League Match: Shropshire & Herefordshire v Warwickshire
Date: 2nd July 2017
Venue: Oswestry Golf Club
Captain: Stuart Bloxham
Our third Midland League game of the season was against Shropshire & Herefordshire away at Oswestry Golf Club. With both teams winning the first two league matches it was going to be a tough battle.
Oswestry Golf Club, the home of two Ryder Cup players was presented in superb condition and with it being just over 6100 yards with tight fairways, it was definitely a great match play venue.
With the sun shining and both teams ready it was going to be an excellent day for great golf.
The team was:
Adam Lumley, Chris Laird, Dave Atkins, Gareth Jenkins, George Gill, Ian Winstanley, Max Martin, Rob Copperthwaite, Tom Cleaton, Tom Ibbertson
First out was Max Martin and Ian Winstanley who were playing against S&H number one pairing of Craig Simmons and Matt Birch. With 6 birdies in 9 holes saw Warwickshire take an early 3up lead but a tremendous fight back and a great birdie on 17 was enough for S&H to take the first point of the day.
Gareth Jenkins and Tom Ibbertson seem to be in control of their game from the start taking a 3 up lead after 5 holes but S&H fought back to all square meaning the Warwickshire pair had to find further birdies which they duly did winning 2&1.
A new pairing on Tom Cleaton and George Gill worked very well from the start. With both players fearless playing 1st team golf showed in their performance. Taking an early lead the guys showed their class and finished with a great 2&1 victory. A pairing with plenty of potential.
The return of Adam Lumley who has had an excellent year, coming back from the States and winning the prestigious Berkshire Trophy with a great score of 18 under par partnered Dave Atkins, who last week won the Russian Amateur Championship. The dream pairing continued to play a very high standard of golf winning 5&4 against S&H’s captain Sean McCarthy and Barry Ruddick. Congratulations to both Adam and Dave for their recent successes.
Last out was Rob Copperthwaite and Chris Laird, both playing the course for the first time, couldn’t quite get into their rhythm and it was the S&H pair controlled the game and won 4&3.
Shropshire & Herefordshire 2 – 3 Warwickshire
With Warwickshire taking a one point lead going into the singles it was all to play for and with temperatures rising the golf had to follow and for Warwickshire it certainly did.
Max Martin led the team out and played quality golf but with the experience and persistence of Craig Simmons it was never going to be easy. Max was hitting unbelievable shots time and time again but couldn’t stretch his lead as Craig was holing putt after putt. The match came down to the last with Max 1up and with both making par our first singles point was on the board and job done for Max.
Second out was Tom Ibbertson up against Matt Birch. Both powerful players it was going to a great game and it turned out that way. Tom was one down playing 16 and a great birdie levelled the match. A great tee shot from Tom on the par 3 17th was followed by Matt who holed his 20ft birdie putt. Tom with 15ft downhill found another great putt to halve the hole and with both players paring the last it was a well-deserved ½ point for both players.
Dave Atkins also had a battle on his hands and was 1 up early on but then found himself 1 down playing 12. With his steely character The Russian Amateur champion was far from finished and with the game all square playing the last a holed 5 ft putt for birdie won the game for Dave and Warwickshire. A great win, well done Dave.
These scores were coming in thick and fast. George Gill played some great golf and with the shot of the day holed his second shot on the par 5 3rd hole for a superb albatross. George was -5 for that hole after and eagle in the morning. Great ball striking and confident putting was enough to win his match 3&2. It was great to see.
Ian Winstanley kept the points flowing by playing great golf, which he had to do to beat Tom Keir. Ian was five under par at the time to win 2&1. Superb golf from both players. With Ian’s point we only needed another half point to win the match with 5 players still out on the course.
Gareth Jenkins and Chris Laird battle hard and with Gareth leaving his final putt in the jaws to lose on the last and Chris also losing on the 18th both points went to S&H.
This left Adam Lumley on the course to bring us home, which he duly obliged. Playing great golf once again Adam won his game convincingly well with a 3&2 victory. Well played Adam.
Tom Cleaton also had a great day and followed up his morning win with another victory only this time it was 4&3. Tom who is still in the junior ranks is certainly making a name for himself and has great potential. I am sure he will have many 1st team appearances. Great to see.
Rob Copperthwaite continued to rack up the points for Warwickshire with another great performance. A super up and down for birdie on 16 and a great tee shot on 17th was enough to get the point with a 2&1 win. Well played Rob.
Shropshire & Herefordshire 2.5 – 7.5 Warwickshire
Shropshire & Herefordshire 4.5 – 10.5 Warwickshire
The game was played in Great Spirit and I would like to wish Sean and his team all the best for the rest of season. I would also like to thank Oswestry Golf Club for their hospitality throughout the day and presenting a golf course in excellent condition.
Finally I would like to thank John Duncombe for his support and excellent company all day.