Port Fairy women claim first division one pennant in east versus west challenge

Port Fairy’s division one east versus west pennant challenge champions Sally Clark (left), Sue Holcombe, Joanna Flaherty, Vicki Johnstone and Anne Dwyer celebrate after their win.

Port Fairy’s division one east versus west pennant challenge champions Sally Clark (left), Sue Holcombe, Joanna Flaherty, Vicki Johnstone and Anne Dwyer celebrate after their win.

PORT Fairy claimed its first Women’s Golf Western District east versus west pennant challenge in Warrnambool yesterday.

Port Fairy, which defeated Warrnambool in last month’s eastern division pennant grand final, extended its winning form against western division champion Hamilton with a four matches to one triumph.

It was the third time in five years the eastern division pennant winner claimed the challenge.

Port Fairy stand-in team captain Anne Dwyer was delighted with her side’s success, achieved without regular skipper Diana Robinson, who is on a golfing trip in the south of France and Italy.

Sally Clark was drafted into the team and she delivered a four and two win over Hamilton’s Allison Rivett.

Teenager Joanna Flaherty, playing off a handicap of two, led the way for Port Fairy with a 6/5 win over Kerryn Price. Dwyer (5/3) and Sue Holcombe (4/3) also won their matches, while Hamilton’s lone winner was Deb Milne, who secured victory on the 18th hole.

Dwyer and Flaherty extended their impressive individual records under matchplay conditions. Dwyer, playing off a handicap of nine, completed a perfect pennant season, remaining unbeaten in matches, while Flaherty had a 7-1 record this season.

Dwyer said it had been difficult for her players to focus on yesterday’s play-off, having put such an emphasis on winning the eastern division grand final.

“It was great to keep our winning form going,” she said. “I wasn’t really that keyed up for it.”

She said Port Fairy, which played its pennant season under scratch conditions, had to revert to handicap yesterday. That meant Flaherty had to give her opponent Price 11 shots and Dwyer gave her rival six.

Dwyer said the conditions changed her side’s mental build-up.

“We knew we had to give them strokes but we didn’t know how many,” she said.

“It’s great to finish off our pennant season with another good win. We realise we probably won’t have Jo (Flaherty) next year because she will be on to bigger and better things so we had to make the most of it.”

Camperdown was awarded the division two title on a walkover against Heywood, which was unable to field a side, while Timboon continued its club’s good pennant season with a 4-1 victory over Coleraine in the division three play-off.

Timboon, which won division two last year, adjusted to Warrnambool’s slick greens better than the Coleraine players, who are used to sandscrapes. Timboon last month won the men’s division one regional pennant for the first time in more than 38 years.

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