Port Fairy breaks golf pennant drought in grand style

TEENAGE rising star Jo Flaherty helped Port Fairy end its 10-year Women’s Golf Western District pennant hoodoo yesterday.

Port Fairy players (from left) Vicki Johnstone, Jo Flaherty, Diana Robinson,  Anne Dwyer and Sue Holcombe celebrate their win.

Port Fairy players (from left) Vicki Johnstone, Jo Flaherty, Diana Robinson, Anne Dwyer and Sue Holcombe celebrate their win.

Flaherty — the youngest member of the Port Fairy division one team — scored a crucial win at number one opposed to Warrnambool stalwart Alison Sinclair in the eastern division one grand final at Timboon.

Port Fairy secured the title, winning four matches to one with Flaherty’s crushing six up with five holes to play result a catalyst.

Diana Robinson (4/3), Anne Dwyer (2 up) and Vicki Johnstone (2 up) also secured wins.

Warrnambool captain Lauren Higgins collected her side’s only victory, downing Sue Holcombe 5/3.

Dwyer — the only remaining member of Port Fairy’s 2004 triumph — was the last to finish when the trophy was already in its keeping.

Port Fairy went through the season undefeated, having beaten Warrnambool 4/1 and 3/2 in its previous matches, both on neutral courses. Robinson said Flaherty, who works at the Port Fairy Pro Shop, adjusted to the pressure of a pennant final and highlighted her undoubted potential.

“Her handicap has come down to two, so it is pretty exciting for her,” Robinson said. 

“It’s her first year of pennant of course because she was at school last year.

“It is a good thing for her to do because pennant makes you go for putts and it’s a different game because you’re not just playing it off the stick.

“It’s more a pressure game, you win or lose a hole and that hole is over and you go to the next hole.

“It is good for Jo to play this and we hope that she’ll come down to country teams in Melbourne in August.”

Dwyer said Port Fairy’s win justified its hard work throughout the season.

“It was great satisfaction for the end of the season because often you go through the season and you make a mess of it at the end,” she said.

“We would have been devastated if we lost.”

Camperdown dominated Warrnambool Lords in the division two decider, winning 5-0, and undefeated Timboon snared its first division three crown since 1991, defeating Warrnambool McIntyres 3-2.

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