9 Nov 2019
A Grade Second Round Hotly Contested
The second round of the Taranaki 2019/20 tennis season saw some interesting battles take place.
In Soffe Cup, South Combined hosted Rotokare who were looking to get their
season back on track, after a loss last week. The predicted split between
the men and the women was not as marked as predicted. The Rotokare men won
three out of the four singles and the women’s singles was an even split with two
wins apiece. This meant Rotokare led the tie by one match heading into the
doubles. The doubles were an even split, which left Rotokare still up by
one. The tightness of the contest continued into the mixed doubles and a
countback was looking like it may be needed. Rotokare’s Roberts and
Macesic just managed to edge out Laurence and Symes 9-7 in the tie break to
claim a 9-8 victory. This gave Rotokare a narrow overall win 9-7.
Some tight games had been played during the day and perhaps the match that made
all the difference was Rotokare’s Luis Silva managing to outlast Ricky Clement
7-5 5-7 6-4. South Combined will look to claim some revenge next time
these clubs square up to one another.
The second Soffe Cup match saw Oakura take on Huatoki. Jaime Simpson
greatly changed the fortunes for the Oakura men compared with the week previous.
All of Oakura’s men had relatively comfortable wins. This trend continued
with Oakura’s women conceding just one singles match. Huatokí’s Sophie
Robertson, playing at number one, managed the only singles victory for the club
over Catherine Stevenson. This left Oakura with a healthy 7-1 lead heading
into the doubles. Sophie Robertson teamed up with Tracey Old to record
Huatokí’s second victory of the day over Catherine Stevenson and Jackie Keenan.
The rest of the doubles went to Oakura. Huatoki claimed one more victory
in the combines. This left Oakura with a very comfortable overall winning
margin 13-3. Arguably the most notable result was the incredibly close
women’s bottom doubles. Chris Wilson and her partner Jae Laurence had only
managed to claim one game in their singles matches between them. However,
they put these results behind them and very nearly pulled off the upset of the
round. Unfortunately for them the bounce of the ball ultimately went the
way of Oakura’s Taylor Mitchell and Grace Kelly getting their noses in front for
a 6-4 0-6 7-6 (12-10) victory.
The last Soffe Cup match-up of the round saw Stratford host Pukekura.
Caleb Fleming and Jordan Whittleston played having missed the week previous.
This made Pukekura’s men a formidable unit. Surprisingly, for a club as
large as Pukekura, they were unable to field four women for the singles.
Sadly, this default turned out to be Stratford’s only win of the day. That
said, a lot of the matches were fiercely contested and the final scoreline is
more one-sided than it should have been. Courtney Tippett, for instance,
lost her singles in three sets 6-3 0-6 7-5 to Caitlin Haylock. Tippett then
combined with Grant Kite to lose their combines match 9-8(3). All in all,
Pukekura must have walked away feeling like they had claimed a victory that
appeared more dominant than it actually was.
In the Wilson Trophy, South Combined lost to Pukekura 9-7, Rotokare just lost
out to Waitara 19 sets to 18 on countback after finishing with eight matches
each and Inglewood just squeezed past Oakura 9-7.
In the Sumpter Trophy, Pukekura lost to South Combined 10-6 and Huatoki lost to Oakura 11-5.