Manawatu too tough for Taihape in pennant finals
Manawatu went through the formality of disposing of Taihape in winning yet another Manawatu-Wanganui A grade pennant at Hokowhitu yesterday.
Manawatu whitewashed Taihape 4-0 in the foursomes in their 10 -1 win and that was with New Zealand player Josh Munn away on New Zealand academy duties.
At the top of the order, Ewan Westergaard beat Denny Thompson 5 and 4, Trent Munn beat Matt Thomas 4 and 3 and there were other big singles wins.
Michael Birchall won 9 and 7 and Rhys Watkins won 7 and 6. The sole Manawatu player to drop a singles was Guy Perry 2 and 1 while Josh Sedgwick halved his match.
Manawatu had virtually wrapped up the title in the previous round at Palmerston North, based on the first-past-the-post system. This was their eighth win in the past 10 years, and to top it off Manawatu B won the B grade pennants title at Rangatira by half a point from Castlecliff.
Wanganui were second after shading Foxton 7-5 yesterday.
Feilding dropped another match, losing 7 -4 to Palmerston North, but Feilding finished third courtesy of two individual games. At the top, Palmerston North's young gun Rhys Harold halved with Mike Atkins while Michael McSherry beat Feilding's Liam Finlayson 5 and 4.
A critical match was Levin's 7-5 defeat of Marton despite Marton's Lachie McDonald (four under par) beating New Zealand player Tyler Hodge 5 and 3 for the first time on the Hokowhitu layout.
Marton needed only an extra half point to avoid the relegation playoff. They tied with Taihape at the bottom but Taihape had beaten Marton.
Critical for both was Manawatu's Josh Sedgwick losing the 18th when he was 1-up to halve his singles against Taihape. Had he won, Taihape would not have escaped.
Marton will now host B-grade runners-up, Castlecliff, in a promotion-relegation duel because B grade winners, Manawatu B, are not eligible for promotion. Castlecliff would have won and been promoted had they not been docked two points earlier in the season for playing two men out of order.
In the B grade at Rangatira, Manawatu B with all of their low handicappers whacked the home team 10-2 and Castlecliff bowled neighbours Tawhero 8 -3 . In the other matches, Wanganui B beat Buckley 9-3 and Feilding B beat Hawkestone 7-5.
Rangatira are relegated to be replaced by C grade winners Linton Camp.
FINAL PENNANTS POINTS
A grade: Manawatu 18 pts (63 games), Wanganui 15 (53), Feilding 12 (45 ), PN 12 (43 ), Foxton 10 (42 ), Levin 10 (38 ), Taihape 3 (25), Marton 3 (25). B grade: Manawatu B 19 (61), Castlecliff 19 (60 ), Tawhero 12 (45), Hawkestone 9 (42 ), Wanganui B 9 (38 ), Buckley 7 (28), Feilding B 6 (33), Rangatira 1 (27).