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.