TORO MEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL: TITLE STILL WIDE OPEN IN OTAGO

5/12/2012

It is still anyone’s guess who is going to claim the Toro Men’s Interprovincial title this week at the Otago Golf Club.

 

 


Hosts Otago, who defeated Poverty Bay and North Harbour on day one to be top of Division Two, continued their good form this morning with a hard fought 3 - 2 win in their local derby with Canterbury.

 

But they let that momentum slip this afternoon in spectacular fashion when they were humbled by Tasman 5- 0 to suffer their first loss of the championship.

 

Fellow Division Two frontrunners Waikato, who also got off to a perfect start on day one with wins over Hawkes Bay and Taranaki, also lost their way on day two.

 

They had the bye this morning and then defending champions Southland beat them 3 ½ - 1 ½ this afternoon with wins from Scott Hellier and Liam Balneaves securing the victory.

 

Southland, who last year won the title for the first time in 60 years, has performed admirably so far in the 2012 championship without New Zealand No.1 amateur Vaughan McCall.

 

The men from the deep south have won all three of their matches to lead Division One and at this early stage shape as a real title contender.

 

Wellington, who are the most successful team in the history of the Toro Interprovincial with 13 victories, has also made a solid start to the week at Balmacewen.

 

Their No.1 player Marc Jennings got them home this morning winning 1up at the last hole over Cameron Grant to finish off a 3 – 2 win over Aorangi.

 

They backed that up this afternoon with their middle order of Fraser Maclachlan, James Donnelly and Adam Church providing the spine of their 3 - 2 over Taranaki.

 

Auckland, the second most successful team in the event with 12 wins, is having a mixed time of it. They were well beaten 4 -1 in round three by Manawatu – Wanganui before they defeated Aorangi 3-2 in a crucial match for their chances.

 

One of the pre-tournament favourites Canterbury kept in touch with the leaders after a 3 1/2 – 1 1/2 win over Poverty Bay East Coast.

 

Poverty Bay, the perennial easy-beats of the Toro in recent time, provided the upset of the Toro so far when they defeated North Harbour 4 – 1 in round three.

 

Bay of Plenty, who has won the Toro six times and has been one of the most successful in the recent era, beat a confident young Northland team 3 ½ - 1 ½ this morning before dismissing North Harbour 4 - 1.

 

The Bay is the last team to win the trophy back to back, when they achieved that feat in 2007 – 2008, and today they made up ground on Division Two leaders Otago.

 

The format of the championship sees the 15 teams split into two divisions with the top two teams from each division advancing to the semi-finals on Saturday with the final to be contested on Saturday afternoon.

 

After two days of action at the oldest golf club in New Zealand the prized national team’s trophy is still wide open.

 

 

 

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