Interclub mixes youth and experience
This year's Craigs Investment Partners Marlborough Premier Tennis competition is set to be just as exciting as the 2011 edition with the eight teams preparing for the opening round of play tomorrow night.
Once again, six teams from the Marlborough club and two from Rapaura will make up the annual interclub competition and, with the loss of several notable players, a number of new and returning faces are likely to feature. Brooke Adams will not be playing, while Geo Jin Cho has returned to Korea and both Robert Cowlishaw and Darin Herd are recovering from injuries suffered during the football season.
The six Marlborough teams have been mixed and matched to provide a balanced competition and leading light Lily O'Fagan is sure to give Marlborough Stars a great chance. A former top Marlborough player, Hamish Morrow has returned to Blenheim and will be Stars' No 1 man, with Hiro Kishida and Charlie Mercer rounding out the team.
Rapaura Drylands One will again be led by Anthony Walkenhorst, along with Sandy Stubbs, Mark Evans and current Rapaura singles club champ Tony Fenemor. The No 2 Rapaura side is captained by Brendon Sutherland and also features Owen Dodson, Ben Burridge and Rebecca Boon, a welcome addition to the premier ranks after just two games last year.
The youthful Marlborough Bullets are made up of captain Andrew Forgesson, Mitchell Smith, Sarah Maxwell and premier debutant Josh Winter, while Marlborough Rockets are led by Blair Harvey, with Jason Flowerday and promising junior players Abbey Hogg and Jean-Luc Hauswirth the other team members.
Experienced heads Neil Sonne and Mel Trolove front the Marlborough Foxes effort, with teenager Lee Harborne and Nick McLauchlan joining them. The youth of Josh Watson is balanced by the experience of Peter Rogge, Nigel Sowman and Donna Clark in the Marlborough Dragons, while Marlborough coach Reilly Quirk will play at No 1 for the Marlborough Jigsaw side which also includes Logan Croad, Kate Parsons and Nick Winter.
Played each Wednesday night, this year the competition will start at the slightly earlier time of 5.45pm. Three matches will be at the Forrest Winery Marlborough Tennis Centre and one on the well-manicured grass courts at Rapaura.
Each tie sees a men's and mixed doubles followed by singles matches, with no-advantage deuces in the doubles and full advantages played in the singles.
Tomorrow night's opening round ties have Rapaura Drylands Two hosting Marlborough Bullets, with the Marlborough Rockets v Marlborough Stars, Marlborough Foxes v Rapaura Drylands One and Marlborough Dragons v Marlborough Jigsaw matches all at the Marlborough club.
2012 PREMIER INTERCLUB TEAMS
Rapaura Drylands One: Anthony Walkenhorst, Tony Fenemor, Mark Evans & Sandy Stubbs.
Rapaura Drylands Two: Brendon Sutherland, Owen Dodson, Ben Burridge & Rebecca Boon.
Marlborough Bullets: Andrew Forgesson, Mitchell Smith, Josh Winter & Sarah Maxwell.
Marlborough Stars: Hamish Morrow, Hiro Kishida, Charlie Mercer & Lily O'Fagan.
Marlborough Rockets: Blair Harvey, Jason Flowerday, Jean-Luc Hauswirth & Abbey Hogg.
Marlborough Foxes: Neil Sonne, Lee Harborne, Nick McLauchlan & Mel Trolove.
Marlborough Dragons: Peter Rogge, Nigel Sowman, Josh Watson & Donna Clark.
Marlborough Jigsaw: Reilly Quirk, Logan Croad, Nick Winter & Kate Parsons.
The Marlborough Express