Date: April 12, 2008

Aussies retain The Ashes in Moonah thriller

Australia has retained The Ashes by just one point in a thrilling climax to the two-day event at Moonah Links on Victoria&aposs Mornington Peninsula. Holding a slender two-point lead going into the final 10 singles matches, the hosts were tested early in the day when the English girls started to apply pressure. Florentina Parker got the ball rolling with a 5&4 win over Julia Boland while Kerry Smith and Rachel Jennings notched wins over Kristie Smith and Clare Choi respectively. Only South Australian Stephanie Na offered resistance, squaring her match with Liz Bennett. Dan Willett maintained the British momentum with a closely-fought 1 up win over Victorian Daniel Beckmann. That&aposs where the charge was halted though as the Aussie men stepped up when it counted and put an end to any English title hopes. Tim Stewart posted a strong 5&3 win over Steve Uzzell, Matt Jager beat Sam Hutsby 2&1, Matt Griffin accounted for Neil Chaudhuri 3&2 and Rohan Blizard continued his return to form with a 3&1 win over Chris Wood. That result ensured the top ranked Australian remained unbeaten for the event and delivered a timely confidence boost for his Srixon Australian Amateur title defence beginning next week. Scott Arnold was beaten 2 down by Dale Whitnell, but by this point, the title had been safely retained by the Australian team. Peter Knight, Director of Elite Development said, “It was an incredibly exciting finale to two days of high-quality golf. “England played confidently throughout and really took it up to our players, but I&aposm very happy with the way we withstood the pressure and defended our title. It&aposs only the second time this event has been played and it was magnificent to see the men and women playing together this year. Hopefully the event can continue to grow in the future as we work alongside England to showcase our best young players.” The English women&aposs squad flew to Adelaide this afternoon to begin their preparation for next week&aposs Srixon Australian Amateur Championships while the Australians and the English men will play a Golf Australia Foundation Day at Kingston Heath Golf Club on Friday before departing for South Australia.