Mudgee’s sticks do the talking as Hale’s boys book finals spot

Mudgee’s top flight pennants side was forced to find finals form earlier than expected on Sunday.

Mark Hale

Mark Hale

In a match against Wentworth that looked to be a relatively routine one, the two-time champs had to rally during their 4-1 win.

“When I finished we were one match square and two down so we were in a bit of strife,” Mudgee sharp shooter Mark Hale said.

“Johnny Osborn was two down with three holes to play and won the last three and Matt Stanley was two down with five to go as well.”

In a campaign that hasn’t lacked sledging and controversy, Hale and the Mudgee men were determined to ‘let their sticks do the talking’.

That’s exactly what they will need to do again this coming Sunday as Cowra awaits them in the finals.

On the other side of the division one draw, Dubbo plays Forbes in a match that packs plenty of star power.

“John Betland is back from Sydney now so Forbes will be really strong.” Hale said.

Many have touted Betland, who won his first local title at 14 years of age, as the best golfer to come out of Forbes.

Mudgee needs to focus on the task at hand first though but Hale isn’t sure what to focus on as he labelled Cowra as a bit of an unknown entity.

“No one knows anything about them. They're the quiet achievers out there,” Hale said.

“Bathurst was supposed to be top of that pool but Cowra has been the sleepers.”

It’s not just Mudgee’s premier side that plays in the finals this weekend as the division two team meets Parkes on March 11 and looks to win back-to-back titles, while division one shoots for the three-peat.

Although Hale and his players produce the victories on the course, the support from the Mudgee Golf Club goes a long way to making that all possible.

“They put on a bus for us every week if we can’t get there. Not everyone can drive,” he said.

“It’s really good for team camaraderie and helps keep us together.”


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