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Lead changes before finals

Gladstone’s Scott Day beat Duncan Oakley in one of the club’s two wins its 7-2 loss to Opaki. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

TENNIS

ELI HILL
[email protected]

The tables have turned in the Wairarapa Regional One Championship tennis competition with Gladstone toppling from first place to third in the standings.

Opaki, who had been sitting in third had a 7-2 win against Gladstone at home on Saturday.

Opaki’s number one Chris Davidson beat Gladstone’s Kelby Courtney in three sets 4-6, 7-6, 6-0, but Scott Day made ground for Gladstone against Duncan Oakley winning 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.

Stu Wyeth had a convincing win for Opaki beating William Day 6-1, 6-2, while Gladstone’s Mitchell Blackwood bested Jon McNab 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.

In the womens’ matches the victories were all Opaki’s, with Gerry Brooking beating Sophie Fitzgerald 6-3, 7-6 and Jo Mossman beating Bridget Needham 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.

All three doubles matches were won by Opaki with Davidson and Wyeth beating Courtney and Blackwood 6-2, 6-2.

Oakley and McNab beat the Day brothers 6-4, 7-5 while Brooking and Mossman beat Fitzgerald and Needham 6-2, 6-4.

Gladstone, who had led the competition from the get-go are now in third place behind Martinborough and Opaki.

The side has suffered since their number one Lochie McNab left for university midway through the competition.

Opaki team captain Chris Davidson said Opaki had “just scraped through”, with most of the matches going to three sets or a close two sets.

“It could have gone either way – we could’ve won 9-0 or 5-4, this competition has really been a success as far as close games are concerned – all the teams are well matched.”

Next week Opaki go up against Martinborough, a top-of-the-table clash in the last round before the finals.

“It’s always tough against Martinborough and we’ll be playing there where they have the biggest home advantage due to the grass court.”

Martinborough are looking in good shape for that match-up after taking a 6-3 win over Carterton at home.

Number one Chris Wilkie beat Carterton’s Matt Spooner in straight sets with scores of 6-2 and 6-1, while Martinborough teammate Marco de Groot had a closer call, beating Andi Steinemann 3-6, 6-4, 7-6.

The home side continued their streak in the next two matches with Ed Wilkie beating Marcus Laing 6-1, 6-2 while Jamie McMaster topped Ted Rotman 6-0 6-4.

It was Carterton’s two women players who came to the side’s rescue with Karen Herrick beating Rhona Lovell 6-4, 6-3 and Karen Goodall beating Martha Wilke 6-2 and 5-7.

Carterton’s pair of Karens struck again in the doubles, beating Lovell and Wilke 7-6, 2-6, 10-8 to claim the side’s third and final win.

Chris and Ed Wilkie beat Spooner and Steinemann in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 while de Groot and Dan Nicholson continued the trend, beating Steinemann and Rotman 6-1, 6-2.

Team captain de Groot said he was looking forward to the match-up against Opaki.

“We lost against them a few weeks ago [6-3] so it’ll be really interesting to see what happens there.

“The week after we have the finals. At the moment it’s looking like us and Opaki, unless Gladstone can take away a large victory against Carterton.”

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