Pennant finalists decided
Sunday 26th March saw Kiama Golf Club host the semi-finals in the Golf illawarra Pennant series.
The Illawarra Pennant division one semi was between Shoalhaven Heads and Port Kembla. In a close fought match Port Kembla prevailed 3 matches to 2.
The Heads were first on the board with number three Ian Asbury winning his match against Matthew Ward 4/3. Port Kembla hit back when number five Padraic Skehan won his match against Nathan Whiteman 3/1 and hit the lead with number four Brad Watkins took his match against Troy Monie 3/2. The match would hinge on the result of the top two matches. Port Kembla number one Jason Ward would seal the win with a 3/2 win over his Heads counterpart Mark Johnston 3/2. With the result decided the Heads Chris McGrath made the final result 3-2 with a hard fought win over Port's Mark Crossingham. Port Kembla will now take on the Links Shell Cove for the title.
In division two of the Illawarra Pennant it was the Grange who ran out convincing winners by four matches to one.
The Grange were first on the board when number one Dylan Humphries closed out his match 8/6 over Aaron Gray. David Carruthers won the battle of the number three's with a solid 5/4 win. Ben Howchin won his match 4/2 over Steven Townsend to give The Grange the three matches they needed for victory. The number five match between Peter Johnson and Russell Hammond along with the number two match between Luke Rich and Jarrod Egbers were squared. The Grange will now take on Kiama to decide the inaugural division two Illawarra Pennant.
The B Pennant semi-finals saw the Links Shell Cove take on Jamberoo and The Grange up against Kiama. The match between Links Shell Cove and Jamberoo saw Jamberoo come away with a 4-1 win. All matches were decided early with the longest match finishing on the 15th.
Pat Paris was a 5/4 winner over Ryan De Witt in the number five match. Curtis Heniuk was the lone winner for the Links with a solid 5/4 win over Pete Munro in the number four match. The number three match saw Tony Panecasio take out his match 5/4 over Rob Andreeski. Number two, Jarrod Gehrmann won his match 5/3 over Owen Jones, with Adrian Bell a comfortable 6,5 winner over Johno Murphy.
The other match pitted home team Kiama against the Grange in what promised to be a close match. The Grange were first to strike with Brad Douglas a 5/4 winner over Jason Gowers. The Grange claimed their second match when Jeff Bloom outlasted Brendan Armstrong 3/2. Kiama then hit back when Ben Robinson won his match over David Webster 2/1. The Grange were up in one and down in the other of the final two matches. The Grange closed it out when number two John Starzynski won his match 2/1 after being behind after twelve holes. Kiama made it 3/2 when their number one Gary Hutchison prevailed 3/2 over Dean Jones.
C Pennant saw Jamberoo against St Georges Basin and Links Shell Cove versus The Grange. Both were close matches with both matches decided 3 matches to 2.
The semi-final between Jamberoo and St Georges Basin saw the first three matches finish at the same time with Jamberoo victorious in two of the three. Jamberoo club captain and number five David Ransom won his match 3/2 over Barry Smith. In the battle of the number four's Ron Chilby defeated Kevin Dunne 4/3. The Basin were on the board when Don Waples had a convincing 5/4 win over Andrew Ball. Chris Leckey confirmed Jamberoo's place in the final with a 3/2 win over Bob Jones. The number one match saw Greg Devlin claim the final match with a 2 up win over Jamberoo number one Tim Young.
In the other semi, The Grange went one up after a convincing win in the number four match with Bede Ritchie a 6/4 winner over Sean Hussey. It would be some time before the contest would be decided with the remaining matches going to at least the seventeenth. The Links' Dave Spencer made it one a piece with a 1up win over Michael Hay. The number three and two matches finished at the same time with a win to each time making it two all, the Grange's Peter Kirkland with a 2 up win over Phil Gallastegui and Paul Franks (Links) winning his match 2/1 against Darryl Halpin. The number one match would decide who would progress to the final. The Links were confirmed as finalists when Darren Sparks was too good in a 2/1 win over Todd Holborrow.
The White Horse Cup would see Kiama and Sussex Inlet I face off in one semi and Jamberoo I and Jamberoo II in the other.
The semi between Kiama and Sussex was a one-sided affair with Kiama taking full advantage of the home course advantage winning 6-0. The lower order matches saw comfortable wins for Kiama. Joe Ditton was a 6/5 winner against Peter Harding and Harrison Jones defeated Peter Sullivan 5/4. The remaining matches were closer with Russell Worth 3/2 against Jacob Harding, Brett Rorie 3/2 over Jake Westley and Richard Harvey a 2 up winner over a gallant Luke Elliott.
The other semi between the Jamberoo teams gave the Jamberoo II team a chance to avenge last years playoff loss after the matches finished 3-3. The match was a tight affair with a playoff required for the second straight year after another 3 - 3 result.
Bryan Nicholl (Flies) had an early finish winning his match 8/6 over Matt Tededschi . With Chris Goodwin 4/2 over Steve Jackson and Gary Harvey 2/1 over Peter Francis winning, it was looking promising for the Flies with three matches in the bag. With their chance to go for three successive titles the Cowpats lifted. Col Booth (Captain Cowpat) took his match 3/1 over Johnny Bermudez, Scott Hainsworth won his match 3/1 over Greg Tarrant and Mark Cassel made it three each with a 4/2 victory over Greg Seymour. This would see number one's Mark Cassel and Greg Seymour playoff to decide who would go through against Kiama. Both players had a chance to win on the first extra hole, unfortunately both three-putted. The second was halved in pars. The winner was decided on the 21st hole. Greg struck trouble off the tee and after hitting the pin with his fifth shot, Mark holed a great putt across the green for a par and the win for the Cowpats.