Caro Bowl comes to Karaka

Franklin County News - - SPORT - ALAN APTED

Caro Bowl ten­nis is com­ing to Karaka.

And it’s all down to the suc­cess of the club’s premier men’s team led by Nigel Allen that Auck­land Ten­nis’ oldest and most pres­ti­gious in­ter-club com­pe­ti­tion is com­ing to the Karaka Ten­nis Club.

Allen, with long time ten­nis bud­dies Antony Old, 40, Brad Pater­son, 41, Ja­cob Olsen, 34, Rod Cook, 41, and young­sters Jack Guil­ford, 20, and Tate Fuller­ton, 16, beat Mis­sion Bay 6-0 to win the Caro Bowl re­serve grade com­pe­ti­tion and el­e­va­tion to the big league.

It’s a first for the 30-year-old club and only the sec­ond time that a South Auck­land club has ap­peared in the premier ranks of the 98-year-old com­pe­ti­tion.

Man­gere Com­bined were the first. They won the women’s ti­tle in 2007.

Karaka’s el­e­va­tion is a dream come true for the 38-year-old Allen, whose dad Graeme is a life mem­ber of the club.

‘‘Af­ter re­turn­ing to the Karaka in 2012, I de­cided it would be great to get a bunch of mates and guys I grew up play­ing ju­niors with, with a long-term view of get­ting Caro Bowl out to Karaka within five years,’’ Allen said.

‘‘I thought it would be great to bring some­thing spe­cial to the club and cre­ate a bit of his­tory along the way.’’

That the team achieved it’s goal in only four years is tes­ta­ment to how well Allen, Pater­son, Olsen and Cook were play­ing in their twilight years.

The plan gath­ered mo­men­tum when two for­mer top New Zealand ju­niors Brad Pater­son and Rod Cook joined the cru­sade.

Karaka club pres­i­dent Wayne Kidd said the re­sult was a pos­i­tive story that would cer­tainly put the club on the map.

‘‘The Caro Bowl is usu­ally the do­main of the big city ten­nis clubs that com­pete for one of eight spots. They have im­pres­sive mem­ber­ship bases and the fi­nan­cial means to buy in play­ers. For a small club from ru­ral South Auck­land en­ter­ing this do­main shows that if you work hard dreams do come true.

‘‘This can do win­ning at­ti­tude, com­bined with the spon­sor­ship from Con­cretec plus the buy in from club sup­port­ers, means the 2017/2018 sea­son will be one to re­mem­ber.’’

Karaka is look­ing for an ATP Top 400 player to spear­head their cam­paign which starts on Oc­to­ber 17.

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