Mudgee goes back-to-back with tight win over Dubbo

SO CLOSE: Ross Horrocks had another strong season for Dubbo but couldn't get past Mudgee star Mark Hale on Sunday. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

SO CLOSE: Ross Horrocks had another strong season for Dubbo but couldn't get past Mudgee star Mark Hale on Sunday. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

Dubbo Golf Club has fallen short of grand final glory in the Central West Golf Association pennants competition, going down in both the division one and division three deciders.

Mudgee defended its division one crown on Sunday, defeating Dubbo 3-2 at Orange’s Ex-Services course while it was Cowra who took home the division three crown.

“It was disappointing,” Dubbo Golf Club professional Craig Mears said.

“Division one 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.”

Young gun Lachie Jones showcased his potential again with a win in his division one 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 No.1 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 match play. 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 three 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 campaigns 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 two crown, cementing itself as the leading club in the region, while Forbes beat Cowra in the division four final.

“It’s funny how it turns. In division one 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.

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