Upset loss costs Canterbury
When the Canterbury women's team play off for fifth and sixth at the national teams champions event in Dunedin today, they're likely to still be thinking "what if?".
An upset loss to hosts Otago yesterday ended Canterbury's chances of making the semifinals for the first time since 2006.
Their 3-2 loss to Otago yesterday left Canterbury tied for second in their section with four wins, but Waikato, who Canterbury beat on Thursday, received the second semifinal spot courtesy of more individual points.
Over four days, six rounds and 30 matches, Canterbury missed out by just 1 individual points.
Having beaten Otago, also at St Clair, earlier in the season on their way to winning the South Island teams competition, Canterbury were favourites to beat the hosts yesterday, but had largely been scraping by on the good work of No 3 Jess Guenzerodt and captain Kate Turner.
Canterbury won only 16 matches through the week and Guenzerodt and Turner picked up 11 of those points.
Guenzerodt was six from six throughout the week, while Turner dropped just one game.
Sylvie Williams picked up three wins and a half at No 1, but Nos 2 and 5, Elisha Crosbie and Zhantel Weekes, struggled.
Crosbie won just one of her six matches at the tough second position, while Weekes struggled before being replaced by reserve Fiona Gebbie.
The semifinals were always going to be a stretch for the Canterbury side, but having caused a boilover by beating Waikato a day earlier to give themselves every chance, they were clearly disappointed to only be playing for minor placings today.
"We're pretty disappointed," Williams said.
"Otago wanted it more than us and they played really well in front of their home fans.
"We would have loved to have made the semis but we have to be proud of how we played this week.
"We gave it our all and it was a thousand times better than last year [where they finished ninth]."
It might have been Canterbury's best shot in making the semis for some time.
Guenzerodt begins her professional trainee programme in February while Williams is heading to the University of Michigan for the next two years on a golf scholarship. "I am proud of the way the team played.
"I don't know when will be my next one so we'll try to finish fifth [today] and leave on a good performance."
Canterbury play Manawatu/Wanganui this morning in the fifth and sixth playoff.
Canterbury 2 Otago 3 (Sylvie Williams lost to Laura Hoskin 4/3, Elisha Crosbie lost to Jo Hicks-Beach 3/1, Jess Guenzerodt bt Liz McRae 5/4, Kate Turner bt Dale Dagg 7/5, Fiona Gebbie lost to Susan Greig 4/2).
Final Points: Section One (individual games won in brackets) - Auckland 6 (22 ), Waikato 4 (18), Canterbury 4 (16 ), Taranaki 3 (15), Otago 2 (14), Hawke's Bay 2 (12), Aorangi 0 (7).
Section Two - Wellington 5 (19), Bay of Plenty 5 (18 ), Manawatu/Wanganui 4 (21), North Harbour 4 (18), Southland 2 (15), Northland 1 (9), Tasman 0 (4 ).