BEARS SCRUM DOWN AT RUGBY GC
With the 2nd Team on a 10 league match winning streak, and 3 wins from this season’s 3 matches, confidence was sky high going into our penultimate match of the year. We sat proudly atop of the 2nds Midlands League, and with a win against Staffordshire, could well be champions if results went in our favour elsewhere - Namely if Nottinghamshire 2nds defeat Derbyshire.
The venue for our match was Rugby Golf Club who have recently celebrated their 125th anniversary and a happy hunting ground for Warwickshire County Teams over the years. The golf course, although not long, is always a worthy test of golf. The Greens looked in great shape, and a handful of testing hole locations would undoubtedly keep the players from both counties on their toes.
The Morning Foursomes went emphatically in Warwickshire’s favour! A 3&2 win in match 1 from Rugby member Dale Marson and Gary Greenway (Maxstoke Park) was followed by a hard fought half from Sam Foster (Coventry Hearsall GC) and Chris Laird (The Warwickshire GC) in match 2. Match 3 saw all-Maxstoke partnership Antony Gascoigne and Paul Walker also closing out their match with a 3&2 win.
Match 4 had a familiar line up, Coventry Golf Club’s Danny Launchbury and Ben Goodison, the latter was unbeaten for the campaign winning 6 points from 6 so far. The duo didn’t disappoint winning 2&1, and Ben stretching his streak to 7 straight wins. Match 5 had Maxstoke’s Josh Davenport making his County Men’s league debut, team up with Handsworth GC’s Karl Smith. The pairing looked to be in good form and joined the popular '3&2 winning score club' to seal a superb morning’s work. Warwickshire leading 4.5-0.5 at lunch.
With an unusually long lunch quite literally under our belts. Both teams were back out on the windy, but thankfully dry golf course to contest the afternoon’s 10 singles.
Leading us off was Rugby’s own Dale Marson. Dale would add to his points tally with an outstanding 5&3 victory, soon followed news that Gary Greenway in match 2 had lost by the same margin, unlucky Gaz. News wasn’t much better in Match 3 with Chris Laird finding himself 4 down with 4 to play, a brief comeback was halted on the 17th with Chris ultimately losing 3&1.
Sam Foster in match 4 replicated his morning’s half with another half point against Staffs’ 2nds Captain Chris Crane. Meanwhile Paul Walker in Match 5 would close his match out with a 2&1 victory. For a 100% record for the day. Antony Gascoigne and Ben Goodison in matches 6 and 7 both went down the 18th hole and would both result in halved matches, which did the Warwickshire points tally no harm at all.
Danny Launchbury, the only left handed golfer in either team, sealed his winning singles point in bizarre circumstances when his opponent lost his ball up a tree on the 17th hole! Only for it to drop down to earth about 10 minutes later, long after the pair had shaken hands!
The day’s largest margin of victory fell to Josh Davenport who triumphed in some style 6&5, which included Josh making 2 eagles in the first 6 holes. Congrats to Josh on winning 2 points in his men’s county league debut.
In the afternoon’s final match Karl Smith had fought back from 5 down, winning the 13th & 14th to reduce the deficit and even managed to take his match down the 18th but the duo matched Bogies and Karl succumbed 1down.
A cracking match had ended with Warwickshire the victors 10-5. The match had been competed with a great spirit. Chris Crane and his players were, as always fantastic opposition.
Congratulations to the Warwickshire Team who played some sensational golf on a breezy, testing golf course, and deserved their victory.
A big thanks to Rugby Golf Club green’s keepers for the presentation of the golf course which was excellent, and to the professional’s shop and clubhouse staff for looking after both teams all day.
As the players arrived home later on, we learnt that Derbyshire’s 2nds had triumphed over Nottinghamshire and therefore had kept the league alive, meaning it will go to the final match in September, when if the 2nd Team avoid a heavy defeat they will chalk up their 3rd consecutive league title. The match away to Nottinghamshire, at Radcliffe on Trent Golf Club will also mark my final game after 4 years as 2nd Team Captain. No pressure fellas, but I’d like to go out on a high!
Warwickshire 2nd Team Captain
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