Div 1 interclub starts after washout

North Otago’s Mackenzie Phillips plays a shot during a club singles match in Oamaru at the...
North Otago’s Mackenzie Phillips plays a shot during a club singles match in Oamaru at the weekend. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN
Division 1 interclub tennis started on Saturday after being washed out the previous weekend.

North Otago combination Waimaru hosted Balmacewen 1 at the Chelmer St grass courts in Oamaru. The surface was in good condition, if soft, considering the amount of rain that fell last week.

Singles rubbers were played first. Balmacewen No 4 Simon Peat, on debut, showed promise in a 6-1, 7-6 loss to Mackenzie Phillips.

Up-and-coming Ben Sinclair evened the ledger for Balmacewen with a hard-fought 6-7, 6-3, 10-7 victory over Marshall Hore, reversing the tables from their previous encounter.

Balmacewen’s Nick Cutfield and Waimaru stalwart Robin Jamieson filled the No 2 spots for their respective teams. Both players displayed their tactical nous, judiciously employing slice on the slow and low surface. Jamieson had the better grasp of his craft, running out a 6-3, 6-3 winner.

In the No 1 men’s slot, Waimaru’s Josh Cameron came out of the gate fast against Gerard Farrell, wrapping up the first set 6-2. Farrell made the running in the second stanza, having chances to close it out before Cameron forced and won a second set tiebreaker.

In the women’s order, Balmacewen’s Ella Richardson gave Belinda Hirst a run for her money, the latter taking the match 6-3, 6-2. Waimaru’s Nicky Fisher overcame a game Shreenidhi Mahamuni 6-2, 6-1.

The doubles matches provided some of the best viewing of the day, the highlight being the top men’s contest between Farrell and Cutfield and Cameron and Hore. The Balmacewen duo took the match 6-4 7-6.

St Clair, returning to the top flight after several years on the sidelines, almost caused a boilover in pushing Andersons Bay to five rubbers to four.

Ayesha Horley and Rileigh Fields swept their singles matches and later combined to win their doubles.

Perhaps the most crucial match of the tie was Anthony Mirfin’s 6-3, 6-2 win over Jeff Elliotte in the No 3 men’s slot.

Mathew Rusher also gained an important point for Andersons Bay, taking his singles against the promising Luka Mandich in a match tiebreak.

The same two Andersons Bay players then combined to win their doubles, capping off a good afternoon’s work.

St Clair dominated at the top of the men’s order, Mitchell Sizemore showing he has lost none of his talent in a comfortable win over Marco Hartono. Shaun Paringatai, playing at No 2 for St Clair, prevailed 7-5, 6-2 over Oliver Scott.

In the third tie of the day, Balmacewen 2 edged OBHS 5-4 at the Stevenson Tennis Centre. The women’s side of the tie provided most interest.

OBHS No 1 Mya Haigh shaded Southland rep Halle Faherty 7-5, 7-6, while Balmacewen’s Crystal Chiang accounted for Aminah Ahmad 6-4, 6-2.

Faherty and Chiang took the crucial women’s doubles in a super tiebreak.

 - Fraser Richardson

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