With one round to play at Feilding Golf Club it has come down to a final type match up for the two unbeaten teams, Feilding and Manawatu. Both teams have been impressive throughout the competition. In the latest round held at Palmerston North, Feilding were 11 - 1 winners over 2012 champions, Marton, and Manawatu 10 - 2 winners over 2012 B Grade champions, Foxton. Both teams have player depth throughout the 8 man teams, and when players are away, can generally rely on solid performers to fill in. The round between Feilding and Manawatu at Feilding is likely to produce a tight battle. Manawatu currently lead by 4 individual games, meaning that Feilding will need to win the match out right to take out the pennant.
Interestingly at the bottom of the table the clash between Tawhero and Marton will also decide the team likely to be relegated to B Grade for next year. Taihape's big win against Tawhero in the latest round secured their position for next year back in A grade. Tawhero maybe without usual number 1, Rhys Harold, who is competing in the Charles Tours Muriwai Open this week. Marton have this year struggled for consistant player strength with some players at times not being availabler. This is not helped with Manawatu Wanganui rep Willie Steer recently moving to Christchurch for work.
Without the semi/finals format this year the other 4 teams will be just competing for seeding positions for 2014, but are likely to produce some close match ups.
The B Grade competition is virtually assured for Wanganui, but mathematically Castlecliff can cause the one of the greatest upsets possible by winning 11 - 1 or better against Wanganui in the final round being played at Linton Camp. With the depth of the Wanganui side, however, that result would be very unlikely. If Wanganui can produce the result most people would think is a simple formality, then they can apply to go straight back in to A Grade next season. Wanganui was relegated to B Grade after last year finishing bottom of the A Grade table. In 2013 the club seems to have renewed its focus on the competition by consistently sending its strongest team to each round.
At the bottom of the table Linton Camp will have to produce a home course win against Feilding B to have a chance of leap froging Rangatira into 7th place to avoid relegation to C Grade. Rangatira could of course secure their spot with a win against Manawatu B.
The C Grade competition is done and dusted for 2013, the Wanganui B prevailing as the winners. If Wanganui get up to win B Grade, which is nearly assured, then they will become the 3rd B team contesting the B Grade next year.
After a reasonably close series, this competition kind of fizzled at the last hurdle with Marton forced to default the final against Manawatu. With the final scheduled on May 5th, the same day as the A Grade Pennant round, Marton were left without qualifying team, as they are fighting to stay in the A Grade competition. With some players unavailable for various reasons, the Marton Club was forced to default after no agreement could be reached for an alternative date for the final to be played. This is sure to create some debate amongst Manawatu Wanganui Golf officials, and a resolution will need to be reached to ensure the same situation does not occur in following years. The Manawatu Club while happy to win the Palmanui, were disappointed the final could not be contested."