Lakes team keeps hold of trophy

Southern Lakes proved too strong as they retained the Margaret Rennie Trophy over the weekend.

On the first day, Southern Lakes defeated North Otago 8-4 and Southland 9-3.

Against North Otago, Felicity Oxnevad came from behind to beat Nicki Wallace 4-6, 6-1, 10-7 in the key match.

This gave Southern Lakes a 5-3 lead heading into the doubles in which they won three of the four matches.

Against Southland, Southern Lakes were again up 5-3, although three-set wins to Rafferty Mcintosh and Erin O’Neill kept Southland in the contest.

The doubles combinations of Southern Lakes then proved too strong as they swept all four matches.

The main obstacle to Southern Lakes’ title hopes were Otago, who beat North Otago 8-4 and Southland by the same score.

Against North Otago, Mat McCutcheon claimed a crucial 6-4, 5-7, 10-4 win against Connor Brosnahan.

Otago then won three out of four doubles to seal the win.

In the tie between Otago and Southland, six of the 12 matches went to three sets.

Otago were able to win four of these. Max Gaffaney proved the standout, saving match points to beat Mcintosh 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 10-6.

On the final day, Southern Lakes took on Otago for the title in a familiar match-up.

After the first leg was tied 6-6, Southern Lakes needed to win just six matches to grab the title.

Dan Milburn led the way for Lakes as he beat Paddy Ou 6-4, 7-5.

Noa Milburn and Lachie Hunt then secured key wins for Lakes in beating Mitchell Sizemore 6-0, 2-6, 11-9 and McCutcheon 6-7, 6-3, 10-8 respectively.

In the top women’s singles match, Oxnevad had the better of a close tussle to beat Charlie Byers 7-5, 6-4.

After the singles, Southern Lakes were up 6-2 and sealed the championship for the second year running.

In the battle for third-fourth, North Otago snuck by Southland to finish third for the second year running.

Southland men’s No 1 Tim Wilans defeated Ryan Watt 6-3, 6-4 and finished the weekend 2-1 in singles play.

Belinda Hirst led the way for North Otago, dropping just one game in the tie as they won 7-5.

— Paddy Ou