Draws all round in opening to senior A pennants

It was a case of deja vu in the opening round of the metropolitan senior A pennants at the weekend, where no club achieved the maximum three points.

With several players from Balmacewen either tied up with club champs or Central Otago champs, the match was postponed. The other games mirrored the 2020 opening round and the results were again drawn fixtures.

Meanwhile the competition looks set to sizzle this year with a number of player movements around the traps.

Most notable are former Island Park players Phil Bungard and Matt Tautari who have moved to Chisholm Links, Joseph Hancock to St Clair-Island Park and Andrew Hobbs Island Park-Otago.

At Chisholm Links the home side faced defending champion Island Park who return to the venue for the first time since the thrilling 2020 finale.

Both teams were missing key players — Links were short Bungard and Tautari, while Park Masters players Moxy Smith and Chris Snow were on representative duty.

Early wins to Michael Minty and former Links player Brent Butler put Island Park on the front foot, but Sean Geary and Matt Heaton soon levelled up the match for the Links.

Park No 4 Jarden Hammond won the 17th hole to head down the last all square with Mike Bowman. But when Bowman found trouble left, forcing him to chip out, and Hammond hit his 2nd shot to 3m, the game fell into Hammond's lap, as he proceeded to hole-out for birdie giving the Park three games.

Attention turned to the No 1s, with Links’ Jason Pegler 1-up playing the 18th against Joseph Hancock, but the result looked to be heading Park’s way after Hancock drove the green.

However, needing a birdie, he left himself too much work and could not two-putt Park to victory. A win to Pegler and a drawn result.

At St Clair both teams fought out a tight tussle, with St Clair seemingly in a hopeless position in the dying stages.

Taieri No6 Josh Boath drew first blood, accounting for Callum White 3/2, before Saints captain Matt Crawford returned serve over Ryan Rosevear.

Taieri’s middle fired up, with Matt Lee defeating Connor Jamison on the last hole, while Ken Shaw won the battle of the veterans putting his hand up as a serious Masters contender in defeating Tony Giles.

With three games in for Taieri, St Clair No1 Jacob Bellamy kept the home side in the contest by defeating Hayden Robertson, leaving big brother Ryan Bellamy, locked in a tussle with Brett Kennelly, needing to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Kennelly 1was -up going down the 17th, but a birdie from Bellamy levelled the match.

Kennelly then struck tree trouble on the 18thwhile Bellamy comfortably won the hole with a birdie, squaring the result.

 - Michael Minty

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