Taieri Lakes grabs last spot in finals series

Taieri Lakes grabbed the last spot in this year’s senior A Metropolitan finals series after scraping past the B52s at Balmacewen on Saturday.

Taieri will take on the Otago Bombers, who proved too strong for Island Park at Waldronville. Island Park will play St Clair after the Corstorphine players finished the round robin in style over Chisholm Links.

On paper, the match between the top two teams at Island Park was a dead rubber with both sides clear of each other and the rest of the competition, but it was one-way traffic from the outset.

With a shuffled order, Park No5 Matt Tautari suffered his first loss at the hands of Nick Borren, who was soon joined in the winner’s circle by team-mates Tyrone Ratahi and Brandon Hodgson, giving the visiting side the advantage.

Duncan Croudis defeated Michael Smith on the 17th green. Park No3 Jarden Hammond won the last two holes to halve with Jason Hughes. No1 Michael Minty defeated Ben Patston to give Park some consolation points in a 4.5-1.5 result.

At St Clair, the home side was hunting a win to avoid a potential collision course with the Bombers should other results go against them.

Links No6 Michael Weastell got the visiting team off to the perfect start defeating Chris Idour but that was as good as it would get as St Clair’s middle order romped home, Matt Crawford, Cody McMullan and Jacob Bellamy all posting big wins.

Parker Aluesi then defeated Brent Butler on the final green to give St Clair the match 4.5-1.5.

At Balmacewen, the B52s needed only a half to clinch the final place and join their clubmates in the semifinals.

However, after picking predictable orders all season, the Lakes’ modified line-up proved a master stroke, particularly in the middle order.

It all came down to the battle between Otago’s Howard Maxwell and Taieri’s Mark Andrew which was all square heading up the 18th hole.

But it was a foregone conclusion when Maxwell’s drive found trouble forcing him to chip out while Andrews had hit the green. Andrews comfortably two putted for par and Maxwell’s 4m par putt was conceded with the half being good enough for a 3.5-2.5 win for Taieri Lakes.

The semifinals will be held next Saturday at Chisholm Links.

 - Michael Minty
 

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