FOURTH-PLACED Kapunda pulled off a surprise 11-89 to 5-61 victory over a severely depleted Nuriootpa in round 15 of Barossa & Gawler Combined division one tennis over the weekend.
Nuriootpa, with only one regular division one lady available, was always going to struggle against a consistently solid Kapunda team, which is looking to find form before the finals’ series.
Nuriootpa’s Bec Bolton was thrust into the ladies’ top singles and doubles and, despite battling hard to force a top doubles tiebreak, was unable to lead her understrength team to victory in any of the ladies’ rubbers.
Nuriootpa men Dylan Sharman, Ken Hodges and Grant Daniel combined to take five sets, adding some respectability to the score line, but the result was already beyond doubt.
Kapunda will be buoyed by this result, and will take confidence into what could be a very wide open premiership race.
Meanwhile, Xavier took a stranglehold on second place with a solid 13-93 to 3-57 win over a tenacious Tanunda.
Xavier was missing a number of first-choice men, but covered admirably with Roger Buckby stepping up to top singles and
Brodie Cormack making the jump from division two.
Mel Leeflang returned to dominate the ladies’ proceedings, with solid support from Jayne Polito, Karen Fisher and Erin Butcher.
This is just the result Xavier would have been hoping for, with a blockbuster Friday night top-ofthe- table clash with Tod Street quickly approaching.
In the final division one match, ladder-leaders Tod Street continued its unbeaten run against South Gawler, running out comfortable 16-108 to 0-22 winners.
Tod Street will go into the finals full of confidence, but may look to rest some players over the next fortnight to go in fresh and ready to fire.
In division two, leaders Willaston took out a strong 12-98 to 4-54 win over Tod Street to maintain its gap between second-placed Vine Vale, which had a solid win over Angaston 10-97 to 6-91.
Bottom-placed division two team Kapunda lifted itself out of the cellar with an emphatic 14-104 to 2-51 win over Nuriootpa and, in doing so, relegating its Barossa rival to the basement.
Playing without a number of frontline players, Nuriootpa struggled all day against a consistent Kapunda line-up.
Both sides showcased a number of talented youngsters on the day – Kapunda’s Harry Wuttke battled Nuriootpa’s Chris Hooper in a match we are sure to see many times over in the future, with Wuttke prevailing in a close match 6-4.
Nuriootpa’s Hannah Hooper lost out in a heart-stopping tie-break at number two singles, and Kapunda’s Olivia Wuttke had a
comprehensive win at number four singles.
Keep an eye out for these names in the years to come.
Finally, in division three, Willaston defeated Tod Street 10-72 to 6-63, and Lyndoch defeated Willaston United 11-83 to 5-62.