Just when the road to the men’s Interstate Teams Championship looked clear, along came Tasmania.
The Tasmanian team had one of its great days in its long title history today with a comeback win against Northern Territory followed by an even more impressive halve against title favourite New South Wales.
Captain and No.1 Greg Longmore showed no mercy to Australian Amateur champion Cam Davis, locking up the half point that remarkably put the Apple Islanders into third place after four of seven rounds.
Earlier, Cameron Bell and Andrew Phillips set Tassie on the road to a shock with wins in the first two matches out.
But victories to Kevin Yuan and Harrison Endycott seemed to steady New South Wales, particularly with captain Dale Brandt-Richards safely on top of Sam Rawlings in the No.2 slot.
But Mitch Van Noord and Travis Smyth’s colossal battle at No.3 finished halved and then Longmore’s cool hand ensured the surprise 3.5-3.5 tie.
It capped a dramatic day for New South Welshmen who earlier had half a point stolen from them by arch rival Victoria.
Brandt-Richards stood on the last tee square with Lucas Herbert after a titanic struggle and needing only to halve the hole to give NSW victory.
But when he left his third shot in the greenside bunker, the Vics swooped for another 3.5-3.5 tie.
The hosts then flexed their muscles in the afternoon with a 7-0 romp over newcomer Northern Territory to maintain top spot alone, although both Victoria and Tasmania have each played once more than NSW.
Second is Western Australia which won its early match with South Australia 5-2, but then had to rely on scintillating captain Jarryd Felton to rescue a half-point in another dramatic match with Queensland this afternoon.
Felton, fresh off wins over Antonio Murdaca and Cam Davis, edged out Taylor Macdonald 3&2 in the top match as Curtis Luck, back from overseas just this morning, nabbed a 1-up win in the No.2 match against Cory Crawford.
Ben Ferguson was the other winner for WA, while Queensland got points from Blake Proverbs, Simon Viitakangas and Anthony Quayle, while Jake McLeod and Kiran Day fought out a halved match in the No.3 slot.
Queensland (5th) trails NSW (4th) by half a point, but both have a match in hand of their rivals ahead.
South Australia (0.5) and Northern Territory (0) remain winless, but the NT boys rejoiced this morning when Peter Hargreaves and Mitch Gridley each won individual matches against Tasmania.