We have reached the finals stage of the 2023 Caro Bowl competition after seven rounds of pool play over the last five weeks. In a repeat of the 2020-21 Men’s Caro Bowl Final, Karaka will take on defending champion Next Gen on Friday night. Karaka and Next Gen were tied on 41 points at the completion of round robin play but Karaka earn home court advantage because they won more contests than their city-based rivals.
Karaka blanked Remuera last Friday while Next Gen fell one point short of winning the round robin after beating Cockle Bay 5-1. Alex Klintcharov was missing from the Cockle Bay line-up and his absence may have cost his team a finals berth. Parnell won a hard-fought contest against Royal Oak to finish third this season and not having Rubin Statham in the team for the last three rounds put paid to their title hopes. East Tamaki lost to Blockhouse Bay and will be headed to a lower division next year.
The Women’s Caro Bowl final will be a repeat of last year. Next Gen topped the table and are undefeated this season. Parnell finished in second place and will attempt to reverse last year’s finals loss against their Auckland Domain neighbours when they clash at Next Gen on Friday night. This should be a very evenly contested final and could go either way. Next Gen won on a sets countback in round robin play a couple of weeks ago but that will count for nothing in the final. If Parnell can pick up a doubles point, they have a very good chance of winning the competition this year.
Royal Oak finished third on points and Cockle Bay enjoyed a very successful debut campaign to finish fourth overall. Pakuranga were not so fortunate and will drop down a grade next season.
The finals of the Men’s and Women’s competitions will be played this Friday 1 December with contests starting at 6pm. The Men’s Final is at Karaka and the Women’s Final is at Next Gen. We encourage all tennis fans to come along and watch some great tennis on Grand Finals Night this Friday at 6pm.
Full draws and venues are available in the Caro Bowl section at www.tennisauckland.co.nz