Date: June 26, 2016
Author: Tom Fee

Mount Lawley break pennant drought

Mount Lawley Golf Club have broken a drought that has spanned over half a century, winning WA's Division 1 Women’s Pennant title with a 4-3 victory over Lake Karrinyup today at Cottesloe Golf Club.

It was fitting that their triumph came against a side that is undoubtedly one of the greatest in WA pennant history, with Lake Karrinyup surrendering a title they have won seven times in the past ten years.

Much like the regular season, Mount Lawley and Lake Karrinyup could only be separated by the narrowest of margins as Lake Karrinyup fought valiantly despite being on the back foot for the majority of the day’s play.

The tone of the match was established early with Mount Lawley and Lake Karrinyup taking imposing leads in three matches a piece. The only match that appeared in the balance was between two members of WA’s travelling girls side in Alysha Ahnantakrishnan and Lake Karrinyup’s Jennifer Herbst.

Ahnantakrishnan held a narrow lead over Herbst throughout, but Herbst often was able to close within one hole of Ahnantakrishnan until late.

Mount Lawley’s pennant was secured on the 17th hole of this match, as Ahnantakrishnan rolled in a 20 foot birdie putt to secure her match 3&1.

Mount Lawley’s remaining wins came through their top two ranked players in Hannah Green (5&4) and Kirsten Rudgeley (7&6), as well as Eve Cohen (5&4) in the number 5 position.

Carmen Palframan (2&1), Ronnie Ntoumenopoulos (4&3) and Robyn Lamb’s (5&4) wins ensured Lake Karrinyup remained well in the hunt to snatch a comeback victory.

Speaking after the presentations, Ahnantakrishnan said her plan for the day was to just focus on her match and trust in her teammates.

“I just really wanted to win for the team and get my match in,” said Ahnantakrishnan.

“I didn’t know much about what was going on elsewhere, I was just trying to focus on my game as I didn’t want to get influenced by how the team was going and get too excited or down early on.”

As a fellow upcoming prospect in WA’s ranks, Ahnantakrishnan paid tribute to her opponent play.

“[Jennifer] played really well and stuck the ball amazingly. She was out driving me by a good 30 or 40 meters so it was always going to be a tough match.”

Coming down the 17th with the tie in the balance, the weight of the moment wasn’t lost on Ahnantakrishnan who approached her putt conservatively.

“The aim was to just two putt the hole, but it fell in,” said Ahnantakrishnan.

“It was pretty exciting when it went in. It was amazing that after 55 years we’ve been able to do it and be able to take on a side as good as Lake Karrinyup on play our best and win for Mount Lawley.”

The final featured three players that went undefeated in the 2016 season, and fittingly Lake Karrinyup’s Carmen Palframan, and Mount Lawley’s Hannah Green and Kirsten Rudgeley continued that run in today’s final.

Both Palframan and Green have imposing records that span back multiple seasons with Green undefeated in three years, while Palframan has a 20-1 record in her last 4 seasons.

It’s just Mount Lawley’s second pennant since the competition began in 1925, while Lake Karrinyup remains tied with Cottesloe with 15 titles in the competition’s history.

Royal Perth will remain the competition’s most successful side for at least a few more decades with 40 tiles to their name, and the club will look to take a vital step towards adding to its imposing total when they face The Vines in tomorrow’s Division 2 pennant final at Nedlands — while Gosnells will face Royal Fremantle in Division 3.