Defending champion St Clair Blue has squeaked into the playoffs of the men’s metropolitan pennant series after halving with Otago Blue at St Clair on Saturday.
The St Clair team will now go forward to the semifinal against second-placed Island Park on the Waldronville course on Saturday week. The winner will face top qualifier Otago Blue at Balmacewen a week later.
Otago Blue was not expecting to play on Saturday, as it was set aside for a semifinal but the final round of the series was rained off.
Consequently, some key Otago Blue players had other commitments and playing at home, the top St Clair team should have achieved a better result than a half.
St Clair Blue has a lot to thank its Gold (B) team which beat Chisholm Links at Chisholm 4-2, knocking it out of contention and allowing St Clair Blue to prosper.
For St Clair Blue, Chris Snow, Michael Ormandy and Jacob Bellamy triumphed while Brandon Hodgson, Tyrone Ratahi and Luke Murdoch posted wins for the top Otago team.
The honours on Saturday belonged to the Island Park team, which beat Otago Gold at home, 5-1, to finish the 10-round competition in second place.
Playing under pressure to qualify, none of the Island Park golfers lost. No1 Andrew Hobbs and No4 Monty Wong halved their games.
Captain Michael Minty, Mike Wray and Ken Shaw all posted convincing wins for the Park team and the icing was put on the cake when No2 Jarden Hammond came from behind to beat John McIntee.
He chipped in twice on the final four holes to win 1-up on the final green.
Chisholm Links had to win to make the playoffs and captain Mark Collie and veteran Sean Geary put the team on track with good winning margins.
St Clair’s Ross Colquhoun at No3 beat Jason Pegler 2 and 1 and the remaining three matches went the full distance.
In his first year playing senior pennants, 18-year-old Cameron Botting won the battle of the No 1s, beating Brent Butler on the final green.
Nathan Swift gave St Clair Gold its third win, beating Matthew Heaton by a slender margin, while No6 Tony Giles fought back after a bad start.
Giles was three down to Kyle Geary after the first five holes but fought back, winning on the final green to give his team the 4 to 2 win and ensure the club’s top team stays in contention this year.
Results & Draw published here: