Gritty WA fall just short of Junior Interstate glory

20th Apr 2023

Junior Interstates 2023

By Neal Maidment

WA produced a determined display to tie with NSW on the final day of the Junior Interstate Teams Matches but it wasn’t quite enough to shepherd them to overall victory.

The 4-4 draw meant that WA became the only team in the competition to take points off NSW, but the eastern state powerhouse still retained their title with 5.5 points from a possible six.

QLD finished with a 7-1 win over Victoria to take second place in the overall standings on 5 points, with WA a half-point back in third with 4 wins and a half from their six matches.

WA went into their final match knowing that only a big win over the imperious NSW team would give them a chance of the title, but their eastern rivals established early leads in three of the four girls’ matches to put a stranglehold on the championship.

First out, WA’s Amanda Gan was resolute to post a 4&2 win but teammates Jorja Hinson-Tolchard, Erina Tan and Celine Chen were all outgunned as NSW trio Sophie Eppelstun, Ella Scaysbrook and Rachel Lee recorded comfortable wins.

It left the WA boys needing to win all four of their matches to give the team any chance of victory and while they put in a sterling effort, it was not to be.

George Barclay won his 4th point from 5 matches en route to beating Shashank Koirola 3&1, while Joe Buttress was in dominant form to best Jake Riley 5&4 in the last match out.

Josiah Edwards’ hard-fought 2&1 win over Riley Millers gave the boys a third win but Ollie Marsh was unable to reel in the fast-starting Chun-Ta Wu, eventually going down 3&2 – Marsh’s only loss in his six matches.

As well as claiming bronze in the combined team standings, WA took silver in the boys’ category – missing out on top to QLD spot by just a single match point – while our girls earned bronze behind NSW and QLD. You can view the final event standings here.

Counting the positives

Although disappointed not to top the overall standings, WA Team Manager Catherine Strickland said that her players could take many positives from an excellent week in Tasmania.

“It was a very impressive final match against NSW. We were the only team they were unable to beat, which reflects well on the level of talent within the WA team this year,” she said.

“We congratulate NSW, who are deserving winners of the event. We’re also very grateful to the Ulverstone Golf Club community for sharing their beautiful course with us.”

Amongst many stellar performances from WA players, Amanda Gan completed the event with a 100% winning record from her five matches, while Erina Tan won five of her six. For the boys, George Barclay and Ollie Marsh top scored for WA with each notching four points over the course of the week.

“We are a little disappointed as a team but overall we’ve done well, so I think we can be pretty happy with our week here,” Gan told GolfWA. “It’s a long and tiring week, so we can be proud of being in contention all the way through the competition.”

Mount Lawley’s Amanda Gan won all five of her matches throughout the competition


Match 6 vs NSW

Amanda Gann beat Rebecca Zhao 4&2
Jorja Hinson-Tolchard lost 5&4 to Sophie Eppleston
Erina Tan lost 4&3 to Ella Scaysbrook
Celine Chen lost 5&4 to Rachel Lee

George Barclay beat Shashank Koirala 3&1
Josiah Edwards beat Riley Millers 2&1
Ollie Marsh lost 3&2 to Chun-Ta Wu
Joe Buttress beat Jake Riley 5&4

Final score: WA 4 – 4 NSW

You can view the final event standings here.

It won’t be long until several members of the junior team represent WA again, with Amanda Gan, Celine Chen, Erina Tan and Joe Buttress all named in the open-age team for next month’s Australian Interstate teams Matches, which take place in NSW from May 9-11.

Image credits: Solstice Digital/Golf Australia

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