League Match: Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire
Date: 3rd September 2017
Venue: Walmley Golf Club
Captain: Stuart Bloxham
With our great win against Staffordshire, the Warwickshire 1st team had the league secured with one game to play. Our final Midland League game of the season was against Nottinghamshire at Walmley Golf Club.
On arrival you could see how excellent Walmley Golf course was presented. It was in pristine condition with hand mowed diamond cut aprons and greens running fast and true. A perfect course for our final showdown of the season.
Weather conditions were very tricky with strong winds and temperatures dropping it was going to be a tough day for both teams.
The team was:
Chris Laird, Dave Atkins, George Gill, Ian Winstanley, Joe Macilwrith, Louie Pett, Matthew Cryer, Rhys Lawrence, Rob Copperthwaite, Tom Ibbertson
First out was Matthew Cryer and Ian Winstanley who are a dream pairing, delivering time after time and they didn’t disappoint again here. This was a very hard fought game, with the final hole to play, a tough par 3 to finish it was all square. Ian’s tee shot was just off the green (but on the right level) and with their opponents spinning off the green down the slope, it came down to their short game. Notts played first and got it close but Matt’s superior touch played the perfect chip, chipping it into the hole for a birdie and a 1up victory. Superb win.
Next out was Dave Atkins and Tom Ibbertson who were unable to produce the golf they wanted and went down to a 3&2 defeat.
New pairing of George Gill and Louie Pett (Both from The Warwickshire Golf Club) got off to a flying start and never looked back. A fantastic performance with some great ball flight control in the wind was enough to secure a 5&4 victory.
Another new pairing of Joe Macilwrith (Olton) and Rhys Lawrence (Hearsall) had the reverse done where they were 4 down after 7 and losing holes to par wasn’t the start they were looking for. However with true Warwickshire grit and determination the pair managed to get to the 18th 1down. With their tails wagging a par was enough for Warwickshire to win the hole gaining a great ½ point. This is what wins matches, great fight back.
Chris Laird and Rob Copperthwaite were also in a battle but with some great short game skills from Rob and Chris’s determination they got to the 18th 1up. A superb tee shot from Chris to 3ft and a great putt from Rob was enough to secure a 2up victory. Another great point.
Warwickshire 3.5 – 1.5 Nottinghamshire
With the exception of George and Louie’s match, each foursome’s game was very close, meaning a hard afternoon was on the cards - which proved to be the case.
Tom Ibbertson had the honour of leading the team out playing against Notts number one Reece Samson. This was a battle to the end and with some great golf by both players it came down the 18th. Both players went long with Reece to play first, chipped to 20ft on the very difficult downhill three tiered green. Tom who was on the green had an extremely difficult 30ft downhill putt from the 2nd tier. His touch was impeccable and the ball stopped a foot from the hole (which looked impossible). Reece was unable to hole his putt meaning Tom had a great 1up victory in a hard fought game. Well played Tom.
Matthew Cryer also had a tough game against Henry Alis only this time it was his opponent who birdied the last to win, resulting in a 2dn defeat. Matthew has been great all year but his biggest challenge is ahead as he is soon to become a father. If his nappy changing is as good as his chipping skills he will be fine. All the best Matthew.
Dave Atkins was third out and continued his tremendous singles record by playing some flawless golf and winning his match 5&3. This was a welcome point for team Warwickshire, well played Dave.
Ian Winstanley and George Gill both played some solid golf and went on to win their games comfortably. Ian was 5 under par winning his game 5&4 which is a tremendous score in those conditions and George won 4&2 showing possibly the best ball striking of the day. Great performance Ian and George.
We had 7.5 points meaning we needed a half point to secure victory with 5 games still out there. However, with Rhys Lawrence, Joe Macilwraith and Louie Pett all going down fighting, with some great play from their opponents; 3&1, 2&1 and 4&3 respectively, it meant we only had two games left to come in.
These were Rob Copperthwaite and Chris Laird. Rob who has performed excellent all season continued his success and a captain’s dream to have at the tail end of the order. His sheer grit, determination and quality got him over the line to win his match 2&1 and win the game for Warwickshire. Well played Rob.
Chris Laird was in control of his match from the start and was 4up after 9. Andy Cook their Captain wasn’t giving in but Chris closed out the game on the 16th with a 3&2 victory. Great 2 points from Chris on the day, well played.
Warwickshire 6 – 4 Nottinghamshire
Warwickshire 9.5 – 5.5 Nottinghamshire
I would like to thank Andy and his team for playing the game in Great Spirit and look forward to competing against them next year.
I would also like to thank Walmley Golf Club for presenting the course in superb condition and looking after us in the pro shop and clubhouse with some excellent food and service. It was a pleasure to be there all day.
It has been a tremendous season for us winning the league with one game to play. Out of the 5 matches we have won all 5 singles & 4.5 foursomes’ sessions resulting in a superb performance all year, against the best players in the Midlands. With the 2nd team also winning their league, this shows the strength in depth we have as a County.
I would like to thank the players for their continued commitment and support. Also thanks to Pete Clarke, Nev Gardner, Matt Nixon for their efforts and input throughout the year, along with President Bob Harrison and the Board of Directors for putting your trust in me. Big thanks to Chris Leonard who finishes his 2nd team captaincy leaving a great legacy behind.
I look forward to continuing our success next year.