Warwickshire Golf


(L-R: Ben Goodison Teeing off, 17th Green Maxstoke Park, Steve Creed. Link to more photos below)
The opening 2nd Team Midland League Match of 2017, took place on Sunday 7th May at Maxstoke Park Golf Club, versus the Derbyshire 2nd Team. 
The morning Foursomes very often set the tone for the day, and any lead at lunch is a welcome one. Looking to get the game and season off to a winning start was all-Maxstoke pairing Gary Greenway and Paul Walker, the 2 home favourites didn’t disappoint, clinching their match 3&1 - the perfect start.  Match 2 saw Olton’s Mike Pell partnering Robin Hood’s Chris Staite, these two looked comfortable early on, and raced into an early lead. Their moods improved even further when they heard that their beloved, relegation-threatened, Birmingham City had taken an early lead in their match against Bristol City. They could soon head for the clubhouse and focus on the football as they closed their match out 3&2.
Match 3 saw a familiar Coventry partnership of Ben Goodison and Danny Launchbury, a good track record in their previous matches together would be added to when they managed a cracking narrow 2&1 victory.  Another all-Maxstoke pairing in match 4 in Mason West & Steve Creed, could unfortunately not replicate the previous games’ successes and would lose on the 17th green 3&1. 
Last out in match 5 were County stalwarts Karl Smith (Handsworth GC) and Neville Gardner (Stoneleigh Deer Park), not to be outdone the steady pair recorded the 4th Warwickshire Point, with the morning’s largest margin, winning 4&3.  Which all meant Warwickshire lead going into the afternoon’s Foursomes 4-1, a strong position to find ourselves in, but matches have been lost from similar positions before, so the team weren’t by any means complacent.
The 10 afternoon singles matches were lead off by Gary Greenway in Match 1, and Paul Walker in Match 2. However neither could add to Warwickshire’s tally, losing 2 down, and 3&1 respectively. News was better for Mike Pell in Match 3, who was able to record a much needed 3&2 victory, well done to Mike on 2 points from 2 matches. 
Match 4 would also slip from Warwickshire’s grasp with Chris Staite succumbing on the 17th 2&1. Danny Launchbury & Ben Goodison in matches 5 and 6 respectively recorded strong wins, both by a 4&2 margin. 2 points from each player for the day. 
Mason West teeing it up in his full County debut, unfortunately couldn’t match his opponents steady golf, and was defeated 6&5, unlucky Mason, a great effort from the Maxstoke member nonetheless.  
With 3 matches left out on the course Warwickshire required just one point to secure a match win, and within moments of one another Karl Smith in Match 8 and Nev Gardner in Match 10 both shook their opponents hands as winners, 4&3, and 5&4 respectively.  Even with the overall win now secured,  came the come back of the day!  Steve Creed in Match 9 had been 4 down through 11 holes and seemingly beaten, however Steve managed to find a way back into his match and by the time he reached the tough 17th hole, he was only 1 down, a tidy bunker shot to a few feet and his playing opponent in the hazard, meant the match would go to the last hole - with players from both sides and spectators watching on. Steve’s 3 wood tee shot split the last fairway, but his 2nd shot found the front right hand side bunker. With his playing partner looking like making a bogey, Steve again splashed out, this time to a few inches, and recorded the unlikeliest of wins – a lesson to us all to never give up and always keep battling. Well played Creedy!! 
Congratulations to the Warwickshire Lads who played fantastically all day, and undoubtedly deserved their 10-5 victory.
A huge thanks to the Derbyshire Team, captained brilliantly by Wayne Mayo in his first league match as captain – we wish your team all the best for your remaining league matches. I'm sure they'll be played in the same great spirit as this match was. 
Finally, a big thanks to Maxstoke Park’s Greens keepers for the presentation of the golf course which was fantastic, and to the clubhouse staff for looking after both teams brilliantly all day.
Chris Leonard
Warwickshire 2nd Team Captain

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