Foxes look to hold an edge

An entertaining battle is in store when Marlborough Foxes go up against Rapaura Drylands One in the grand final of the Craigs Investment Partners Marlborough premier interclub tennis competition at the Forrest Winery Marlborough Tennis Centre tomorrow night.

The tie will consist of a men's and a mixed doubles, followed by three men's and one women's singles match and it will be Foxes who go in as slight favourites.

Not only do they have home court advantage at Pollard Park, Foxes finished the round-robin portion of the eight-team competition on top.

It would be unwise to count a strong Rapaura side out though. They finished runners-up in round-robin, just five points adrift of Foxes, and were victorious by a 4-2 margin when the two teams last met in December. Foxes prevailed 4-2 when the teams first squared off this season in round one.

The two singles lineups for the respective sides are likely to be very evenly matched.

In the clash of the top men, Foxes Robert Cowlishaw will face Anthony Walkenhorst in a repeat of last year's residential final won by Cowlishaw, while Lee Harborne (Foxes) and Daryl Harper (Rapaura) are expected to play at No 2. Teenager Harborne has been unbeaten at No 2 all season, but Harper is graded slightly above him in the Marlborough rankings.

It is youth versus experience in the No 3 match as another promising Foxes young gun, Joshua Gwynne, goes up against wiley Rapaura veteran Mark Evans.

The women's match between Foxes' Mel Trolove and Sandy Stubbs could prove pivotal, Trolove leading the head-to-head against Stubbs 2-1 and the last two matches going to super tie-breaks.

Play is scheduled to start at 5.45pm and spectators are welcome free of charge.

The Marlborough Express