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Our second Midland League game of the season was at Leamington and County Golf Club against Worcestershire who are joint leaders with ourselves.
Leamington & County Golf course was presented in excellent condition and with plenty of changes in the last 12 months the course was ready to take on 20 of the best players in Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
Unlike our last game the weather was a mixture of sunshine, rain and blustery wind so patience was the key to success
The team was:
Dave Atkins, Liam Phipps, Ian Winstanley, Matthew Cryer, Rob Copperthwaite, George Gill, Gareth Jenkins, Tom Ibbertson, Adam Lumley and Sam Broadhurst.
With Max Martin playing in the Welsh Youths and winning (congratulations Max) Liam Phipps lead out the team with Dave Atkins. They were up against a very strong pairing of Adam Norman and Oliver Farrell and it was the Worcestershire pairing who took the first point of the day with a 2&1 win.
Next out was the solid pairing of Matthew Cryer and Ian Winstanley who continued their successful partnership with a great 4&3 win.
This was very quickly followed with a superb performance from Adam Lumley and Sam Broadhurst who both showed great commitment when travelling 332 miles during the night from Scotland to play. This simply focused their minds towards getting in early to have a rest. 4 under through 9 holes was enough for them to win their game 7&6 and earn an extra hour on the couch. Fantastic performance.
Gareth Jenkins and Tom Ibbertson played steady golf, however it was their opponents who stole the show with a number of birdies resulting in a 5&4 loss.
Rob Copperthwaite (Warwickshire Amateur Champion) partnered George Gill who played against the trusted campaigners of Anthony Hill and Steve Lane. With the Worcestershire pair dormy 2 up it looked like we were going in for lunch 3-2 down. However with a short putt missed and a 12 foot birdie putt from George it was enough to level the match and the score line making lunch much more enjoyable. Well battled Rob and George.
Warwickshire 2.5 – 2.5 Worcestershire
With the match all square it was all to play for.
Liam Phipps lead the team out again against the excellent Oliver Farrell. This was a great test for both players and it was Liam who took control of the match on 15 with a 30ft birdie putt and take a 2up lead with 2 to play. However the match wasn’t over with Oliver winning 17 but it was Liam who closed the door with a great tee shot to the par 3 eighteenth lead to a 1up victory. Great win for Liam.
There was no rest bite for Sam Broadhurst who opened up with 8 straight pars to find himself 1 down, and had to battle hard - which he did. All square down the last, Sam had to hole a 12 foot putt to half the match which he confidently converted. A share of the spoils against Chris Nugent kept the points tally moving forward. Well done Sam a great days golf.
Matthew Cryer unfortunately couldn’t find more birdies than his opponent. Adam Norman who was 6 under beat Matt 4&3. A gallant effort from one of Warwickshire’s finest.
Ian Winstanley was next out against Steve Lane. This was always going to be a close match. Ian was 2 up with 2 to play and looking good for the victory after some great golf but is was Steve who holed an unbelievable 25 foot putt down the hill on 17 after Ian already made his par, which took the match to the last. This was followed with a tee shot on the par 3 to 2 foot and the birdie was enough to half the match. Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up!
With 6 matches left on the course and the game all square it looked like it was going to the wire. We needed our middle/low order to bring it home.
Dave Atkins played solid golf to start the ball rolling with a great 2&1 win and with feedback from around the course it was starting to look good. Excellent golf Dave well played.
Gareth Jenkins, out with a borrowed putter, gained a number of birdies to win 4&3 and this was followed by Adam Lumley winning 3&2 meant we had 7.5 points leaving ½ a point required to win the match. Well play both Gareth and Adam who deserves a well-earned rest.
This left George Gill who was making his 1st team debut, played great golf to win 3&2 to seal a point and win the match for Team Warwickshire. A great debut of which I am sure George will have a successful County future.
Tom Ibbertson was up against the birdie machine of Kieran Austin who continue to rain in birdies/eagles from his morning play. Tom who was a couple under par himself lost 4&3 after his opponents finish 8 under. Again one where you have to hold your hands up!
Rob Copperthwaite, who battle hard finally went on to win his match 3&2 with a great up and down on 16. A great return from the day. Well played Rob.
Warwickshire 7 – 3 Worcestershire
Warwickshire 9.5 – 5.5 Worcestershire
It was a hard fought match and a great performance and result from Team Warwickshire and one that keeps us moving in the right direction.
I would like to wish Adam and his team all the best for the rest of season. I would also like to thank Leamington & County Golf Club for their hospitality throughout the day and presenting a golf course in excellent condition along with superb food.
Finally I would like to thank Pete Clarke, Nev Gardner and Matt Nixon along with Bob Harrison, President of Warwickshire for their support on the day.