Saints shine over B52s in Dunedin metropolitan pennants

The St Clair Saints have taken the outright lead in the Dunedin metropolitan pennants after winning the top of the table clash against the Otago B52s at St Clair on Saturday.

Taieri Lakes remains third, tied on points with St Clair Devils but ahead on games after defeating Chisholm Links at the beach.

But the big talking point of the weekend is the struggle of the defending champion Otago Bombers who remain winless after St Clair’s plucky Devils side caused a boil under the eaves of their clubhouse on the final green.

With five matches finishing on the final green, Devils No2 Phil Bungard was the only player to record a margin victory of note, defeating John McIntee 5/4, while at the tail, Devils player Kade Haley-Broderick is still Ty Ratahi’s nemesis while Devils player Ryan Littlejohn holed a long putt to give the Devils three games in quick succession.

In the middle, Bombers experienced duo Brandon Hodgson and Duncan Croudis earned two wins for the visiting side and the fixture was looking like a draw when No1 Ben Patston won 1-up over Callum White on the 18th tee.

But after both finding the green and White two-putting for par, Patston three-putted from 5m, giving the home side the half it needed for the 3.5-2.5 victory.

It has been a reality check for a side once stacked with Otago representatives, which now appears to be on a level pegging with the rest of the competition, making for an intriguing run up towards the finals.

Bombers captain Duncan Croudis was confident his side could turn it around but said with the an ageing roster, priorities were changing with young families and work opportunities taking precedence — something the rest of the competition was all too familiar with.

The Saints proved too strong for the B52s with a 4-2 victory over their nearest rivals.

Saint’s No1 Jacob Bellamy had a day out — earning an early rest with a 9/8 victory over Lewis Harper. He was soon joined by tailenders Matt Crawford and Parker Aluesi with wins to put the home side in the box seat with 3 games.

The middle order went in favour of the visitors with the battle of the veterans going the way of former St Clair greenkeeper Andrew Hobbs over Tony Giles and Will McLachlan defeating Cody McMullan to give the B52s a sniff. But St Clair No 2 Conor Jamison got the measure of Matt Weir to seal victory and the competition lead.

At Chisholm Links, Taieri Lakes won relatively comfortably despite the tight 3.5-2.5 score line.

New kid on the block Jaxon Boyes recorded his best win in Senior A for the Lakes side with a 6/5 win over veteran Matt Heaton. Links captain Mackenzie Gibson responded with a final green victory over Matt Mercer.

But the momentum swung the visitors’ way at the top of the order with Matt Tautari and Hayden Robertson earning wins to give Taieri 3 games.

No4 Kyle Geary added another win to the Link’s tally, but with Lakes No3 Mark Andrews dormie 2-up over Jason Pegler the result was a forgone conclusion despite Pegler winning the last two holes to halve their match.

 - Michael Minty


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