Defeats end Wellington's title chances

Last updated 05:00 08/12/2012

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Wellington's unlikely semifinal bid ended with back-to-back defeats as they tumbled out of contention at the national men's interprovincial in Dunedin.

Needing to beat Southland and Waikato on the final day of section play, Wellington suffered 3-2 defeats to each as defending champions Southland topped their group at Balmacewen yesterday.

It was a week of close shaves for Wellington who won their first three matches then were pipped 3-2 by Auckland on Thursday, which left them needing other results to go their way.

James Donnelly, at No 3, ended a solid week on debut with two victories yesterday, while Carterton teenager Brayden Mazey, the team's reserve, got a game in the final round and beat Waikato's Steve Kuggeleijn 2 up.

Manawatu-Wanganui, who Wellington beat in the first round, got up to finish second in their group to book a semifinal today against Tasman. Southland face Bay of Plenty in the other semifinal in a repeat of last year's final.

Manawatu-Wanganui will try to complete a rare feat in winning both the main team golf trophies in New Zealand - the SBS Invitational and the interprovincial - in the same year.

Northland were the unlucky team. They had to win both of their matches yesterday, which they did, but were undone by the performance of Tasman.

Tasman are looking to win the title for just the second time in 61 years.

Their No 1 Blair Riordan scored a crucial 2 up win over North Harbour's Cam Jones yesterday to see them into the last four. A year ago he lost a winner-take-all match with Southland's Vaughan McCall for his team to miss the semifinals.

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- The Dominion Post

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