The NSW Blues will head into day two of the Australian Interstate Teams matches needing back-to-back wins to ensure they have any chance of making Thursday’s final after a heartbreaking five-three loss to a red-hot Queensland team in the second round of contests.
The match, which looked to be heading the Maroons’ way for much of the afternoon, turned into a closer affair than may thought, courtesy of an epic 4&3 win by Belinda Ji over Justice Bosio and a withering late run by June Song, who sadly fell to an outstanding performance from Hannah Reeves – The contest the only one to reach the final hole.
Another debutant, Avondale’s Declan O’Donovan, scored his first interstate-level win with a 3&2 victory over Tyler Duncan, while Men’s captain Jye Pickin also grabbed his first win for the series with a 6&4 win over Lincoln Morgan.
Sadly losses from Rachel Lee, Jeffrey Guan, Harrison Crowe and Charlotte Perkins proved too much for the team to recover.
Team Co-Captain Belinda Ji, however, was upbeat about the afternoon result and confident the team could recoup and ensure themselves of a better result in tomorrow’s matches against Western Australia and Victoria.
“Everyone’s playing quite well, but if they can just learn a little bit from today and apply that into tomorrow.
“It’s a new day, a new game and a new match. Reset mentally; that will be the key,”
Despite his afternoon loss, the team’s number one player, Harrison Crowe, agreed with Ji’s sentiments.
“Queensland are tough opponents, but some of those matches could have gone either way.
“I don’t think we had the momentum we thought we had, and In my case, a few putts just didn’t drop.
“There’s still a long way to go in the series, and we just have to go out tomorrow and bring our best.”
Crowe was delighted by the performances of the two young guns, his St Michael’s teammate Daley Loumanis and Declan O’Donovan, in securing their first State team wins.
“Those boys have done an excellent job so far.
“I’ve always said to win the interstate; you have to start from the bottom up.
“If they keep going, it’s going to be a bit tricky to start picking teams again, and that’s just how it goes, but they are definitely doing their part.”
Queensland and South Australia are the unbeaten teams after day one of the Interstate Teams Matches, with the Blues sitting in third place.
Defending champion Victoria took a costly tumble in their opening match, going down to South Australia, who consolidated their position with an 8-nil win in the afternoon match against Tasmania.
The fancied Western Australian team had the worst possible start to their series, going down in both matches on day one, while Tasmania is rooted to the bottom of the table with two losses alongside WA.
Blues Dominate Tassie in Opening Contest
It was a chill tart to the morning, but for the NSW it was all heat from the opening hole in their contest against Tasmania in the Australian interstate teams Matches at St. Michaels Golf Club.
Lead by debutants Annika Rathbone 5&4 and home course hero Daley Loumanis 8&7 the Team cruised to a 6 1/2 to 1 1/2 victory over the apple islanders.
Also victorious for the blues were June Song (4&2), Jeffrey Guan (5&4), Belinda Ji (3&2). Number one player, Harrison Crowe who despite struggling with his putter for most of the round cruised to a 4&3 win over Joey Bower.
Newcastle’s Jye Pickin who was in an arm wrestle for much of the day struck late to secure a hard earned half, to help the team to a healthy win.
The Blues move onto the far more formidable Queensland in this afternoon’s match, with the contest looking like it could be a dress rehearsal for Thursday’s final.