Date: April 27, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Blues bury bogey team

There’s nothing better than beating a hoodoo team – especially when it sets your Interstate Teams Championship week off to a flying start.

New South Wales did just that this afternoon, fighting off a determined Western Australia 5-2 to open its campaign with a win after a morning bye.

“That’s a good win against a dangerous opponent,” NSW coach Dean Kinney said after captain Dale Brandt-Richards iced victory with a bold 4&3 win over Kiran Day in their No.2 encounter.

“They were a tough one to face first up. WA have always been a bit of a bogey team for us, so it’s good to face them first up and have a win.

“Our lower order guys did the job and we played really solidly and smart, putting pressure on our opponents by good play … it’s a good lead-up to play Victoria tomorrow.”

Impressive Justin Warren set the tone with a 4&3 win in the No.7 match, then Harrison Endycott, Kevin Yuan and Troy Moses followed suit in the next matches.

Only the imperious Min Woo Lee – a 5&3 victor over Travis Smyth at No.3 – and a gutsy 1-up win from Jarryd Felton over national squad teammate Cam Davis prevented a larger margin.

Brandt-Richards was particularly impressive.

“He was doing everything well. He’s relatively experienced, been overseas a couple of times and he’s certainly ready to turn pro at the end of the year, hopefully,” Kinney said.

“But it’s our strongest men’s team for a few years. We’ve got no weakness and it’s very hard to leave anyone out.

“Brayden Petersen was No.8 today but he could slot in tomorrow anywhere and we’d have no problem.”

In other men’s matches this afternoon, Tasmania again let slip a promising position to fall 4.5-2.5 to Queensland.

After halving their match with South Australia this morning, the Tasmanians pushed the fancied Queenslanders all the way this afternoon, with only a quality par by Taylor Macdonald up the last at Huntingdale ensuring overall victory with a 1-up win over Greg Longmore.

Moments earlier, Tassie’s Sam Rawlings also had Cory Crawford in a predicament, but the national squad member hit back to take a critical half-point in their No.2 clash.

Victoria stayed top of the ladder with a convincing 6-1 win over South Australia.

An impressive victory by recent Masters player Antonio Murdaca – 2&1 over Victorian ace Ryan Ruffels – was arguably the highlight, but otherwise Victoria was dominant.

Thomas Power-Horan won his second match of the day at No.7, while late inclusion Andrew Schonewille justified selectors’ faith with a 2&1 win over Sam Earl at No.6 to send the hosts on their way to a second straight victory after an earlier win over Queensland.