REIGNING division one premier Nuriootpa dominated round nine of Gawler & Barossa Combined tennis with a solid 11-76 to 5-47
win over a plucky South Gawler on Saturday.
The potent Nuriootpa men did the most damage, taking out all eight sets with the loss of a meagre seven games.
South Gawler’s Robert Jansen was expected to test Nuriootpa powerhouse Dylan Sharman at top singles, however the latter proved too strong and set the scene for his team with a sizzling 6-1 victory.
Lions’ lady Melissa Ruciack stood tall for her team with three victories on the day.
South Gawler goes into the Christmas break in a firm fifth position on the ladder, while thirdplaced Nuriootpa takes momentum
into the second half of the season as it hunts second spot on the table.
Meanwhile, Xavier took sole possession of second place with a 10-91 to 6-68 win over Kapunda.
A seven-set-to-one demolition of the singles rubbers set up the Saints’ victory.
Kapunda performed well on the doubles court, but the damage had already been done by the Xavier quartet of Mel Leeflang, Jayne Polito, David Weekly and Robert Polito.
Xavier’s solid start to the season sees the team in with a shot at a top-two finish, while Kapunda drops to fourth after its loss and, on current form, seems unlikely to feature in a fight for second.
In the final division one match, ladder-leader Tod Street won its ninth consecutive match 9-85 to 7-68, against Tanunda.
Tanunda was unlucky not to topple Tod Street on the back of a very strong showing from men Peter O’Neil, Justin Menzel and Daniel Bergen.
Tod Street ladies Georgie Rowett, Jess Szulc and Amy Turner continue to impress, but the difference on the day was Tanunda’s inability to field a full team, forfeiting three crucial sets.
Tod Street enters the break undefeated in top spot, unlikely to be headed, while Tanunda will look to solve its personnel shortage in an attempt to get on the board by season’s end.
Meanwhile, division two leader Willaston smashed a hapless Nuriootpa 14-104 to 2-59.
Willaston’s Christina Lim, Nicole Stojko, Jodie Chester, Scott Baker, Paul Butterworth and Darren Pettrey were ruthless against their lower-ranked rivals in a
performance that consolidates their position atop the table.
Vine Vale took second spot from an injury-depleted Tod Street with a convincing 14-103 to 2-36 rout.
Tod Street’s battle-scarred Rick Bailey was a solid contributor on the day, winning a singles and a doubles on an otherwise unforgettable day for his team.
In the other matches, Lyndoch defeated Kapunda 10-94 to 6-65 and Xavier lost to Angaston 7-64 to 9-84 as a five-way battle heats up for positions two to six in the second half of the season.