie Lewis on debut had a tough time against Pukekura's Chris Jury at 3, losing 6-1 6-2 while Jamie Simpson took care of his school mate Cory Sutherland 6-1 6-2. The doubles were shared going into the combines, with Oakura needing 3 of the final 4 combines to tie. Mitchell/Oldfield and Lewis/Keenan won their matches but it was a bridge too far.
Both Huatoki and Rotokare were missing their top two women, however Huatoki's Chris Wilson 'stepped up to the plate' at No. 1 to give Frances Gray a 6-2 6-2 lesson, while young 14 year old Ellen O'Byrne was equally dominant in her 6-0 6-0 win over Michelle Atkins. Julie Foley at No. 4 easily accounted for Hannah Trevis 6-0 6-2 while Rotokare's sole women's win came from Juliet Farquhar at number 3, who outlasted Hikaru Han 6-4 6-4. Taranaki No.3 ,Huatoki's Amrit Rai, had some early trouble but eventually prevailed over the tenacious Malcolm Elder 6-4 7-5. While in the men's No 2 match, Chris Popata took out Greg Hareb 6-4 6-0. Rotokare captain Shane Devlin had his chances but just couldn't convert in a tight loss to Alastair Nairn 7-6 6-7 6-4. Making his debut at number 4, Cole Hareb came up against the 'volley board', Murray Keast, and went down 6-0 6-0. Rotokare's only other win was in the No. 2 combines where Hareb/Farquhar outlasted Popata/Foley 9-7. Other scores were men's top doubles 6-7 7-5 10-3 to Rai /Nairn, men's 2 doubles, 6-3 6-0 to Popata / Keast over Devlin/Hareb. Wome'ns top doubles was 6-4 7-5 Wilson/Han and women's No. 2 doubles was 6-3 6-0 to Foley /O'Byrne. Other mixed was Rai/Wilson beat Elder/Gray 9-2, Nairn/Han beat Devlin/Atkins 9-7, Keast /O'Byrne beat Hareb /Trevis 9-0.