Top of the table clash - Auckland vs Manawatu/Whanganui

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Manawatu/Wanganui topple favourites as semi final spots confirmed

Manawatu/Wanganui have sent shock waves through the New Zealand Women’s Interprovincials, qualifying top of their division after defeating three-time defending champions, Auckland.

On a perfect day for scoring at Maraenui Golf Club, five teams were vying for four semi final sports.

Auckland and Manawatu/Wanganui had already booked their places in the semi finals tomorrow but had a showdown of their own to see who’d qualify on top of their division.

The back bone of the Auckland side number five Grace Jung and number four Angela Ju were as steady as ever, they recorded two more wins by 2&1 and 4&3 respectively to add to their perfect record this week.

However, this is where things got interesting.

Manawatu/Wanganui number two Zhuo Yi Hu outplayed Fiona Xu to win her match 6&5 to record their first point on the board, tipping the momentum in Manawatu/Wanganui’s favour.

Number three for Manawatu/Wanganui Brydie Hodge incredibly came back from being down with nine holes to play, winning her match over Auckland’s Carmen Lim 2&1.

This made the score two-a-piece with the number ones yet to finish. Up steps Manawatu/Wanganui number one, Tara Raj.

She’s been unbeaten all week but was faced with a tall mountain to climb in former New Zealand Amateur champion, Vivian Lu.

The two traded blows with both getting their noses in front at different stages during the match. However, it was Raj her got her nose out in front at the finish line, claiming the deciding point 1up.

“It feels awesome to win. My little sister came and told me that it was up to my match so I was a little nervous, but we’re really happy to get the victory.

“We didn’t have high expectations of ourselves going up against a really tough Auckland side, so this gives us a lot of confidence going into the semi finals tomorrow,” says 16-year-old Raj.

Manawatu/Wanganui are set to play Bay of Plenty tomorrow in the first semi final after they defeated Waikato 4-1.

They had a nervous wait as they needed North Harbour to either beat or get a half against Canterbury to progress.

North Harbour number five Danika Lee got the first point on the board for the ladies from over the Harbour Bridge and was backed up by number four Yeonsoo Son shortly after.

Canterbury number three Hillary O’Connor claimed a crucial point in her match against Eunseo Choi, beating her opponent 1up to keep the contest alive. Amy Weng of Canterbury won her match 5&4 in the number two contest to square the ledger up and like the Manawatu/Wanganui, Auckland match, it came down to the number ones.

Anna An of North Harbour won her match 1up in another closely fought contest to claim North Harbours third point, beating Canterbury 3-2 for Bay of Plenty to claim the second semi final spot.

Manawatu/Wanganui vs Bay of Plenty gets underway at 7.30 tomorrow morning, with North Harbour and Auckland facing off at 8.05.

Manawatu Wanganui 3 Auckland 2

Tara Raj def Vivian Lu 1up,

Zhuo Yi Hu def Fiona Xu 6/5,

Brydie Hodge def Carmen Lim 2/1,

Lisa Herbert lost to Angela Ju 4/3,

Lily Griffin lost to Grace Jung 2/1

Posted: Fri 06 Dec 2019