Trophy within Otago’s grasp

Otago has one hand on the Freyberg Masters trophy at Paraparaumu Beach.

But the southern men will need to call in a favour to host it aloft today.

Otago had two more wins at the annual five-man masters tournament yesterday and has a narrow lead over Wellington with two rounds to play.

The issue is that while Wellington has two matches today, against Bay of Plenty and Canterbury, Otago has just one — a clash with neighbour Aorangi in the morning session.

So, the formula is simple: Otago needs to beat Aorangi, and hope Wellington loses one of its matches.

Otago beat Manawatu-Whanganui 3½-1½ yesterday afternoon.

Tony Giles beat Rick Harding 5 and 4, Brent McEwan beat Phil Hooper 4 and 3, Travis Cook beat Adam Orlowski 4 and 2, and Andrew Hobbs was all square with Junior Tatana after being 2-down at the turn.

Chris Snow was beaten 3 and 2 by Tony Chettleburgh.

In the morning round, Otago swept to a 3-2 win over Hawke’s Bay.

McEwan had the most dominant win for Otago, thumping Mark Tasker 7 and 6.

Giles beat Nick Radonich 2-up, and both Hobbs (against former long-serving cricketer Stu Duff) and John McIntee (against Simon Rutherford) halved their matches.

Snow was beaten 4 and 2 by Mike Trass.

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