Local Roundup: A Case of Role Reversal at Vermont Amateur
Burlington — Jay Peak’s Bryan Smith spent 36 holes on the final day of last year’s Vermont Golf Association amateur championship playing catch-up to Grantham’s Evan Russell. He did so from one group back and briefly tied Russell for the tournament lead before the Kimball Union Academy graduate pulled away for the victory.
Today, Smith will recreate the scenario — only Russell will have to do the chasing.
A tournament-best 2-under-par 69 left Smith at 3 under at the halfway point of this year’s Vermont Amateur, taking place at Burlington Country Club. Smith holds a five-shot lead on Russell and Rutland High’s Drake Hull going into today’s 36-hole finale.
As happened with Smith last year, Russell — who plays out of Waterbury Center’s Country Club of Vermont for the purposes of this event — will tee off in the pairing behind the leader. Russell, who shot a 1-under 70 and is at 2-over 144 for the tournament — starts the third round at 9:28 a.m. with Barre’s Eric Lajeunesse (71-74—145). Smith (70-69—139) and Hull (73-71—144) depart 11 minutes later.
Russell’s second round could have come off the rails with two bogeys and a double in the first holes of his back nine on Wednesday. The University of Hartford sophomore rebounded well, posting birdies on three of his final five holes to announce his intention to defend his championship today.
Forty-four golfers made the cut of 20-over 162. The group includes Hartford High graduate Zach Temple; playing out of Lake Morey Country Club in Fairlee, the Castleton State College freshman posted his second straight 77 and is in an eight-way tie for 13th place at 12-over 154.
Touchline 3, White Mtns. 0
Norwich — Noah Kahan scored twice as Touchline Boys SC shut out White Mountains SC in a New Hampshire Soccer Conference Division IV game.
Xavi Tchana added a goal and an assist for Touchline (7-3-1), which won its fourth game in five days. Jonas Taenzer and Robbie Murdza each had an assist.
Touchline keeper Konrad Mitchell made two saves behind the strong defense of Addison Wanner and Jack Pattison and stout midfield play from Josh Wallace and Alec Murphy.
Touchline faces the Hudson Broncos (5-0) on Saturday in a neutral-site game in Henniker, N.H.
Lebanon Plays Two
Plainfield — Lebanon’s NHSC teams played a doubleheader between thunderstorms at Plainfield School.
In the opener, Division V Lebanon Top Stitch Embroidery did everything but win in losing a 1-0 decision to Division IV Springfield SC.
Top Stitch (2-3) held a 18-6 edge in shots and had shots from Julian Stott and Noah Ryder clang off the post, but a 16th minute goal on a quick-play restart doomed the hosts.
Springfield is 1-2-1. Davis Cole and Erik Spaulding each played a half in goal for Top Stitch, and each made three saves.
In the nightcap, Lebanon Central Supply was sharp from the start in a 6-0 blanking of Kearsarge/Sunapee in a Division IV matchup that was halted after 65 minutes because of thunder and lightning.
Will Patch opened the scoring in the fourth minute, and before the game was 19 minutes old Stott, Duncan Craig and Graham Chickering had scored to make it 4-0. In the shortened second half, Nate Gariepy and Stott added goals to account for the final margin. Craig, Gariepy, Chickering, JoJo Hammond and Owen Johnstone had assists for Central Supply (4-1-1), and Jack Taylor made one save in goal.
Kearsarge/Sunapee dipped to 2-2.
Both Lebanon teams return to action Sunday in Claremont for a doubleheader that has been moved up several hours so as not to conflict with the World Cup final. The Division IV game will kick off at 11 a.m., with the Division V game to follow immediately after.