A cool blustery day greeted players at Weedons Country Club for the double round of the 2022 Woodward Cup.
The home team got off to a great start recording their first win of the season over Bottle Lake 5-3. Wins went to Brad Nightingale, Jonathan Stieller, Max Edwards, Anuresh Chandra, and Devon Nightingale for Weedons, while for Bottle Lake Andrew Green, Jason Campbell, and Steve Dellow won.
In a good preview to a possible semi-final match-up Russley and Clearwater drew 4-4. Clearwater dominated at the top-of-the-order with Sam McGill beating Reid Hilton, and Cooper Moore beating Ben Baker. Leon Yee and Seb May added to the tally for Clearwater, while for Russley it was up to Yuki Miya, Taylor Hosking, Phong Nguyen, and Andrew Dufton to get the wins needed for the draw.
Front-runners Templeton comfortably accounted for Harewood 5.5-2.5, although four games went to the last hole. Dan Laughton and Ryan Bellamy, and David Zohrab had good wins, while Tim Leonard and and Nick Franzmann won on the last, and Tom Wilson halved with Cam Giddens. Daniel Lundt won for Harewood and "mister dependable" Scott Manyweathers also won comfortably.
There was a minor upset when Waitikiri beat Avondale 5.5-2.5. Waitikiri's line-up looked to be back to full strength and it showed with wins to Kris O'Neill, Aaron Forsyth, Brett Turner, Simon Marshall, and Colin Williams, with Blair Franklin getting a half against Daniel Vesty. For Avondale only Richard Sinclair and Jack Holmes could get on the board.
Pegasus kept themselves in semi-final contention with a 4.5-3.5 win over Christchurch. Three wins at the top-of-the-order to Dean Harvey, Shaun Allan, and Phil Stephens, with a win to Marcus Mariu and half to James Cadenhead against Alisdair Reid saw them home. For Christchurch Jason Sincock, Mika MacDonald, and George Keable won.
The match of the round was the top-of-the-table clash between Templeton and Clearwater and it didn't disappoint with a 4-4 draw. For Clearwater Sam McGill beat former club-mate Dan Laughton 2/1, to go with wins to Archie Gothard, Leon Yee, and Seb May. For Templeton, former NZ U19 Rep Tim Leonard beat Cooper Moore 4/3, to go with comfortable wins to Nick Franzmann, David Zohrab, and Jordon Latter.
Harewood and Avondale also drew. Harewood's No. 1 Josh Smith beat Jack Holmes 2/1, and their other wins came at the bottom-of-the-order to Harry Weeds, Ryan Barham, and Cam Gibbons. For Avondale Tim Graham, Teariki Tangiiti, Mac Mitchell, and Richard Sinclair won.
Russley had a close match against Christchurch before prevailing 4.5-3.5, with six of the eight games going to the last two holes. For Russley, Taylor Hosking led the way with a 7/6 win, along with wins to Ben Baker, Phong Nguyen, and Owen Burgess, and a half to Andrew Dufton against David Grater. For Christchurch Peter Lee, Mika MacDonald, and Richard Reed won.
In the other two matches Waitikiri kept their sem-final hopes alive with a 4.5-3.5 win over Bottle Lake, and similarly Pegasus beat Weedons 5-3.
Templeton continue to lead overall, two points clear of Clearwater and Russley with Pegasus and Avondale a further point back. Waitikiri remain an outside semi-final chance although they will have to win both their last matches with the final one being against Pegasus which will likely see the return of Kazuma Kobori to the Pegasus team. At the other end-of-the-table Weedons and Bottle Lake are in the relegation zone.
In the race to win the Stan Rich Salver for most individual wins Sam McGill (Clearwater), Taylor Hosking (Russley) and David Zohrab (Templeton) have seven wins from seven games.
The final two rounds are at Templeton in two weeks time on 9 October.
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