Andersons Bay gets what it pays for
Andersons Bay’s top team were pushed hard by Balmacewen 1 in interclub tennis on Saturday.
Fifth-placed Balmacewen 1 overshot its weight, narrowly succumbing to the competition leader by five rubbers to four.
Paddy Ou of Balmacewen 1 comfortably represented Olly Scott at the top of the men’s order.
Ben Sinclair, on the comeback trail after a layoff, took a vital point for Balmacewen 1 by beating Andersons Bay veteran Phil Mirfin 6-4, 6-4.
Nick Cutfield played a captain’s shot by counting Anthony Mirfin 6-4, 7-6.
Heike Cebulla was perhaps Andersons Bay’s trump card and the difference between the sides, winning a vital singles match in a super tie-break.
Ayesha Horley picked up another victory for Anderson’s Bay against Ella Richardson. The tie was balanced at three games apiece after the singles rubbers.
Andersons Bay won two of three doubles matches to tip the odds in their favour. Ou and Sinclair caused a slight upset by shading the more experienced duo Phil Mirfin and Scott.
Andersons Bay’s Gavin Mockford and young Mirfin represented Cutfield and Matt Nolan. Cebulla and Horley finished the job.
Meanwhile, St Clair had too much force in command for a brave Balmacewen 2, winning the tie eight rubbers to one.
Mitch Sizemore and Mat McCutcheon fought against the big servers, making the most of the Edgar Center conditions. Sizemore served 13 aces on the way to a 6-3 6-2 win.
St Clair captain Shaun Paringatai made it 6-2 6-3 against Sergey Sanin. Jeff Elliotte, ranking at No. 3, picked up another victory for St Clair over Charlie Byers.
Tony Ryder, St Clair’s No. 4, found things more difficult against Hugo Barsby of Balmacewen 2.
Day dentist Ryder hit a polished opponent with a habit of drilling his serve returns into the corners.
Ryder responded with his trademark slice tactic, mixing up the pace and keeping the ball below net height on the bouncing low astroturf, but eventually bowed to the all-court game and Barsby’s younger legs 6-2 6-2.
Balmacewen 2 doubles pairing Crystal Chiang and Henry Gong fought well against Sam Sherburd and Simon Anderson but couldn’t prevent a clean sweep from St Clair in doubles.
The other scheduled tie between second-placed Waimaru and third-placed Otago Boys’ High School was called off due to Covid-related player unavailability.
– Fraser Richardson