Otago eighth overall after half, loss

North Harbour will play Waikato while Hawke’s Bay will meet Auckland in the semifinals of this year’s men’s national interprovincial on the Mangawhai course in Northland this morning.

Otago finished fourth in division two and eighth overall. Division one fourth-placed Northland had the same number of points but a greater game tally.

Otago had a disappointing final day in the event, halving with Canterbury in the morning and being trounced by unbeaten North Harbour  in the afternoon.

It is the first time since 2012 at Balmacewen that the Otago men had not made the playoffs.

After halving in the morning, Otago had to beat North Harbour as a half would still allow Hawkes Bay to go through on a countback of games. But the team was never in contention in the final round and only No2 Brandon Hodgson gave the scorers any work when he halved with Harbour’s Kit Bittle.

In the Canterbury match, Fraser MacLachlan was always behind Tom Parker, losing on the 15th green.

No2 Hodgson turned square but lost two of the next five holes before going down to Matt McLean on the final green.

No3 Duncan Croudis had a close tussle with 16-year-old Hiroki Miya but won two of the final four holes to snatch the crucial half.

The Otago tail wagged with Michael Smith beating Reid Hilton on the final green while Chris Snow was at his best, downing Dominic Brettkelly 7 and 5.

But the afternoon was all one-way traffic and North Harbour posted its sixth win for the week. The result was never in doubt with the Otago players trailing by two, three, three, four and five at the halfway stage with little chance of coming back.

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