WAIRARAPA TENNIS REGIONAL ONE REPORT – GAWITH SHIELD WEEK 5
Unbeaten teams Gladstone and Carterton battled out a thrilling stalemate at Martinborough on Saturday to round off pool play in Wairarapa Tennis regional one interclub.
With the winner of this fixture gaining automatic entry into the season decider there was plenty of intensity from the outset, but in the final wash-up the two combatants couldn’t be separated, even after a countback, and with an extra competition point in the bag Gladstone progressed through to the final.
In recent weeks Carterton have looked the team to beat with Jono Hurley and Matt Spooner being a class apart from their opposition.
They were once again to the fore with Hurley defeating Lochie McNab in straight sets and Matt Spooner doing likewise against a game Scott Day.
What Carterton weren’t counting on was the inclusion of former Wairarapa champion Luke Atkinson taking to the court for Gladstone for the first time and being the fine grass-court exponent that he is, he brushed aside Cory Spooner promptly despite having very little competitive tennis of late.
Newcomer Katy Duncan showed plenty of athleticism to defeat Carterton’s Nic Bassett in the women’s rubber and so heading into the doubles the matches and sets were level but Gladstone had a handy five game advantage.
With Hurley and Matt Spooner defeating McNab and Day for the loss of only two games in the men’s doubles the momentum swung back in Carterton’s favour but Atkinson dominated the proceedings in his mixed doubles with Duncan, and when the calculator came into play, it was Gladstone that were all smiles.
Carterton will now face a sudden-death playoff against Martinborough who comfortably saw off the challenge of Opaki, despite being without the services of key man Chris Wilkie.
In his absence Marco De Groot moved up into the top position and while he conceded the first set against Opaki’s Chris Davidson, he got into his stride as the match wore on and was too strong in the end.
Matt Nicholson added to the tally for Martinborough, dismissing Brett Dymond in quick time although Duncan Oakley hit back for Opaki with a straight-sets defeat of Mike Jones.
Carla Didsbury rammed home the advantage for Martinborough winning her women’s singles against Judy Howard and by this time the Southerners could relax somewhat in the knowledge that they had now secured third position irrespective of how the fixture finished.
As it happened Martinborough won both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles without being troubled and will now look forward to their much-anticipated return match with Carterton, being played at the Masterton Tennis Centre on Friday night.
Gladstone drew with Carterton 3-3, 6-6 sets, 55-55 games (Gladstone names first). – Mens Singles: Lochie McNab lost to Jono Hurley 3-6 4-6; Scott Day lost to Matt Spooner 4-6 5-7; Luke Atkinson beat Cory Spooner 6-2 6-1. Womens Singles: Katy Duncan beat Nic Bassett 6-3 6-4. Mens Doubles: McNab & Day lost to Hurley & M.Spooner 2-6 0-6. Mixed Doubles: Atkinson & Duncan beat C.Spooner & Bassett 7-5 6-3.
Martinborough def Opaki 5-1 (Martinborough names first). – Mens Singles: Marco De Groot beat Chris Davidson 4-6 6-3 6-2; Mike Jones lost to Duncan Oakley 0-6 4-6; Matt Nicholson beat Brett Dymond 6-1 6-2. Womens Singles: Carla Didsbury beat Judy Howard 6-2 6-1. Mens Doubles: Jones & Nicholson beat Oakley & Jon McNab 6-1 6-2. Mixed Doubles: De Groot & Didsbury beat Davidson & Howard 6-2 6-0.
Regional One Championship Points: Gladstone 22, Carterton 21, Martinborough 17, Masterton 12, Opaki 8.