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The semifinalists have been found and there were no real surprises in the final round of the Metropolitan senior A pennants at the weekend.
The Otago Bombers claimed the final playoff spot, finishing third to earn a mouth-watering semifinal against the B52s.
Taieri Lakes fell victim to the St Clair Saints and, effectively, the Bombers — losing not only their match but also slipping to fourth to face a rematch against the Saints, while a Devils victory over the B52s was a nice way to finish the season but ultimately not enough.
At Chisholm Park, it was the visiting Bombers’ ball-striking abilities bringing the heat in the calm conditions with a 5-1 victory.
The result was never really in doubt with the bottom four games finishing in favour of the Bombers and no close margins of note.
Wins to Brandon Hodgson, Luke Murdoch, Dylan Stock and Duncan Croudis sealed their semifinal place, while No1 Ben Patston defeated Jason Pegler on the final green.
Mike Weastell finished as the Links’ best player for the year, beating Otago representative Callum Judkins to secure the sole win.
At St Clair, the Saints always looked in control in the 4-2 win over Taieri Lakes, which limped into fourth place.
The tail matches went the way of the strong-looking Saints duo of Tony Giles and Jacob Bellamy who notched comprehensive wins.
Saints No1 Ryan Bellamy beat Ryan Rosevear 4/3 and Parker Aluesi was too strong for Blair Bennett.
Aluesi’s round-robin caps a stellar period of golf as he continues to make great strides following his selection as reserve for last year’s interprovincial.
Last week’s Taieri Lakes tail of Mark Andrews and Ken Shaw were moved into the middle order which worked a treat, securing two wins, but it was not enough as the St Clair top order had already secured the result.
Also at St Clair, it was bittersweet for the Devils — finishing with a win over the B52s but missing out on finals golf despite spending 80% of the round robin sitting in the top four.
Devils No6 Ryan Littlejohn laid the demons to rest from a fortnight ago to get the home side off the mark, beating Howard Maxwell 4/3.
Playing partner Luke Worthington halved with Matt Weir before Devils No4 Jake Bleach pipped Steve Horn on the final green.
Devils No2 Phil Bungard avenged his early-season loss to Tom Lee with an eye-catching 4/3 win over the Otago No1 to seal the win, allowing the Devils to check their phones for a Links-Bombers update.
Lewis Harper and Andrew Hobbs added consolation wins for the B52s.
Hobbs is now in an interesting position as co-selector of the Otago senior men’s team.
Since having a hip operation three years ago, his golf has returned to a level where he could be an option as a lower-order player at senior level to help mentor the next crop of players.
Semifinals, July 23
- St Clair Saints v Taieri Lakes
- Otago B52s v Otago Bombers
-- Michael Minty