Rapaura 1 take seven point lead

Rapaura Drylands One will take a seven point lead into the Christmas/New Year break in the Craigs Investment Partners Marlborough premier interclub tennis competition after a resounding 5-1 win over Marlborough Blades in round nine play on Wednesday night.

Fourth heading into the tie, Blades were no match for frontrunners Rapaura at the Forrest Winery Marlborough Tennis Centre at Pollard Park.

Darryl Harper and Tony Fenemor comfortably won the men's doubles, while Anthony Walkenhorst and Sandy Stubbs continued their good run in the mixed to give Rapaura an early 2-0 lead. Walkenhorst won the battle of the No 1s 6-3 6-3 over Yuichi Ando, before hard-fought victories for Fenemor over Josh Winter and Stubbs over young Kate Rawcliffe sealed honours for the visitors. A tight No 2 singles saw leading junior Lee Harborne edge the more experienced Harper 7-5 7-5.

Renwick White retained second spot, accounting for Marlborough Bulldogs 4-2. A convincing win for Renwick's Peter Rogge and Mel Trolove in the mixed doubles was matched by a similarly easy victory for Bulldogs teenagers Andrew Forgesson and Josh Gwynne in the men's match. However, Renwick were too strong in the singles, Trolove sweeping aside Pip Boon, Peter Stubbs prevailing in straight sets over Nick Winter and Rogge holding off Gwynne for a 6-1 4-6 10-8 triumph. Bulldogs No 1 Forgesson bagged his side's lone singles win, downing Jean-Luc Hauswirth 6-3 6-0.

Grove Tavern Grovetown jumped from fifth to third, downing Renwick Green 4-2. The doubles matches were shared 1-1, Grovetown's Brendon Sutherland and Donna Clark taking the mixed and the Renwick duo of Dave Sandford and Ben Glover winning the men's contest. Renwick No 1 Sandford collected his sides second point when he scored a good 6-4 6-3 win over Darin Herd, but Grovetown took the remaining three singles to take the tie. Clark beat Sara Stocker in straight sets and Sutherland did the same over Mike Paterson, before Hiro Kishida secured the tie with a 6-3 3-6 10-1 victory over Glover.

Rapaura Drylands Two hosted Marlborough Stars in the fourth and final tie on grass at Rapaura, the sixth-placed home team knocking over the third-placed visitors 4-2.

Ben Burridge and Eveline Apthorp got the ball rolling for Rapaura by winning a close mixed match 6-4 6-4, but Stars levelled when Hamish Morrow and Mike Mitchell took the men's doubles. With home advantage, though, Rapaura were superior in the singles and bagged three wins to claim the tie. Burridge easily won the No 3 match over Charile Mercer, while No 2 Ellis Diamanti and Apthorp both came from a set down to prevail over Mitchell and Abbey Hogg, respectively. Stars No 1 Morrow was untroubled, downing Blair Harvey 6-0 6-0.

Meanwhile, the popular Rapaura Drylands New Years doubles tournament is being held on December 28-29. Entry forms are available at marlboroughtennis.co.nz.

The Marlborough Express