District Golf Pennant on knife edge
Posted on: 1 February
After four rounds of interclub golf competition in the Goulburn Murray Golf Association, the fight for ladder positions could not have been scripted to the reality that is looming.
In the Women’s play at home virtual series the two Shepparton teams, Tatura Hill Top and Mooroopna are close in the run to finish in the top two for the final. Shepparton Gold had a 2/1 win over Tatura Hill Top last weekend to go to the top of the ladder and relegate Hill Top to second spot. Special mention must go to the pair of Anne Pegg and Megan Carr who returned 46 points for the Shepparton team and one of the best scores of the season. Mooroopna also had a 2/1 win over Shepparton Navy to give the Navy team a shake up as they had been dominating in previous weeks.
There are three weeks to go for the Women and Hill Top, who have a bye in a couple of weeks, will need strong wins to stay in contention as the others have had their bye. Shepparton teams Gold and Navy face each other on Valentine’s Day, but there will not be much love in the air. The Mooroopna, Hill Top clash in the last round may be significant as may be the efforts of the Tocumwal and Cobram-Barooga teams when they meet the ladder leaders.
The Men’s Competition is running a different sequence with two divisions and real head to head match play at host clubs. The men have a general bye this coming weekend so that they can all play in the Tocumwal Open Ambrose event. Then they only have one round to play before a semi-final process to sort the finalists.
In East division special accolades must be given to the Tocumwal Club who are playing three juniors in their team, Alex and Lachie Booth and Liam Purtill. Each junior being paired with an experienced adult member. What a great way to foster juniors and to teach them the tactics of match play golf. Well done Tocumwal and well done boys.
Kialla hosted the East Division last Sunday and in a big upset the Kialla-Cosgrove team suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Numurkah who have performed much better in the past two rounds. Meanwhile Tatura’s Hill Top Blue team secured a 4/1 win over Cobram-Barooga to jump over Kialla-Cosgrove for the top spot on the ladder. Shepparton and Tocumwal played a tie which means they cannot make the finals.
The knife edge tension to be sorted on Valentine’s Day will see Tatura Hill Top Blue play Kialla-Cosgrove with the round scheduled for Hill Top to be host club. Numurkah will take on Shepparton. Will the home track be of benefit to Hill Top? Numurkah will be asking two big questions, Can Hill Top have a big win over Kialla-Cosgrove and can we beat Shepparton? If both fall into place Numurkah has a chance to make the semi-final.
In the West Division the semi-final teams are settled with Kyabram Valley View on top of the ladder with four straight wins and Hill Top Red in second place with three wins and a tie. Rushworth and Merrigum have suffered two defeats and Nagambie and Shepparton three defeats so neither of these teams can reach the top but will play for the honour of their clubs to try to finish with wins. Merrigum is host for the final round on 14 February and the crunch is that Kyabram Valley View play Hill Top Red. If the Tatura boys can win they can displace the Valley lads from their top of ladder spot where they have perched all season.
To look at this in total there is a remarkable situation where in both East and West Divisions the top two teams play each other in the last round. As GMGA Captain Shane Halloran said when results were posted on Sunday night “I could not have even rigged the draw for this to happen; what a challenge for these four teams”. Then of course we have to think ahead. On Sunday 21 February the semi-finals will be played at Tatura Hill Top (venue decided before the season started) where top of East Division will play second placed West Division and Top of West Division will play second placed of East Division. Tatura Hill Top are great supporters of the four ball pennant and have fielded two teams this season, one in each division, and both have done well. It is quite possible the two Hill Top teams will have to play one another in the semi, or it is possible they both make it through to the final to be played at Shepparton the following week.