St Clair Blue will host the Taieri Lakes team in the semifinal of the men’s Metropolitan Senior A pennant series after beating Otago by a 4-2 margin at St Clair on Saturday.
The win allowed St Clair to leapfrog the Taieri team and gain home advantage for the first match of the playoffs.
St Clair finished with 19 points and 33 games, one point and half a game ahead of the Mosgiel team.
The event is now reduced to a semifinal, the winner of which will play top-of-the-table Otago at Balmacewen for the title. The St Clair team goes into the playoffs with all of the momentum, after a poor start, suffering three losses in the first three rounds.
But the team has posted six wins and a draw in the last seven rounds to romp up the points table.
In sharp contrast, the dominant Otago team finished the series with two losses and will now have to regroup for the final.
Former provincial No1 Tony Giles was too good for Jason Hughes, winning on the 13th green while former Chisholm juniors Cody McMullan and Conor Jamison posted 2 and 1 wins for St Clair in the middle order.
St Clair No6 Joseph Hancock came home strongly after turning three down to Murray Edgar, to win on the final green and give St Clair its fourth win.
Island Park played its part in helping St Clair get a home semifinal by holding Taieri to a 3-all draw in the final round.
Mat Lee, Ian Boath and Ken Shaw won for Taieri while Karl Horsnall and Mike Wray posted wins for the home team.
The outcome came down to the tight tussle of the No1 players. Michael Minty and Mark Andrews were all square playing the final hole.
Minty sank a 2.5m cross-green birdie putt on the final green to win one up, ensuring the draw, and Andrews suffered his first loss of the series.
Despite finishing bottom of the table, St Clair Gold finished strongly, halving with Chisholm at St Clair on Saturday.
For St Clair, Ryan Littlejohn and juniors Parker Aluesi and Callum White posted wins, while Chisholm’s Jason Pegler was back in the winner’s circle, with his sixth win, at the expense of Eric McAuslin.
Chisholm captain Mark Collie beat Chris Idour 2 and 1 and MacKenzie Gibson made it three all with a convincing win over Simon Murley.
Gibson will have fond memories of the day, not only for his win but also for holing in one on the par three seventh Porridge Pot hole.
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