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Sloan team slips to second after another draw

Captain Keri Kotua proved cool under pressure to salvage a draw against Tasman at Nelson on Saturday (July 27) to keep our Sloan Trophy chances alive.

With his team trailing 2-3, Keri – who had been behind for most of his match – won the 17th with a par to edge ahead and then held his nerve and a putt to halve the last for a 1-up win and four vital competition points.

Earlier, Tasman belied their lowly standing by sharing the junior matches and dominating the intermediate clashes.

Warwick King played solidly but went down 3/2 to an opponent who putted well and shot a nett 63 off the stick. Four down at the turn, Warwick just couldn’t peg it back.

Aaron Kotua’s good form continued. Four up after nine, he then got hot with the putter to record four pars and a birdie on the way to a comprehensive 6/4 victory.

Jonathan Tuheke found himself three behind at the halfway point and had no luck on the greens before succumbing 3/2.

Peter Green was four back at the turn and couldn’t find any momentum with the match ending early with a 6/4 thrashing.

Our No 1 Andy Isle made light of a sore neck to shoot an excellent 77 on the way to an easy 5/4 victory. Four up midway through his match, he then sunk three long putts to put away his rival.

With the team relying on Keri, he overcame a shaky front nine and a three-hole deficit to get it back to all square with two to play on the back of some clutch putting before delivering a late knockout blow on the way to a 78.

The tie saw us slip to second one point behind Greenacres and one ahead of third-placed Totaradale, although we are likely to fall further behind with our bye falling in the next round at Waahi Taakaro on August 9.

In other results, Greenacres pipped Golden Downs 6 ½ to 2 ½, Totaradale got the better of Takaka 7 to 2 and Motueka was surprisingly held to a 4-all draw by cellar dweller Murchison.

The points table after six of nine rounds is: Greenacres 32, Waahi Taakaro 31, Totaradale 30, Takaka 26, Motueka 23.5, Nelson 21, Golden Downs 19, Tasman 14.5 and Murchison 13.

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