Bays battle to the wire again

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

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.

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.

HIS swing was unconventional, his personality straight up.

Brian Sexton had his own style and that’s what made him a memorable character in Poverty Bay-East Coast golfing history.

The Rakauroa then Gisborne Park member died suddenly at his Wairoa home last week.

He was long gone from the golfing scene, having put away his clubs because of “stuffed knees” in the mid-1990s.

But he left a permanent mark on the Rakauroa and Park honours boards, and in Poverty Bay-East Coast representative records.

“Sexo”, as we called him, won senior club championship titles at Rakauroa and Park, including a 37-hole win over Vashon Karaka in the final at the Park in the early 1990s.

He made the final of the Poverty Bay Open in 1990, losing to Waka Donnelly 5 and 4.

He jointly holds the white-tee course record of 7-under 65 at the Park.

Sexton was a long-time PBEC representative. He played in the 1982 Freyberg national interprovincial at Balmacewen and the 1984 Government Life national interprovincial at Ngamotu.

There were some excellent golfers in PBEC in those years, so to make the five-man team for the national interprovincials was a hell of a feat.

As a junior and senior representative in the 1990s, I had a fair bit to do with him.

He had a typically no-nonsense farmer’s attitude, so you always knew where you stood with him.

He used to play in a home-made rep jersey and would often have a roll-your-own cigarette sticking out of his gob.

I remember one occasion where the ash from his ciggie dropped on to his ball while he was about to putt. Sexton didn’t flinch.

He also used to regularly drive the rental van to rep quadrangulars — the Central North Island interprovincial in Taupo among those.

Sexton would drive into the Centennial course car park, plant the foot, burn towards an entry-way to the clubhouse, then pull a giant handbrake. It never failed to crack up the boys and ease any pre-match tension.

On the way home, while a few beer bottles were being emptied, he took sadistic delight in not stopping the van to relieve the bladder until the desperation reached begging level.

While he was blunt and almost always called a spade a spade, he was also supportive and kept an eye out for us young fullahs.

Even when you were down and almost out in a match, Sexton would encourage you or, if needed, advise you to pick your lip and game up. If you were ahead, he’d tell you to put the boot in.

He was a good team man, a good player and a bloody good sort.

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