Melbourne set for Metro Pennant Finals
The Melbourne Metropolitan Pennant Finals series will be contested this weekend across various venues with the Division 1 Men’s final seeing Yarra Yarra and 2009 winners Commonwealth going head to head for the prized top-order flag on the North Course at Peninsular Country Club.
Yarra Yarra’s line-up includes some of the country’s finest amateur golfers headed by Daniel Nisbet, New Zealand representative Ben Campbell and Victorian State player Ryan Woodward.
Yarra Yarra’s Peter Woodward (Photo: Anthony Powter)
The club is seeking to win its 9th Division 1 flag, whilst Commonwealth is looking for its 12th.
Commonwealth will go into the final eager to reverse the outcome of the last meeting between the clubs, having been defeated four matches to three in their opening contest of the year.
Commonwealth is headed by State representative Geoff Drakeford and Matt Hinkley to spearhead their team to victory.
Both teams are battle hardened following an eight week season in arguably the strongest pennant series in the nation where forty-six clubs are separated into six divisions, the largest inter-club competition in Australia.
Yarra Yarra’s 2012 season included seven wins to Commonwealth’s five with Daniel Nisbet undefeated in his six contests along with New Zealander Daniel Pearce winning five from five to be Yarra Yarra’s standout performers.
Ben Rodgers also played solid to record four wins from four, with Ryan Woodward securing six wins from seven.
Peter Woodward, the team’s stalwart having collected 108 pennant matches for Yarra Yarra, will call on all his year’s of experience for Sunday’s final along with Ian Susic, who is the second most capped player for Yarra Yarra with 41 pennant matches.
Commonwealth should not be underestimated are are arguably the more experienced of the two teams when you combine the seven man team.
Five of Commonwealth’s players have played the last three years with Andrew Taylor, Kristian Taylor, Matthew Hinkley, Michael Burgess and Geoff Drakeford banking more than thirty individual caps for their Club in pennant golf.
Burges, Drakeford and Taylor have featured strongly this season with solid wins and have been supported well by Michael Burgess and Matt Hinkley.
In the first round encounter won by Yarra Yarra, Nisbet accounted for Drakeford in the top-order match with a 1-up victory, Ryan Woodward at number three was too strong for Kristian Wheat with a 7&5 win and James Betts at number four for Yarra Yarra accounted for Lucas Herbert, 5&4. Ian Susic at number five for Yarra Yarra clinched the match winner with a 1-up win over Jordan Lett.
Commonwealth’s three matches came from their number two, Matt Hinkley who accounted for Ben Campbell 3&3, and their number six and seven with Andrew Taylor winning on the 20th over David Shimmin and Michael Burgess securing an impressive 5&4 win over Peter Woodward.
Last year Kingswood reversed the result of the 2010 Division 1 Men’s final with a four match to three victory over Waverley with two crucial sudden death 19th hole wins by their number six, Ashley Blake, and Number five, Sean Ong.
In a stark turnaround Kingswood finished this year’s Division 1 series number seven and along with Kingston Heath have been relegated to Division 2 for the 2013 season.
Southern and Metropolitan have been promoted to Division 1 after finishing clear leaders in Division 2. They will contest the Division 2 final at Commonwealth Golf Club.
Division 3 has Cheltenham against Latrobe at Peninsula, with Rosanna and Peninsula fighting for the Division 4 flag at Amstel Golf Club.
Division 5 has Heidelberg against Goonawarra at Long Island with Riversdale and Patterson River doing contest in Division 6 at Amstel.