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Bays battle to the wire again

IT has become a “local derby” trend.

Another battle of the Bays produced another down-to-the-wire finish — this time at the Poverty Bay golf course on Sunday.

Poverty Bay-East Coast and Hawke’s Bay senior and junior sides locked clubs in representative men’s matchplay.

The seniors shared the honours 5-all while the visitors won the junior tie 3-1.

Poverty Bay-East Coast’s 10-strong senior side included four masters (over-40s) players.

Two of them — Pete Anderson and Anaru Reedy — were in the top three while young Mahia player Wade Wesche was promoted to the senior side.

No.1 Peter Kerekere, who is unavailable for this year’s national interprovincial, underlined how much he is going to be missed.

A week after winning the King of the Coast men’s open crown at Tolaga Bay, Hawke’s Bay No.1 Tyson Tawera was brought back to earth 5 and 3 by Kerekere.

Reedy accounted for Tawera’s brother Carlos 3 and 2 while Andrew Higham and Tini Hawea had 5 and 4 wins in the top half of the order.

Shayde Skudder came back from losing three balls and the opening three holes to win on the 18th and complete PBEC’s five victories.

Anderson lost 5 and 3, Simon Jeune 4 and 3, fellow master Stefan Andreassen 2 and 1, Thomas Donovan 3 and 2 and Wesche 1-down.

David Situ had the only win (2 and 1) for the juniors.

Taine Lincoln went down 2 and 1, Matt Watts 4 and 3 and Regan Hindmarsh 1-down.

The clash with Hawke’s Bay is now the only representative fixture PBEC have in their build-up for the national interprovincial and Freyberg Masters over-40s tournaments.

With two long-time interprovincial quadrangulars gone and PBEC no longer attending the Southland Invitational strokeplay interprovincial, the top players rely predominantly on major local tournaments, pennants and club championships.

Hawke’s Bay provided not only a valuable hit-out but also an indication of what PBEC need to work on.

Depth remains an issue — even more so this year.

William Brown was unavailable for Sunday and is a certain selection for the five-man playing team for the national interprovincial at Mangawhai in December, as is loyal PBEC servant and interprovincial regular Higham.

But Kerekere’s absence leaves a gaping hole.

Reedy and Anderson could probably slot in easily but are committed to the PBEC masters, who are looking a solid collective for the Freyberg Masters tournament at Whitford Park in November.

The progression of Hawea’s game is a plus and he is well in the mix to get another taste of national interprovincial golf again after his debut tournament last year.

There are depth issues after that.

Selectors could consider giving young players such as Regan Hindmarsh or Situ a chance, or experienced campaigners like Tony Akroyd could fill the void if available.

PBEC could also look further afield.

The likes of Tokoroa’s Tolaga Bay-connected Nathaniel Cassidy have played for the region at the national interprovincial. Last year he played at No.1 when PBEC finished 12th out of the 15 provinces.

A MEMORABLE CHARACTER: Brian Sexton during the final of the 1990 Poverty Bay men’s open. He died in Wairoa last week. Herald file picture