Golf tour­na­ment field maxed out

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By ABBY BROWN

The field for the an­nual Ruth Mid­dle­ton Me­mo­rial tour­na­ment will be at max­i­mum ca­pac­ity again this year.

In to­tal, 90 play­ers from 41 clubs will de­scend on the Mata­mata Golf Club, in­clud­ing the host’s top seven play­ers.

Pam Wright and Su­san Han­cock have been named as the lo­cal’s top con­tenders when they take to the green this weekend.

The tour­na­ment has been so pop­u­lar that people sign up for the next year’s event the year be­fore, women’s com­mit­tee mem­ber Shee­lah Lamb said.

The play­ers will be of a high cal­i­bre in­clud­ing last year’s win­ner, and the cur­rent New Zealand match­play and stroke­play win­ner, Chantelle Cas­sidy who will be com­pet­ing with a hand­i­cap of +2.3.

There are eleven play­ers on scratch or bet­ter hand­i­cap and over half the field are on sin­gle fig­ure hand­i­caps, Lamb said.

Many of the win­ners of the am­a­teur tour­na­ment, which was named af­ter the first win­ner of the event in 1974, have gone on to be­come pro­fes­sion­als or club pros over the years.

Lo­cal life mem­bers and ex-club cap­tains and the Mid­dle­ton fam­ily will cel­e­brate the for­ti­eth an­niver­sary of the tour­na­ment with a lun­cheon for guests on Sun­day be­fore watch­ing the con­tenders bat­tle for the ti­tle.

UMS Se­nior A re­quired a win and had to pre­vent third placed Taupiri se­cur­ing a bonus point at Bed­ford Park on Satur­day.

Both were achieved by UMS and they have all but se­cured them­selves a play­off berth for the pro­mo­tion plays offs at the end of the sea­son.

What also billed as Spon­sors Day at UMS, this was al­ways go­ing to be the game that made or broke the sea­son as Taupiri knew that they had to win or get a bonus point as UMS still have the bye.

The game was an end to end en­counter and both teams had long pe­ri­ods of pos­ses­sion and the re­sult was not safe un­til the last sec­onds of the game.

A des­per­ate de­fence caused an in­fringe­ment and Ryan Tuhakaraina slot­ted a nice penalty.

UMS failed to clean up the re­sult­ing kick­off and this al­lowed Taupiri pos­ses­sion which they utilised with a

The gold and blacks vis­ited Piron­gia in a must win sit­u­a­tion to keep their top two po­si­tion alive.

With the thought of cross town and ri­val Mata­mata host­ing Taupiri, a slip up would gift Taupiri a sniff.

With that in mind, Hin­uera play­ing into the wind made their cus­tom­ary fast be­gin­ning.

What­ever man­ager Richard Ed­wards puts into the wa­ter had the de­sired ef­fect. Within four min­utes Hin­uera were on the board cur­tesy of a Nigel

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