|OLTON Team||KENILWORTH Team|
Having reached the Final of the Warwickshire Inter Club League, both Kenilworth and Olton Teams had something to prove - Kenilworth were trying to retain their Trophy from 2016 and Olton were trying to gain two wins in a row in 2017. All arrived at Handsworth GC in time but very wary as the rain was falling quite heavily and after a night's rain and some wondered if it would go ahead, but it did and rightly so as, soon after all seven games had commenced the rain stopped and it turned out to be quite pleasant to play golf. The course although very wet underfoot was playing long but very fair and the greens looked perfect and putts were rolling well.
The toss was won by Kenilworth, who selected to Tee off first in each match and they were to receive shots in all matches from the Olton players. This could be fun to watch!! Teams were represented by Kenilworth: - Liz BROWN, Maggie SMITH, Alison SEYMOUR MEAD, Cath HOARE, Sue DRAPER, Chris COPPER, with Cath MIDGLEY with their opponents Olton: - Christina KENNEDY, Hilary DIXON, Bev BELCHER, Del LAKIN-HALL, Karen HEARN, Wendy McINTYRE and Mary O'NEIL.
10.30 a.m. saw game 1 tee off with Liz and Christina as opponents with just 1 shot being given to Liz. Liz brought her 'A' game with her today and after the front 9, was 3 up. This continued on the next few holes with Christina unable to pull any back and on the 14th, she won her game 6 and 4. When asked what was so good about her game, she commented that she drove the ball on to most fairways and adapted to the conditions well by avoiding the bunkers!
2nd game up saw Maggie against Hilary, with Maggie receiving 3 shots. Complete turnaround in this match as Hilary was 4 up after 9 holes having pitched an excellent shot on to the green. Maggie was unable to pull these holes back and by 14 was still 4 down and halving the hole on 15, thus lost the game 4 and 3. 1 game to each side!!
A much tighter game ensued in game 3 between Alison and Bev even though Alison was receiving 5 shots. After 9 holes Alison was 1 up and this continued to the 14th. On 15, Bev managed to find bunkers en route to the green whilst Alison played on to the green in 3 and won that hole going to 2 up, eventually winning the game on the 16th by 3 and 2.
Cath (Hoare) played Del in game 4 who gave her 5 shots, however Del really started well and was 4 up after 9 holes. She was quite concerned that she had to give a further 3 shots on the back 9 and with Cath now matching her hole for hole, this could have been a concern. After a half on 15th, Del was still 3 up but Cath not to outdone pulled back to 2 on 16th but then halved the 17th, thus leaving Del to win her game 2 and 1
This whole match is going to be difficult to win as they were now 2 games each - could go down to the last game!!!
In game 5, Sue played against Karen and another tight game ensued with Sue receiving 5 shots. Karen pulled one back on 9th to reduce the defecit to 2 down and really had to pull out all the stops to win this one. Karen was 3 down after 14 but managed to pull back to a half on 18th - what a comeback. The game had to continue down the 19th (half) and then 20th which Sue narrowly won. Kenilworth 3 Olton 2.
Then Chris played Team Captain Wendy who had to give her 6 shots! 1 up after 8, followed by a further win on 9 sent Wendy down the back 9, 2 up. She continued to play well finishing her match 5 and 4. As I thought, it was going to be down to the last game!!
Bringing up the rear were Cath (Midgley) and Mary who was giving a massive 8 shots!! 1 up after 8 holes Cath then lost the 9th and the game was All Square. By 14th Mary had managed to get to 1 up and by the 17th Tee, they stood All Square. Mary just managed a win, even though Cath's putt narrowly missed the hole.
Thus Olton, who had not been in the winner's circle for this event since 1984, albeit they had been in a final since, were the 2017 Inter Club League Champions. What a close match that had been and one that was quite exciting to watch (don't know about playing though!!)
After lunch, County Captain Margaret SHEEPY thanked Handsworth for their hospitality today and also those involved in the organisation and the Salvers were presented by County President Caroline LASSEN, firstly to Kenilworth Team Captain, Liz BROWN and then to Team Captain, Wendy McINTYRE from Olton. - pictured Row 2
Winning Team Captain, Wendy spoke, stating that she had never done anything like this before and the whole day had proved to be fairly daunting! She thanked everyone, especially all the players and caddies confirming what a close match it had been and highlighting thast she couldn't watch those last putts!
Congratulations to both Teams and especially Olton who are just on that 2017 winning streak.
Teams pictured in Row 1 are: Olton (l to r) Hilary Dixon, Christina Kennedy, Mary O'Neil, Wendy McIntyre, Karen Hearn, Bev Belcher and Del Lakin-Hall and Kenilworth (l to r) Cath Hoare, Cath Midgley, Alison Seymour Mead, Liz Brown, Susan Draper, Chris Copper and Maggie Smith