Taranaki scored their first win of the national women's interprovincial golf tournament when they tipped over hosts Otago 3-2 at the St Clair course in Dunedin yesterday.
Then they went agonisingly close to causing a major upset in the afternoon round before losing 3-2 to Auckland.
The result could easily have been different, with Auckland dodging a bullet, halving the final match to escape with a win.
Taranaki No 2 Holly Winter could have sealed Auckland's fate, but her 15-foot birdie putt on the par-five last just missed. Auckland's Munchin Keh stepped up and rolled her 12-foot putt in for a birdie to square the match and give Auckland victory.
"It was a great effort by the girls," said Taranaki selector-manager Trish Stewart. "They could easily have halved the match and could even have won it. Holly was one up teeing off on the last and could have won the 18th."
Stewart said No 5 Vanessa Bouvet also had a birdie chance on the 18th to win her match against Larissa Eruera.
"But the putt missed and she finished all square."
No 3 Celeste McLean won her game against Joanna Kim one-up, while No 4 Rochelle Keegan lost her first game at the tournament when she went down 3 and 2 to Brittney Dryland.
Taranaki No 1 Carol Chard was beaten 7 and 6 by a red-hot Wenyung Keh, who was two or three under the card when the match finished.
McLean, Keegan and Bouvet all came up trumps against Otago.
McLean scored her first win of the tournament when she beat Liz McRae 5 and 4, with Bouvet winning by the same margin over Susan Greig. Keegan made it three wins from three matches when she edged out Dale Dagg 3 and 2.
Chard lost her game on the 17th, losing 2 and 1 to Laura Hoskin, while Winter was beaten 4 and 3 by Jo Hicks-Beach.
Today, Taranaki play Aorangi and have the bye in the afternoon. Taranaki's final round robin match is against Hawke's Bay tomorrow morning.
Auckland are one of three unbeaten teams after four rounds - the others are Wellington and North Harbour. All three have had byes.
Auckland ended Canterbury's unbeaten run with a 4-1 win in the morning round, but Canterbury rebounded to beat previously unbeaten Waikato 3-2 in the afternoon.
North Harbour won both their games yesterday, as did Hawke's Bay.
Bay of Plenty dropped their first game when they were hammered 4-1 by Manawatu-Whanganui.
- Taranaki Daily News
Is Ma'a Nonu returning to the Hurricanes ...Related story: Ma'a Nonu's return to Hurricanes confirmed