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Edge of Seat Antics in the Girls Encourage Shield

The final of the Girls Encourage Shield between Hurstville GC v Avondale GC at North Ryde was a cliffhanger! This year the format was changed due to the small number of teams entered and so the three teams played 18 holes at each course over several weeks and the cumulative stableford points determined which two teams would play off at match play for the title. After two rounds it looked as though North Ryde and Hurstville would be the combatants. At Avondale in the last round, rain, thunder and lightning caused delays and difficult conditions but on their own course, the Avondale girls came from behind to tip North Ryde out of the final. The format was popular and worked well for a small number of teams.

So, to the final. After the first 9 holes, Hurstville were leading in two matches, one was square and Avondale was ahead in the fourth. The highest difference was 2 up, so still close. As the afternoon progressed it seemed that Hurstville was increasing their prominence, and with three or four holes to go, Hurstville had two matches dormie three up, leading in another and two behind in the fourth. The Hurstville manager Martin had to leave early but was hesitant to “claim” a win because we all know what can happen in golf. Prophetic words indeed. The Avondale girls fought back strongly and their number one Lishan won the last three holes to be square with Annika after 18 hole. So they went down the 19th, with Hurstville leading two matches to one. This was the decider. The girls halved the 19th and coming back up the 20th, Lishan was on for three with a 4m putt, while Annika was short for 3. Annika chipped to gimme distance and having a shot on the hole, Lishan was now putting to keep Avondale in the contest with a half. She sunk the put and strode to the next tee. The par 3 21st hole saw Lishan go just through the green but was close to the hole, while Annika hit the green but had a 20m putt. She three putted and Lishan got up and down for a par and a win. That made it 2-2, so it was back to the first tee for both the number one players again. Lishan drive down the first was in play, but Annika was slightly in the trees and had to play a punch back to the middle for two. Lishan hit a good fairway shot to about 40m short for two. Annikas third came up just short and Lishan hit her pitch to about 4m. Once again, Annika chipped to gimme distance leaving Lishan a putt for the win, or two to halve the hole. As happens sometimes in golf, what seemed relatively straight forward turned “pear shaped” and she three putted to give Annika the hole and Hurstville the 2015 Girls Encourage Shield. It was certainly a very exciting finish!!

North Ryde Golf Club were exemplary hosts and we all enjoyed some finger food and soft drinks before the presentation.

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