All eight teams got points on the board, but the Marlborough Foxes and Marlborough Dragons are the early leaders in the Craigs Investment Partners Marlborough premier tennis competition following the opening round on Wednesday night.
The early portion of last season was severely disrupted by wet weather, but there were no such problems as the 2012 competition fired into life at the Forrest Winery Marlborough Tennis Centre and Rapaura grass courts.
There were, however, light issues in the match between Rapaura Drylands Two and Marlborough Bullets during the lone fixture played at Rapaura. Three singles matches were eventually stopped because of bad light, but not before the visitors won two of the three completed matches to come away with a 2-1 victory.
The Bullets' victories came via Mitchell Smith and Sarah Maxwell over Owen Dodson and Hannah Mooney in the mixed doubles, 6-3 6-4, and Maxwell's default win over Mooney in the women's singles.
The three matches at the Pollard Park courts were completed, with the Foxes earning a share of the competition lead when they collected a 4-2 win over Rapaura Drylands Two.
The Foxes' No 3-ranked Marlborough man Neil Sonne's 3-6 6-0 (10-3) victory over Anthony Walkenhorst was a highlight of that tie, while Mel Trolove scored a close but crucial 6-3 4-6 (10-5) win over Sandy Stubbs in the women's singles.
Joining the Foxes at the head of the competition on six points were the Dragons, 4-2 winners over Marlborough Jigsaw.
The winning side gained a 2-0 lead following the men's and mixed doubles, with Josh Watson and Nigel Sowman outlasting Nick Winter and Joshua Gwynne 6-4 4-6 (10-7) in the men's match. Victory was sealed when Dragons No 1 man Peter Rogge beat Reilly Quirk 6-2 6-3 and Donna Clark downed Kate Parsons 6-1 6-4.
The fourth tie, between Marlborough Rockets and Marlborough Stars, could hardly have been closer. After both teams won three matches and seven sets, the Rockets were declared winners by 52 games to 50.
Young Rockets debutant Jean-Luc Hauswirth provided a notable result when he won his first singles match in premier tennis, beating Hiro Kishida 6-1 6-1. Blair Harvey scored a 6-2 6-3 victory for the Rockets over Peter Stubbs in the No 1 men's singles match, but the most important result of the tie was Harvey and Hauswirth's 7-5 4-6 (10-6) win over Stubbs and Charlie Mercer in a tight men's doubles match.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, several young male premier players took part in the Marlborough Boys' College senior championships. After surviving a scare in a 11-9 super tiebreak third set against Mitchell Smith in the semifinals, Andrew Forgesson regained his title with a 6-1 7-5 win over Lee Harborne.
Round one interclub tennis results
Premier (First team names first)
Rapaura Drylands One 2 lost to Marlborough Foxes 4: Anthony Walkenhorst lt Neil Sonne 3/6 6/0 (10/3), Tony Fenemor lt Lee Harborne 6/2 6/1, Mark Evans bt Nick McLauchlan 6/2 6/4, Sandy Stubbs lt Mel Trolove 6/3 4/6 (10/5), Evans and Fenemor lt Sonne and Harborne 6/2 6/4, Walkenhorst and S Stubbs bt McLauchlan and Trolove 6/3 6/1.
Marlborough Dragons 4 beat Marlborough Jigsaw 2: Peter Rogge bt Reilly Quirk 6/2 6/3, Nigel Sowman lt Logan Croad 6/3 6/3, Josh Watson lt Nick Winter 6/4 6/1, Donna Clark bt Kate Parsons 6/1 6/4, Watson and Sowman bt Winter and Joshua Gwynne 6/4 4/6 (10/7), Rogge and Clark bt Croad and Parsons 6/1 6/1.
Marlborough Stars 3 (7 sets, 50 games) lost to Marlborough Rockets 3 (7 sets 52 games): Peter Stubbs lt Blair Harvey 6/2 6/3, Hiro Kishida lt Jean-Luc Hauswirth 6/1 6/1, Charlie Mercer bt Jason Flowerday 1/6 7/6 (13/11), Lily O'Fagan bt Abbey Hogg 6/1 6/1, Stubbs and Mercer lt Harvey and Hauswirth 7/5 4/6 (10/6), Kishida and O'Fagan bt Flowerday and Hogg 6/3 6/0.
Marlborough Bullets 2 beat Rapaura Drylands Two 1: Andrew Forgesson leading Brendon Sutherland 6/3 4/3 (light stopped play), Mitchell Smith trailing Owen Dodson 6/3 2/3 (light stopped play), Josh Winter trailing Ben Burridge 7/6 0/1 (light stopped play), Sarah Maxwell bt Hannah Mooney by default, Forgesson and Winter lt to Sutherland and Burridge 6/2 3/6 (10/7), Smith and Maxwell bt Dodson and Mooney 6/3 6/4.
Premier points standings: Marlborough Foxes 6, Marlborough Dragons 6, Marlborough Bullets 5.5, Marlborough Rockets 5, Marlborough Stars 3, Rapaura Drylands Two 2.5, Marlborough Jigsaw 2, Rapaura Drylands One 2.
President's grade results:
Division one: Grovetown Top Shelf 4 bt Rapaura Voignier 0, Rapaura Drylands 4 bt Marlborough Hawks 0, Marlborough McRobies 4 bt Rapaura Shiraz 0.
Division two: Marlborough Head team 3 bt Rapaura Pinot 1, Renwick Robins 2 (26) bt Marlborough Swallows 2 (23), Rapaura Gewurtztraminer 2 (24) lst to Marlborough Swifts 2 (34), Rapaura Newhawkes 2 (30) lst to Marlborough Bart's Banditos 2 (31).
Division three: Picton 2 (27) lst to Renwick Rebels 2 (30), Grovetown Grove Tavern 2 (28) lst to Grovetown Turf & Tackle 2 (33), Renwick Rovers 3 bt Rapaura Sauvignon 1, Rapaura Matadors 2 (28) lst to Marlborough Jafa 2 (31).
Division four: Renwick Rascals 2 (26) lst to Rapaura Merlot 2 (28), Rapaura Riesling 3 bt Rapaura Gladiators 1, Renwick Rockers 3 bt Rapaura Chardonnay 1, Rapaura Mighty Four a bye.
- The Marlborough Express
Who will win the Press Cup on Saturday, 2.30pm, Lansdowne Park, Blenheim?