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Sloan Trophy hopes extinquished

Our hopes of holding the Sloan Trophy in 2020 are over after a narrow loss to leaders Totaradale at Takaka on Sunday (Sept 6).

Needing a win to remain in contention, the boys were always behind the eight-ball on a wet and windy Pohara course that got easier as the weather improved.

We got off to a rough start, with Warwick King never in the hunt in getting thrashed 8/6. However, his fellow junior Aaron Kotua got us back in the game with a comfortable 4/3 victory. All square at the turn, he won four holes on the bounce to race to a win.

In the intermediates Jonathan Tuheke won his first hole but struggled thereafter against a steady  opponent, with the match finishing early with a 6/4 loss. Steve Russell evened it up with a gritty win capped by a fine 20 foot putt at the last for a half.  One down with three to play, Steve took the 16th and 17th to grab the lead and hold on for a 1-up victory. 

Captain Keri Kotua was three up early before being pegged back to all square after nine. He then found himself two down with two to play before winning the last two holes for a gutsy half.

The result therefore hinged on the outcome of our No 1 Andy Isle’s match. All square going into the back nine, Andy couldn’t buy a putt on the tricky greens, shaving the hole numerous time in succumbing 3/1.

The 6 1/2-2 1/2 loss means we slip to fourth with one round remaining.

In other results, Tasman surprised Golden Downs 7-2, Greenacres was made to work hard before subduing Murchison 6 1/2-2 1/2, while Motueka kept its outside trophy chances alive with a 8-1 thumping of Nelson.

So the points table going into the final round at Totaradale on October 11 is Totaradale 45, Greenacres 40.5, Motueka 38.5, Waahi Taakaro 33.5, Nelson 28.5, Golden Downs 28.5, Takaka 27.5, Tasman 24, Murchison 16.

It means that only Greenacres and Motueka can challenge Totaradale – who have the bye for the final round - for the title. Greenacres would need to beat us, while Motueka would require a big win over Golden Downs and for Greenacres to lose.

In better news, Keri and Jonathan were selected in the Tasman rep side to play in Blenheim later this month.  Congratulation guys.

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