Costly half means it is now crunch time for Otago

Otago had a costly half with  lowly ranked Poverty Bay-East Coast n the fifth round of the men’s national interprovincial tournament on the Mangawhai course in Northland yesterday.

It is now crunch time for Otago which must beat both Canterbury and North Harbour to guarantee a semifinal berth tomorrow morning.

Otago lies in third place with 2.5 points behind North Harbour on four and Hawkes Bay on three.

The team could still play tomorrow morning but will need to rely on Southland to cause headaches for North Harbour and Canterbury.

Hawkes Bay plays Taranaki in the morning and has a bye in the afternoon.

The members of the Otago team  are focused on the outcome being in their own hands and are keen to lift their performance today.

No1 Fraser MacLachlan got off to a fast start yesterday winning four of the first five holes and turning six ahead of Poverty Bay’s Te Raumati Hawera.

He kept the pressure on during the homeward nine giving Otago its first win by an impressive 7 and 5 margin.

No2 Brandon Hodgson also started well, turning four ahead and going on to beat Nathaniel Cassidy by 4 and 3.

But the Otago tail struggled at times with Michael Smith six down at the halfway point and eventually losing to Kurtis Cortesi on the 14th green.

Michael Ormandy came in at No5 for Chris Snow and led by one after the first five holes.

But this was reversed on the back nine and he lost to Andrew Higham on the 16th green.

It was left to No3 Duncan Croudis to get the crucial win but he turned one light and had to fight hard to get back to square at the 14th hole checkpoint.

He remained square during the final four holes but his comeback at least saved Otago from suffering a disastrous loss.

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