WAIRARAPA TENNIS REGIONAL ONE REPORT – GAWITH SHIELD WEEK 2
Gladstone and Carterton underlined their championship credentials with both clubs registering important victories in the second round of Wairarapa tennis regional one interclub matches played over the weekend.
With only one full round robin of matches being played before the playoff’s commence in March and just the top 3 teams having the opportunity to contest the Gawith Shield decider, there is very little scope for an off day.
Fortunately for Gladstone they appear to have clicked at the perfect time and they backed up last weekend’s upset over Martinborough, with a relatively comfortable 4-2 defeat of Masterton on Saturday.
Playing at home, Gladstone poured on the pressure in the men’s singles and were never seriously threatened.
At the top of the order Lochie McNab raced out of the blocks and claimed the first set before Masterton’s Chad Parson had even settled. To his credit, Parson did manage to push McNab all the way in the second set but ultimately the Gladstone youngster was too classy, winning 7-5 6-1.
A potential ‘swing’ match in this fixture was the No.2 men’s singles between Masterton’s Kelby Courtney and Scott Day, a rubber that Courtney really needed to win for his team.
While Day’s form has been somewhat underwhelming for Gladstone this season he responded magnificently to this challenge and put the higher-graded Courtney away in straight sets, while in the bottom men’s singles Caleb Nunn brushed aside Dan Grace to give the home team the clean sweep on the men’s side.
As she did against Carterton previously, Gerry Brooking gave Masterton a glimmer of hope with a quick-fire defeat of Charlotte Mossman in the women’s singles and then combined with Parson to win the mixed doubles.
However, McNab and Day were in cruise-control in the men’s doubles, dismantling their Masterton opponents to apply the coup de grace.
On Friday evening Carterton travelled to Opaki and came away with a solid 4-2 victory.
The appearance of Jono Hurley significantly beefed up the Carterton men’s line-up and his presence played a crucial role in allowing the Carterton lower order to get the better of their Opaki counterparts.
While Hurley won both his singles and doubles rubbers comfortably, as did Matt Spooner playing in the unfamiliar no.2 spot for Carterton, it was the bottom men’s singles match between Cory Spooner and Opaki’s Brett Dymond that proved the difference.
In the match of the evening, Dymond bombarded the younger Spooner with his laser-like forehands to get within a point of taking the first set on more than one occasion. But Cory Spooner proved once again he has nerves of steel, stealing the first set in a tiebreaker 11-9, and then unleashing some big groundstrokes of his own to ease through the second set.
Belinda Day responded in kind for Opaki with a hard-fought defeat of Olivia Bailey-Rotman in the women’s singles, but the damage had already been done and with the doubles matches being shared there was no way back for Opaki.
Next Saturday Opaki will have the chance to make amends when they take on Gladstone, while Martinborough will be keen to get their campaign back on the rails when they host Masterton.
Gladstone def Masterton 4-2 (Gladstone names first). – Mens Singles: Lochie McNab beat Chad Parson 6-1 7-5; Scott Day beat Kelby Courtney 6-1 6-4; Caleb Nunn beat Dan Grace 6-2 6-2. Womens Singles: Charlotte Mossman lost to Gerry Brooking 1-6 1-6. Mens Doubles: McNab & Day beat Courtney & Grace 6-3 6-2. Mixed Doubles: Nunn & Mossman lost to Parson & Brooking 0-6 2-6.
Carterton def Opaki 4-2 (Carterton names first). – Mens Singles: Jono Hurley beat Chris Davidson 6-2 6-1; Matt Spooner beat Duncan Oakley 6-1 6-1; Cory Spooner beat Brett Dymond 7-6 6-3. Womens Singles: Olivia Bailey-Rotman lost to Belinda Day 4-6 4-6. Mens Doubles: Hurley & M.Spooner beat Oakley & Jon McNab 6-2 6-0. Mixed Doubles: C.Spooner & Bailey-Rotman lost to Dymond & Day 4-6 3-6.