Old rivals brace for title showdown

Becky Kay and Gabi Ruffels
Becky Kay and Victorian Gabi Ruffels share a light moment before their epic contest went the way of the Queenslander, 1-up.

Live scores:
Australian Girls' Interstate Teams
Australian Boys' Interstate Teams

Queensland sent defending champion Victoria packing from the Junior Interstate Series this afternoon with a resounding victory.

The young Maroons set up a head-to-head shootout with long-time rival New South Wales for the title tomorrow morning with a 4-1 triumph over the Vics at Devonport.

The Blues put themselves in that position with a resounding 4.5-0.5 win over the Composite Team today, sufficient to make the Tuesday match a winner-take-all encounter.

Queensland (4-0) remains undefeated and will win the title should it win or halve the match against NSW (3-1).

But even a 3-2 win by the young Blues will push them past their northern rivals and into top spot with Victoria (also 3-1) unable to catch the winner.

Lisa Edgar gave the young Maroons a great start with a 3&2 win over Linley Ooi, but Victoria hit back when Alex Hilliard toppled Darcy Hobgood 1-up in the No.4 match.

But Queensland’s young veterans – Stacey White, Becky Kay and Karis Davidson, who’ve now played 10 Interstate Series between them – stood tall, toppling Zara Woodbridge, Gabi Ruffels and Alizza Hetherington, respectively.

A series of dramatic matches has left the boys’ competition in a far greater state of flux.

Only Cameron John’s win prevented NSW from completing a clean sweep of Victoria this afternoon, leaving the Blues clear atop an incredibly congested chasing pack.

The reigning champion Vics, now 2-2, are only mathematically alive with no fewer than four states having rushed past them.

New South Wales have gone unbeaten to date, but face the hardest road home of all the contenders with three consecutive matches against the teams with a 3-1 record to come.

One of those, South Australia, has swept all before it since an opening loss to Queensland on Monday morning. The young Croweaters stunned Victoria on Monday afternoon, then took down Western Australia this morning before securing their lofty spot with a 4-1 win over the ACT this afternoon.

But far from rolling over, the WA boys showed real bottle in the afternoon with a pulsating 3-2 win over Queensland, leaving both states locked with SA at 3-1 overall.

Chris Jimenez, at No.5, and Lochie Coleborn, at No.3, gave Queensland a 2-1 lead after WA’s Hayden Hopewell took the No.4 match.

But with their title aspirations on the line, WA’s Freddy Lee dispatched Louis Dobbelaar 5&4 at No.2, then watched as Ben Ferguson played some pressure golf to topple top-ranked Queenslander Charlie Pilon 3&1 in the top match.

In another important match, host Tasmania took down Northern Territory 3-2 to earn its first point.

The girls’ competition ends tomorrow after the morning matches, while the boys finish on Wednesday morning.

Live scores:
Australian Girls' Interstate Teams
Australian Boys' Interstate Teams

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