Team Crane Hill made a statement to the rest of the league last weekend when they went on the road to hand Borderland a good old fashioned beat down. Crane moved to 2-0 with both wins coming on the road, a rare feat, while Borderland dropped to 0-2, losing both matches at home. The boys from B-Land have definitely dug themselves a deep hole to start the year, one that may be insurmountable in the end, as they will need to steal at least one road win against Cranbury, Burgess or Maine. Road victories are always difficult and it seems like the Easton team is an early favorite to be relegated to the B pool this year. On the flip side, Crane Hill joins NASA (North and South Shore Alliance) and Maine atop the A pool standings at 2-0.
The match between Crane Hill and Borderland started early on Sunday morning as the teams needed to get out on the course before the disc golf hungry hordes descended upon the park. Team captains, Pete Charron and Kyle Moriarty worked the best match-ups they could and left for their starting holes feeling confident. There were a few marquee matches that could have swung more momentum towards Borderland but Crane was fully committed and ready. Kelly Conroy had the difficult task of taking on the ex-Craner and great player, Nick Gross. It was a challenge for Kelly but he showed his true grit as he shared with Crane newcomer, Jeremy Binley, the biggest margin of victory that day at 5 & 4. Perhaps the best win of the day came from a name NEFA land doesn’t hear much anymore, Juano Flores. Juano walked into the fire pit against one of the friendliest and best players in NEFA, the long time pro and current New England Disc Golf Champion, Tim Walsh. Just about anybody who plays or has played competitive disc golf at a high level in the Northeast region, knows Tim Walsh-he is a fantastic player. Juano may be lesser known, but is one of Western Mass’ best and he proved every bit of it in his beat down of Timmy to the tune of 4 & 2. There were three more “heavyweight” battles on the docket. These six matches featured some of New England’s best talent and all wound up in Crane Hill’s favor. Kyle Moriarty took on Dylan Dunne, Pete Charron scrapped with Sam Henderson and Julie Ferdella battled Ashley Toomey. Kyle had a late round surge versus Dylan to win handily at 3 & 1. Pete and Sam exchanged blows back and forth early but it was consistent play from Pete that bested the accomplished, New England player of the year, Henderson 4 & 2. Julie and Ashley was probably the biggest match up of all, as both women had fantastic years of disc golf. Both surged, jumping up around 30 points each in ratings and both had a number of wins in the Advanced field this year. It would be hard to imagine both not taking the jump and playing pro exclusively next year, although that decision will of course be on them. Just like the previous matches, this big league battle went Crane’s way as a jubilant Julie avenged her 1 stroke loss to Toomey at the Maple Hill WGE event, winning convincingly 5 & 3.
When the dust settled after the singles round, Crane Hill boasted its best ever scoring spread and lead Borderland 14.5-3.5. In order to stave off defeat Borderland would have had to win every last doubles match. Of course that was not how the day ended. Crane went on to win 7 of the 9 doubles matches for a 14-4 doubles victory and a conclusive win of 28.5 to 7.5. It’s going to be hard to knock Crane down this year but there biggest and baddest challenge to date will be against their rivals from the south, Team Wickham, who travel to Crane Hill on December 13th. Crane’s roster is chock full of the same faces as year’s past but the additions of Jordan Leckey, Jake Landeck, Chris Howard and Jeremy Binley have these cranes soaring higher than ever before.