Golf: Waratah produce A-game to beat Merewether and defend pennants crown | photos

ON COURSE: Waratah's Mick Coutman watches his drive on the 18th in the final of the A-Grade Pennants at Newcastle Golf Club on Sunday. Waratah beat Merewether 6-2 to defend their title. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers
ON COURSE: Waratah's Mick Coutman watches his drive on the 18th in the final of the A-Grade Pennants at Newcastle Golf Club on Sunday. Waratah beat Merewether 6-2 to defend their title. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers

CAPTAIN Greg McMillan is happy for Waratah to keep “rolling on” after the pennants powerhouse saved their best for last to storm past Merewether in the A-grade final.

The 6-2 win at Newcastle Golf Club on Sunday was Waratah’s ninth title in 11 years. The core of the team hasn’t changed a great deal during the decade of domination. Sixteen-year-old Caleb Bromley and Jesse Fittler, who was in the squad but didn’t play in the final, were new additions this year.

“It is one of those things,” McMillan said. “Everyone is happy to keep going but if we have younger players coming up who are playing well enough, they will get a game. It makes everyone work harder. Unfortunately, apart from Caleb and Jesse, we don’t have many juniors coming through. I do expect a lot of us to be there again next year, but a few of us are getting on a bit now.”

Defending champions, Waratah lost the opening round to a Blake Windred and Jye Picken boosted Charlestown and squared their round-four match with Merewether.

YOUNG GUN: Hamish Ellison helped steer Belmont to a dramatic win in division two.

YOUNG GUN: Hamish Ellison helped steer Belmont to a dramatic win in division two.

However, Waratah produced their best in the decider.

Aaron Duffy got Merewether off to a strong start, beating Jason McBeath 6 and 5. Bromley squared his match with Scott Telfer but from there it was all Waratah. Mick Coutman, Greg McMillan, Josh Greenwood, Justin Ely and Ben Hillard all recorded strong wins. Steve Georgalis was 1 up when the match was called.

“We hadn’t really played that great through the rounds,” McMillan said. “We had a couple of different players who played well on a the day, but as a team we hadn’t played well together. For the final, we managed to step it up a bit.”

* Merewether captain Luke Ferrier didn’t leave Newcastle Golf Club empty handed on Sunday. The teenager received trophies for winning the District Champion of Champions, the Junior District Champion and the Junior Champion of Champions.

* Shaun O’Malley kept his nerve to win a play-off against Steve Hassett and snatch Belmont a dramatic win over Muree in the division two pennants final. The teams were locked at 4-all after the eight matches, forcing a sudden death play-off.

The Belmont team included former Australian rugby league great Tim Brasher and the father-son duo of Mark and Hamish Ellison,

* Shane Stanley (Charlestown), Reid Brown (Wingham) and Waratah duo Josh Greenwood and Greg McMillan will have to at least three weeks to decide the Charlestown Cup.

The quartet shot even par on Saturday to set up a four-way playoff. Normally the play-off would be held next weekend.  However, the greens at Charlestown were cored on Monday and the play-off has been postponed until after Easter

* Dylan Perry fired rounds of 74,70,72,72 to finish 15th, four strokes behind winner Jack Thompson, in the prestigious Riversdale Cup in Victoria on Sunday.

* Charlestown duo Jye Picken and Blake Windred have been name in Golf NSW High Performance squad.

The program includes monthly training camps where they receive specialist coaching from bio-mechanic experts, nutritionists and sport psychologists.