Date: May 10, 2017
Author: Matt Somerford

WRAP: Vic women march into #IntSeries final

Victoria booked its place in the women’s Interstate Series final in Perth following back-to-back wins against New South Wales and Tasmania on Wednesday.

The Vics did the heavy lifting on an important day to their title hopes in the morning when they edged rival New South Wales 3-2.

That ensured an afternoon success over the winless Tasmanians would book their place in Thursday afternoon’s decider and they duly obliged with a comfortable 4.5-0.5 scoreline.

Gabi Ruffels completed a memorable day as she won her final pairing against Sarah Johnstone 6&5 after she had earlier stepped up to the No 2 slot and sealed the morning win over New South Wales with another 6&5 result against fellow 17-year-old Doey Choi.

That result opened the door for hosts Western Australia to book their place in the final when they met New South Wales in the afternoon.

The hosts had faltered in the morning, when they let slip a late advantage to halve their match against South Australia, and then passed up their chance for a surprise place in the final as they were beaten 3-2 by New South Wales.

It was a performance full of determination from New South Wales, following the frustration of their morning’s defeat, as their opening three players all chalked up wins to leapfrog them above Western Australia and into second place on the ladder.

Belinda Ji and Hannah Park both recorded 3&2 wins while Stephanie Kyriacou was a 3&1 winner against 14-year-old West Aussie Abbie Teasdale, who has impressed on her home course at Royal Fremantle.

Kirsten Rudgeley and Kathryn Norris grabbed a couple of points for the hosts, who remain in contention to reach the final, just a half-point behind New South Wales.

The West Aussies will, however, now need to beat Victoria on Thursday morning to reach the decider.

And they will also have to look over their shoulders as defending champions Queensland retain a chance of forcing their way into the final after bouncing back in style on Wednesday with 5-0 whitewash wins against Tasmania and South Australia.

Opening-day defeats to Victoria and Western Australia appeared to have scuppered their hopes of retaining the title but the wide-margin successes mean they can still overtake second-placed New South Wales when they meet in the final round.

Queensland would, however, still need to win by a margin of at least two matches and hope that Western Australia does not defeat Victoria.

Skipper Gennai Goodwin ensured Queensland’s perfect ten, in terms of matches won on Wednesday, when she defeated Ella Adams 2up on the last to give them plenty of momentum heading into the final day.

Earlier, the Vics got a valuable point from Kono Matsumoto in the lead match, then banked another in the No.3 match with Steph Bunque staying unbeaten for the week.

At the same time, WA dropped what might be a crucial half-point with a tie against the plucky South Australians.

Youngster Teasdale continued to impress on her home course with a win in the lead match, while Maddison Hinson-Tolchard won the No.3 contest to put the unbeaten hosts in sight of another victory.

But Charley Jacobs dominated her match at No.4 for the SA women before Jin-Young Yun and Rudgeley fought out a tense halved match.

The impressive Adams stunned local ace Norris in the top match to ensure a 2.5-2.5 result.

Queensland began their stellar day with a dominant 5-0 result against Tasmania with no match going past the 15th hole and the star Sarah Wilson, who carved out a stunning 8&7 win for her first point in senior interstate competition.