AM WRAP: Vics take down key #IntSeries rivals

Montana Strauss
Montana Strauss in action at Royal Fremantle this morning.

Victoria has been the big early winner as the Interstate Series begins in Perth.

The Big V clambered to victory in both men’s and women’s competitions, both against potential title rivals, to stake their own claims.

Powerhouse New South Wales also won in both competitions and already leads both tables on matches won, while host Western Australia did well in the women’s, but were dealt a big blow in the men’s event in which they hold high hopes.

And Victoria was the culprit for hometown fans at Melville Glades.

Despite getting a great 1-up result from late call-up Jordan Doull in the No.6 slot, a thumping win by Ben Ferguson at No.4 and another point in the top match between local hero Min Woo Lee and Victorian captain Zach Murray, WA just couldn’t find the flow.

Victoria rode impressive wins at No.7 by Lukas Michel, at No.5 by Australian Amateur champion Matias Sanchez and a great 3&2 result from No.2 David Micheluzzi to the verge of victory.

And then Australian Junior champion Cameron John steered the Vics home 4-3 with a tense 2-up win over Haydn Barron in what turned out to be the pivotal match at No.3

There were no such surprises in the other men’s matches with NSW dispatching Tasmania 6.5-0.5 and then South Australia downing a gallant Northern Territory 4.5-2.5 despite impressive wins by Jake Hughes and Kerryn Heaver.

In the women’s event at Royal Fremantle, Victoria again prevailed in a match that tightened as the morning progressed, eventually beating Queensland 3.5-1.5.

Isabelle Taylor put the defending champions ahead when she had a big 7&6 win in the No.3 clash, before Gabi Ruffels squared the match for Victoria with an impressive 4&3 win at No.4.

As the top two matches swung, Toowoomba’s Darcy Habgood came from five down to snare what loomed as a critical half-point against Kono Matsumoto.

But Steph Bunque steadied late against a Dee Dee Russell charge to win 2&1 at No.2, then watched as teammate Montana Strauss prevailed 3&1 on the same green in the top match minutes later against Queensland skipper Gennai Goodwin.

Strauss, given the responsibility of playing at No.1 for the first time, responded to being 2-dn after seven holes with three consecutive hole victories to snare a lead she would never relinquish – and finished in style with a great tee shot to the tough 17th to effectively end the match.

In other women’s matches, Kathryn Norris anchored the WA team home with a quality 3&2 win over Tasmania’s Sarah Johnstone to seal a 3.5-1.5 win for the hosts, while New South Wales was too strong for South Australia, winning 4-1 despite a great result for SA’s Ella Adams, who beat boom youngster Grace Kim 3&2 in the top match.

The afternoon matches will feature a clash between New South Wales and Victoria in the men, with Queensland facing an almost do-or-die contest against Western Australia in the womens.

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