Dubbo Golf Club has fallen short of grand final glory in the Central West Golf Association pennants competition, going down in both the Division 1 and Division 3 deciders.
Mudgee defended its Division 1 crown on Sunday, defeating Dubbo 3-2 at Orange’s Ex-Services course while it was Cowra who took home the Division 3 crown.
“It was disappointing,” Dubbo Golf Club professional Craig Mears said.
“Division 1 was in a really good position to take it out but a few matches turned the other way when it looked like they were going to win.
“To lose in both was disappointing but at the end of the day, two teams in the finals is still a good achievement.”
At the end of the day, two teams in the finals is still a good achievement.Craig Mears
Young gun Lachie Jones showcased his potential again with a win in his Division 1 match and Matt Button also won but James Morrow was beaten after leading at one point late on.
Mudgee’s Kiwi import Josh Campbell levelled things up with a close win over Craig Schubert and then it all came down to the respective number one players, Ross Horrocks and Mudgee star Mark Hale.
With five to play Horrocks found himself up by one, but Hale was able to claw his way back into it to square the scores up on the 13th hole.
He put himself ahead on the 15th, but Horrocks wasn’t going down without a fight to level out the match right on the 18th.
It was a birdie by Hale, featuring a shot many onlookers described as a “career shot”, which sealed the victory for his club, capping off a hugely impressive undefeated season.
“That’s matchplay. It can turn so quickly but hopefully next year we can have three or four in the finals,” Mears said, before praising Jones’ talent.
“He’s such a young fella he’ll be around for a few years yet.
“He’s been playing really well and it’s great to see him get another win.”
The Division 3 side had impressed all season, winning a number of tight matches, but Cowra proved too strong on Sunday.
Shane Groen and Dave Brown capped off impressive campiagns with victories but Cowra won the three matches needed.
“They had some close matches and had won a lot 3-2 but had never swept anyone,” Mears said.
“Going in we thought they were a good chance and had some good players but matchplay can just turn sometimes.”
Mudgee also took out the Division 2 crown, cementing itself as the leading club in the region, while Forbes beat Cowra in the Division 4 final.
“It’s funny how it turns. In Division 1 a few years ago it was pretty much always Duntryleague and they didn’t even feature this time,” Mears said.
“Mudgee has done really well for a club nowhere near the size of Dubbo or Orange’s so well done to them.”
While gracious in defeat, Mears said the Dubbo sides will be back bigger and better next season.
“It was a still a great achievement having three sides make the semi-finals and two in the finals so we’ll get them next year,” he said.