And then there were three.
A tremendous rear-guard fight by Victoria and a hard-charging South Australia combined to end New South Wales’ hopes in the women’s Interstate Teams Championship at Royal Melbourne this morning.
The South Aussies lost their first match when Bonnie Doon’s Sophie Cusack toppled Cassidy Evreniadis 5&3 despite a hole-in-one by the young member of The Grange on the par-3 13th.
Ella Adams soon gave SA a spark with a 5&4 win over Jessica Lasky – and then the giant-killing rout was on.
Kristalle Blum stormed over Olivia Wilson 3&2, Caitlin Roberts hit overdrive to beat Celina Yuan 2&1 and Glenelg’s Jenny Lee stunned Liz Elmassian 4&2 and snuff out the hopes of the one-time title fancies.
“It’s really good for us to get that (result),” captain Lee said afterwards.
“We’re a much better team than last year … it’s a good win (against a larger state).”
With Western Australia’s undefeated juggernaut rolling to another 5-0 win over Tasmania, Queensland had the chance to keep pace and damage Victoria all in one hit.
And when Robyn Choi saluted in the No.5 match 7&5 and Queensland ahead in other matches at the time, things looked troubling for the hosts.
But skipper Jo Charlton held her nerve to edge national squad member Becky Kay 2&1 at No.2.
Despite Karis Davidson being under par, Woodlands prodigy Julienne Soo maintained her form to beat the Queensland No.1 2&1, unofficially four under when she won.
And then the drama really kicked in.
Grace Daniell had been 2-down with six to play before storming home to square her match with Amy Walsh.
And then the never-say-die Olivia Kline came from 2-down with two to play to pinch the winning half-point for Victoria in an unexpected 3-2 triumph.
“These girls have got a lot of fight in them – it’s great that they really want to compete like they have the past couple of days,” manager Tamara Hyett said.
“We’ve been down and out twice and fought back to halve New South Wales and then that today. It’s a great effort.”
The results left WA on 3 contests, Victoria on 2.5 and Queensland on 2 with the leaders going at each other this afternoon.
South Australia’s win edged it past NSW in fourth, but both are now only mathematical chances of reaching Thursday’s final.
By: Mark Hayes