The men’s Pennants season is set for a thrilling finale with a five clubs, across the top two divisions, still able to reach their respective finals heading into the last round on Sunday.
Royal Perth booked their place in the Division One title decider thanks to a 4-3 win in their top-of-the-table clash against Mandurah at Cottesloe at the weekend, while in Division Two Royal Fremantle also sealed their place with a 6-1 win against Lakelands.
But just who will meet them on July 30 remains a mystery with the prospect of five clubs finishing the season level on six points in Division One – albeit only three of them can reach the final – while second-placed Hartfield will face a nervous wait when they host the final round of Division Two with Mount Lawley able to overtake them this Sunday.
In the top-flight, Mandurah’s defeat meant that they relinquished second place to in-form Lake Karrinyup, who have now gone on a three-game winning run to propel them into contention.
Last year’s finalists Joondalup were Lake Karrinyup’s latest victims, as they were cast aside 5-2 to end their final hopes, although only after 1up wins for Matt Bowra and Joe Owen.
And while the win moved Lake Karrinyup into second place they still face the prospect of a must-win final-round clash against fellow fast-finishers Gosnells this weekend.
After a slow start to their title defence Gosnells have started to find form and a 6-1 win over Melville Glades – who were consigned to relegation – kept their final hopes intact.
The wide-margin of victory was doubly important for Gosnells as they moved to 19 ‘matches won’ – and just one behind Lake Karrinyup’s 20.
That could prove decisive with the prospect that all five clubs could finish next week level on six points. The club with the most ‘matches won’ would progress in the event of clubs being tied on points, with further countback scenarios detailed in the pennants regulations.
Jose De Sousa returned the most emphatic win (6&5) for Gosnells while they also rode 1up wins from Simon Payne, Andrew Woods and Michael Lans to keep their season alive.
Mandurah will be keeping close watch on the Gosnells-Lake Karrinyup battle – they are the only other team that could progress – as they meet Cottesloe in the final round at Melville Glades.
Cottesloe sit only two points off second place, however, there are no set of circumstances that would allow them to overhaul the congestion ahead of them and into second place. Joondalup are stuck in a similar situation ahead of their season-ending clash against Royal Perth.
Royal Fremantle put the final details on their Division Two final place after their fifth win from five matches ended Lakelands’ hopes at WA Golf Club.
Hartfield narrowly missed the chance to join Royal Freo in the final following a 4-3 defeat to Mount Lawley.
Mike Daly’s win at the 19th, in the third match out, proved vital as Mount Lawley moved level with Hartfield on six points and in pole position to reach the decider.
With Hartfield not in action in the final round, Mount Lawley need only to win one individual match in their clash with fourth-placed WA Golf Club to make the final.
WA Golf Club and The Vines can not overhaul Hartfield – even if they claimed 7-0 wins this weekend – because they lost their head-to-head matches against the Forrestfield-based club earlier this season.
The Vines at least ensured they avoided relegation with a 5-2 win over last-placed Wanneroo, as teenagers Sammy Opershal and Adam Brady both claimed wins.
It continued a good week for Brady after an impressive performance at the Drummond Golf 54 Hole Junior Classic in the south west saw him claim third place overall and the 14-and-15-year-old’s title.
Wanneroo now face a virtual relegation decider against Lakelands at Hartfield on Sunday. Wanneroo will, however, need to win by a margin of at least three matches if they are to leapfrog Lakelands.
In Division Three, Rockingham and Nedlands will clash in a winner-takes-all battle when they meet for the right to play Bunbury in the final.
Bunbury completed their perfect campaign with a 5-2 win over Sun City and will now wait to discover their final opponents as they host the last round.
Rockingham edged past Kwinana 4-3 after Damien Schoppe won on the 18th green in the final group out while Nedlands were more comfortable in defeating Meadow Springs 5-2.
Bunbury’s two men’s pennants teams have reached their respective finals – in Division Three and Five – after both pieced together unbeaten round-robin seasons.
Bunbury will host both divisions this weekend, so they can put their feet up before discovering who they will meet in either final.
The Third Division side are favourites after coasting through the round-robin phase, dropping just eight individual matches along the way, while in Division Five their only miscue came in the form of a halved contest against Pinjarra back in Round Two.
Awaiting Bunbury in the Division Five final are Chequers, who dropped their first point of the season at the weekend against Joondalup.
Chequers’ place in the final had already been assured and they too will enjoy a weekend off this Sunday.
Final permutations by division
NORTH: Lake Karrinyup put one foot in the final with a 5-2 win over Joondalup that leaves them needing just a point from their final-round contest against Wanneroo at Mount Lawley this weekend. Second-placed Cottesloe must defeat The Vines and hope Lake Karrinyup slip-up.
SOUTH: Royal Fremantle won through to the final with a 5.5-1.5 win over Royal Perth that maintained their perfect record. Gosnells lead the race for second after sharing the points with Kennedy Bay while Melville Glades defeated Hartfield 4-3.
NORTH: The only division where both finalists are already known. Chequers had already booked their place before halving their match with Joondalup at the weekend. Elsewhere, Wanneroo moved second with a 4-3 win against Lake Karrinyup while Lakelands defeated The Vines 6-1.
SOUTH: Unbeaten Bunbury won their top-of-the-table clash against Royal Freo 5-2 to join Chequers in the final. Gosnells defeated Pinjarra 4.5-2.5 while Mandurah and Kwinana shared the points.
NORTH: Wanneroo leapt to the top of the table with a 5-2 win over The Vines while previous leaders Sea View lost for the first time this season, 4-3 against Lakelands. Wanneroo must win their final match against Lakelands, however, to play in the final as Sea View and The Vines also meet in the final round. The winner of that match will go through if Wanneroo lose.
SOUTH: Four clubs can make the final from the south after Royal Fremantle missed the chance to go top following a 4-3 defeat to The Cut, for whom Laurie Steel and Adrian Oliver had 1up wins. Royal Freo can make amends this weekend when they play leaders Royal Perth, who know a win seals their place. Kennedy Bay are level on points with them at the top, after edging Kwinana 4-3, but still need to rely on Royal Perth not winning even if they overcome Hartfield in the final round. Rockingham are rank outsiders – they need to beat Kwinana 7-0 and then hope Royal Freo win 4-3 and Kennedy Bay lose.
NORTH: The Vines are a point clear after surrendering their perfect record with a halved match against Sun City at Chequers at the weekend. That opened the door a little wider for second-placed Chequers. The Vines will still go through if they defeat Lake Karrinyup in the final round, but if they lose a point would be enough for Chequers when they meet Wanneroo.
SOUTH: Leaders Gosnells claimed a crucial 4-3 win over Rockingham as Rob Purser’s 2&1 win at the top of the order proved decisive. Gosnells must now sit back and await their fate as they host a final round when second-placed Rockingham could yet overtake them, if they can defeat Secret Harbour and win at least 5.5 matches. Hartfield lost 5-2 to Meadow Springs and now need a 7-0 whitewash in their final match with last-placed Pinjarra to have any chance of going through.
NORTH: Mosman Park locked in their final place with a sixth successive win 4.5-2.5 against Joondalup. The Vines sit second following a 4-3 win over Lakelands while Wanneroo defeated Sun City by the same scoreline.
SOUTH: Pinjarra need only to avoid defeat in their final game against Kwinana in ensure they reach the final. And a loss might even still be enough, after their 5-2 win against Mandurah left them two points clear of Hartfield, who beat Kwinana 5.5-1.5. Hartfield play Mandurah in their final game knowing they need a wide-margin win.
NORTH (ONLY): Sun City confirmed their place in the final with a 5-2 win over Wanneroo. Three clubs can join them after WA Golf Club missed their chance to confirm their place thanks to a 4.5-2.5 loss to Chequers. WA Golf club meet Lake Karrinyup, who are a point behind them and level with Chequers, knowing a win would be enough to belatedly book their final place. Chequers meet Lakelands, who sit bottom but beat Lake Karrinyup 4.5-2.5 at the weekend.
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