Saturday 6th February 2016 – The Ridge Golf Club
The original final between Avondale and Kiama had been postponed after several Avondale players were struck by severe illness mid-way through the final in January, and could not continue. Rather than claim the win at that time, Kiama offered to conduct a re-match at a future date. So, three weeks later, on Saturday 6th February, at The Ridge Golf Course, the two teams met again to determine the State Champions for 2015.
At 11:30am, with the first match due to start at 12:00 noon, a deluge of rain hit the course and it looked like being a difficult day. Ten minutes later the rain had reduced to a drizzle and spirits lifted for a fine day. The radar was misleading and at 11:50, it poured again for a brief spell. Fortunately it was just a passing shower and by tee time, umbrellas were up but the drizzle was clearing. By the time the third and last group teed off it was clear and getting warm.
The Ridge GC is an undulating course with couch fairways and firm, true greens, softened by the rain a little but still on the quick side. Wayward tee shots can find trouble and in the early stages, a few unplayable lies and hazard penalties affected both teams. After the first nine Kiama held good leads in two matches and were slightly ahead in two with one match square. Kiama looking good at this stage.
On the back nine the Avondale players started to fire and had fought back to be very close with 3-4 holes to go. Kiama still had the edge but the pressure was on. The managers were feeling it too and neither was prepared to call the result. With Kiama having 3 wins in the bag and Avondale one, the last two matches were square after 18, so down the 19th they went. The first match went to the 20th and Avondale prevailed to make it 3-2 with the number 1’s playing the 19th. Darcy from Kiama was just short on the tricky par 4 hole and Will from Avondale had a difficult downhill chip. He tried the bump and run but the slope was too much and it ran through. Will then had to chip it very close to make Darcy putt his 1m birdie putt. Will missed and conceded, giving Kiama a thrilling 4-2 win and the title of 2015 State Junior Pennant Champions.
Kiama Team – Darcy Bond, Jamie Reay, Jake Reay, Jet Preston, Ethan Harvey, Harrison Jones, Connor Hughes. Managers – Elle Sandak and Shaun O’Toole
Avondale team – Will Bayliss, Jye Pickin, Bryce Pickin, Kara Williams, Gus McAllister, Jess Meakin, Ejun Choi, Grace Kim, June Song. Manager – Bob Wilson
For more information visit: www.jnjg.com.au