Date: May 10, 2018
Author: Mark Hayes

Men’s wrap: SA throws WA dramatic lifeline


MEN – The Grange GC (East Course)





There are spanners in the works, then there are the gigantic Sidchrome toolkits that South Australia threw into the men’s Interstate Series today.

With no exposed form to shape the final, the hometown lads put title favourites Victoria to the sword at The Grange, pushing their old rivals to an unexpected “preliminary final” against Western Australia on Friday morning.

The winner of the Victoria-WA clash will advance to the afternoon final against Queensland, which had a pulsating 4-3 win over its fierce rival New South Wales in testing conditions.

Not only did that victory give the young Maroons, who have the morning bye on Friday, top billing on the ladder, it also eliminated the Blues form title contention, making it a three-horse race.

Victoria, which had survived a morning scare from Tasmania to remain unbeaten through four matches, was shown no mercy by the hosts who got outstanding contributions throughout, but particularly from the bottom order.

Frank Vucic, Colin Coleman and Josh Hayes all saluted to set the SA ball rolling and by the time lefty Liam Georgiadis won a half-point against the unbeaten Lukas Michel, they’d built an unassailable lead.

Matias Sanchez gave Victoria hope with a quality 6&4 win over Jackson Kalz, but the hammer blow was dealt when captain Billy Cawthorne halved the last hole and his match with Zach Murray to take SA over the line, rendering David Micheluzzi’s final point for Victoria effectively meaningless.

And the big winner of all of this … Western Australia.

The WA lads seemed crestfallen when they left the course on Wednesday.

But they were completely up and about 24 hours later with their 5-2 victory over Tasmania putting their destiny back into their own hands.

Victoria will be the top seed if it beats WA on Friday morning, but will miss the final altogether if the Sandgropers prevail. In the latter instance, Queensland will be top seed based on matches won differential, regardless of tomorrow morning’s score.

New South Wales faces the winless Northern Territory in the morning and likely remain fourth, while the winner of the Tasmania and South Australia to grab fifth if NSW wins.