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Opaki victory puts them into Gawith Shield final

The battle to find Martinborough’s opponents in the Gawith Shield final went down to the last two singles matches between Martinborough and Ōpaki on Saturday.

Ōpaki went into the fixture needing to win four of the nine matches to pip Carterton on the countback, but in the end, they won the decisive matches featuring the number one and two men to win 5-4 and book their place in the Wairarapa Tennis Regional One Interclub decider.

With Martinborough leading 4–3 after the doubles and four of the six singles, Ōpaki had to win one of the two remaining singles matches. They did so, with Boon Huxtable winning a tight two-setter over Chris Wilkie 7-6 [5] 6–3 and Alex Randall prevailing in a closely fought three-setter with Matt Nicholson 6–4 4-6 6–3.

Earlier, Ōpaki set up the victory, winning two of the three doubles both in super tiebreakers. Huxtable and Randall held off Chris and Rick Wilkie 6–1 1-6 12–10, while Chris Davidson and Duncan Oakley defeated Matt Nicholson and Marco de Groot 6-4 6-7 [5] 10-7.

The Martinborough duo of Gabriella Nicholson and Marta Wojcikowski took out the women’s doubles 6-2 6–2 over Tori Bunny and Anna Rutherford.

Oakley picked up Ōpaki’s third win of the singles, comfortably beating Mike Jones 6-3 6–1.

Marco de Groot got the better of Davidson 6–2 6-2, Johanna de Groots came from a set down to beat Bunny 4–6 6–1 6-4, and Jessica Chisholm triumphed 6–2 6–2 over Rutherford for Martinborough’s other wins.

Martinborough topped the standings with 27 points and will host the final on Saturday. Ōpaki finished with 21 points and Carterton on 18 points.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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