Sloan team finishes with a flourish
- 11 September 2022
- Peter Watson
Our Sloan team ended the season on a high by thrashing Greenacres to secure third place behind Motueka who captured their fourth title in five years.
With four of our first choice players away on the West Coast on a boys' weekend of golf, the B team stepped up big time to deliver a 8-1 win - our fifth in a row - to take us within two points of finishing second.
It capped a remarkable recovery which saw us lie last after four rounds and augers well for next year.
Mike Murphy got the ball rolling with a 3/2 win, which was based on a rousing start. Four up after four, Mike never let his lead slip to less than two up.
In contrast, his fellow junior Paul Tunnicliff was always behind against a very steady opponent before succumbing 5/4.
Jonathan Tuheke - who carded an 83 - got us back into credit with a comprehensive 4/2 victory which was built on some excellent chipping and putting - including a two - which saw him three up at the half way point and never in danger.
Our No 3 Geoff Halkett had it much tougher, but gutsed out a 1-up win on the final hole. One down after nine, he dug deep to be one up with two to play thanks to a fine back nine of 38. His 81 off the stick was one of his best Sloan scores for some years.
Dean Goodman - who deservedly won rep selection - continued his stellar unbeaten season by thrashing his rival 7/5 with some marvellous golf, which includes two twos, in a 78 off the stick. Swinging sweetly, his win was built on a mid-round stretch where he won four hole on the bounce and never took his foot of the pedal.
Stand-in No 1 Peter Watson started poorly by losing his first two holes and wasting one of his four shot holes on the next, but found some rhythm and scrambled well to eke out a one-up lead at the turn. Some accurate driving and more short game skill - including two twos - in a back nine 37 saw him coast to a 4/3 win over an inconsistent opponent.
In other matches, Golden Downs - who had to win big to challenge Motueka - was held to a 4-all draw by Totaradale, while a much improved Murchison did the same to Nelson.
Tasman downed Takaka 7-2 to make sure they didn't finish last.
So after a season beset by delays because of bad weather, Motueka - who had the bye - was fittingly awarded the trophy at home. Their 52 points was four better than Golden Downs (48). Waahi Taakaro finished a strong third (46). Next were Nelson (39.5), Totaradale (37) and Greenacres (33.5). They were followed by Tasman (23.5) and Murchison (20), with Takaka (19.5) ending up with the wooden spoon.