By Neal Maidment
WA enjoyed superiority over Tasmania and ACT to move into title contention after day two of the Australian Junior Interstate Teams Matches in Tasmania.
Despite some sheeting rain at Ulverston Golf Club, WA’s players remained focused on the job to deliver two comprehensive wins and significantly improve their overall win/loss ratio.
With Tasmania unable to field a girls’ team, WA had four points in the bag without playing a shot in the morning session, leaving it to the boys to do their best to secure as many team points as possible.
They duly rose to the occasion, with Rocco Cucchiara (making his debut in the event) and Ollie Marsh serving up 5&4 victories. Joe Buttress won his match 4&2, but George Barclay was unable to keep up his unbeaten streak from yesterday going, eventually succumbing 4&2.
The overall 7-1 margin of victory was a convincing one, but WA managed to go even better in the afternoon clash with ACT, running out winners by 7.5 points to 0.5.
The WA team was at full force with the girls back in play and making a fast start after their mornings off. Amanda Gan, Jorja-Hinson Tolchard and Erina Tan were always in control of their matches to post points, while Celine Chen dug deep to claim the 17th hole and win her tight match 1UP.
Cucchiara and Marsh continued their serene morning form to post 4&3 and 6&4 wins, while Josiah Edwards found his A-Game on his way to a 5&3 win over Callan Robertson.
In the final match out, Buttress was unable to make it a clean sweep for WA, but he did come from one down with two to play to half his match with Harry Whitelock.
The lie of the land
Today’s positive results saw WA move up to second place in the table with three wins out of four matches. NSW also recorded sizable wins over Tasmania and ACT on day two to retain their 100% record at the top of the standings.
WA has two matches remaining in the round-robin tournament. They play South Australia on Wednesday afternoon followed by a mouthwatering, potential title decider against NSW on Thursday morning. You can check out the current standings here.
WA’s player of the day was 15-year-old Wanneroo ace Ollie Marsh, who added two comfortable wins to the 1.5 points he earned yesterday.
“I drove the ball well, chipped well and got myself out of trouble on a few occasions, so I’m very happy with my game today,” Marsh said. “We knew we had to get as many points as possible today and we’ve all done that. The team morale is really good right now.”
Team Manager Catherine Strickland added: “I’m very proud of how all the players conducted themselves today. They were gracious in victory and dug deep in some very tight matches to win points and keep up the momentum. If we have a good day against South Australia tomorrow, we’re very much in contention.”
Match 3 vs Tasmania
Rocco Cucchiara beat Isaac Roberts 5&4
George Barclay lost 4&3 to Edison Lee
Ollie Marsh beat Jonty Lunson 5&4
Joe Buttress beat Elijah Monaghan 4&2
WA girls each granted a bye and a 1UP victory
Final score: WA 7 – 1 Tasmania
Match 4 vs ACT
Amanda Gan beat Maddison Hood 2&1
Jorja Hinson-Tolchard beat Emily Mollard 3&1
Erina Tan beat Amber Tilley 3&1
Celine Chen beat Matilda Sullings 1UP
Rocco Cucchiara beat Noah Bricknell 4&3
Josiah Edwards beat Callan Robertson 5&3
Ollie Marsh beat Nelson Sargent 6&4
Joe Buttress halved with Harry Whitelock
Final score: WA 7.5 – 0.5 ACT
Image credits: Solstice Digital/Golf Australia