Making history: A Grade team wins first pennant

by Conor Hickey

Hawkesbury Gazette, Fairfax Media

Picture: GolfNSW

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Richmond’s A Grade pennant team won the club’s first ever pennant title for that grade. Picture: Golf NSW

IT WAS a win over 100 years in the making when Richmond Golf Club won the division four pennant title with their A Grade team.

Richmond had tried, unsuccessfully, for years to win a pennant with their A Grade team.

So when the team defeated East Lake Golf Club on April 3 int he Metropolitan Major Pennants you could imagine the delight of all those involved, to finally achieve what it had tried hard to do on so many occasions.

Pride is the word team manager Phil Bamford used to describe the feeling of finally winning.

Bamford said it was an exceptional season by the team, in particular the captain Damion Miller, who went undefeated through the season.

“It was actually fitting that he did the final putt to win the match,” he said.

“He did it on the 17th hole and sank a two metre putt under immense pressure after chipping in on the hole previously to come back and snatch victory.”

The team won the pennant match 4.5 to 2.5, with only two of the seven team members losing their matches.

Bamford said Craig Ellings and Nathan Ball had been trying for at least a decade to win an A Grade pennant, and was thrilled the pair had at last tasted victory.

Bamford said the two were excellent players for the club, but a new addition to the club, Zac Kirk, played a crucial hand in delivering the pennant.

“Zac had a magnificent win on the 18th hole to allow Damion to win the match on his 17th hole,” he said.

“Zac was down on the 17th and came back to win on the 18th. It was unbelievably close match.

“There was a lot of pressure. They all knew. It had taken a long time. We’d gone close but never won it and we had a couple of new people in the team this year who performed really well.”

Nathan Ball was unable to compete in the final match, thanks a newborn baby arriving the day before, which meant Damion Miller stepped up to the number two spot, and Trent McMillen stepped up to replace Ball.

“Trent went on to have a great win,” Bamford said.

The final was a pressure cooker for the team, but Bamford said it was important to note the team had a great season all around, only losing one game.

“Our team was unbeatable at home,” he said.

“We played Marrickville in the semi-final and it was a close match but they won it well.

“The win really gave them confidence going into the final, Marrickville is a good outfit.”

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