Otago wins tie but Southern Lakes narrowly takes title

Otago's Paddy Ou hits a shot during a Southern League match at Logan Park on Saturday. PHOTO...
Otago's Paddy Ou hits a shot during a Southern League match at Logan Park on Saturday. PHOTO GREGOR RICHARDSON
Otago has won the second round of the Southern teams event with an exciting 7-5 victory over Southern Lakes in Dunedin.

However, it was not enough to stop Southern Lakes claiming yet another Southern League title as its 7-5 win in November enabled it to claim a dramatic win 27-26 on sets countback after the two ties left the final score at 12 matches each.

Otago started its campaign against Southland on day one and claimed a 10-2 victory while Southern Lakes downed North Otago 9-3.

In the second round of ties, Otago nearly completed a whitewash of North Otago, winning 11-1, while Southern Lakes eased to a 10-2 win over Southland.

That left it down to the final tie as Otago faced Southern Lakes with it all on the line.

In the battle of the No4 singles, Southern Lakes player Harry James got his team off to the perfect start as he was clinical in a 6-2, 6-1 win over Henry Neas while Suma Ito defeated Otago's Rileigh Fields in two competitive sets.

In the No3 matches, Otago's Carlos Reid started slowly but eventually came through against Chris Bradley 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 while Ayesha Horley was dominant throughout as she defeated Southern Lakes player Anais Russel-Jove 6-3, 6-0 to level the tie at 2-2.

In the No2 spot, Otago's Paddy Ou gained revenge on Perry Crockett after a November defeat to win a tense encounter 7-6 (10-8), 7-5 but Ines Stephani proved a step ahead of Otago's Marie Reid as she won in straight sets.

In the top singles, Otago's Libby Scott once again proved her dominance as she came through against Emilia Price 6-2, 6-0 while Scott's team-mate, Ryan Eggers, had enough to edge Thomas Hartono in a tight two-set encounter.

This left Otago with a 5-3 lead going into the doubles, but that lead was relinquished after it lost the first two matches. James and Crockett overcame Reid and Andrew Mitchell while and Stephani and Russel Jove downed Horley and Fields.

Scott and Jessie Stevenson got Otago back on track as they navigated their way to a win over Ito and Tamsin Smith while Eggers and Ou were able to wrap up the tie for Otago by defeating Hartono and Peter Hartono 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

Southland was able to gain revenge on North Otago from last round's defeat, winning 8-4. Southland's Sky Lovill continued his dominance, as he won all six of his matches in the top men's singles spot throughout the two rounds.

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