This is a relatively new competition and only the second year we have participated. The tournament is played as a six per team medal competition over 18 holes, with the best 5 scores counting. The tournament this year was played at The Leicestershire Golf Club on Sunday 22 October. We were very limited in our selection as many of our boys were away for a half-term break.
The Leicestershire is a difficult course, with no par fives, par 68 sss 71. To make matters harder, the course was very wet, so playing long and the day was very cold with a strong wind blowing throughout. We have not had a good season, to say the least and expectations were not high as our combined handicaps turned out to be equal to Derbyshire as the highest in the field. The range of handicaps for all competitors was + 2 to 10, overall average 4, with our lowest being 5. In the event, our worst fears were realised and we were placed in 10th position from 10. Only Theo Barnes of Stratford-on-Avon, playing off 5, did himself justice, scoring a very creditable 74; and this with a double bogey at both 17 & 18. This was, in fact, the second best net score of the day, though in this event, that counts for nothing, but it is a measure of the quality of his performance. Well done Theo!
So we move swiftly on to our last County League match, which was against Derbyshire. It was something of a miracle that the match was played at all, having been cancelled twice, once through a confusion of dates and the other because of appalling weather conditions in North Derbyshire. Huge thanks are due to John Barker of Derbyshire for getting things organised at a new (and better) venue. As a result of this, we were forced into a very early start and played the singles first, in the end, by quirk of fate, a fortuitous decision as you will see!
Thus we find ourselves at Breadsall Priory in Derby, ready to tee off at 8.20 in extremely cold, but dry conditions and with a very depleted team with, four debutants. Bacon baps were handed to each player (and the officials!) on the first tee, so things were looking up already! Our story, however, begins at the 11th green. The weather was getting warmer and warmer as I checked each match through, it began to look as if the foursomes might be academic as, after match 6 reported in, we were down in five of them! You might think I am about to say that we recovered from this, but you would be wrong as each of those matches finished the same – 1 – 5 after 6! But then came the youngsters, up in all four - and they held on. Astonishingly, 5 – 5 at lunch! Four wins came from under 14s.
Now the foursomes are interesting! We led off with Alex Spencer & Jacob Parsons, who were up against Derbyshire’s two top players, both local members and 3 & 4 handicap. A tightly fought match, going all the way to 18, resulted in a win for Derbyshire, despite our highly commendable performance in a match containing at least 8 birdies. Captain Rhys Wallace with Ethan Trouth were always in command and took a 4/3 win. We were a little concerned about pair 3 as Harrison Kentish, one of our debutants, had been a bit off form in the morning. We need not have worried as he and Arnie James played fantastically and, unusual for Warwickshire, destroyed their opposition on the greens, leaving us one win from our first victory of the season. We were confident that this would come from pair four, both in excellent form, but things suddenly turned against them and they went down on the 16th green. Never fear, our last and least experienced pair, having been all square for most of the match, suddenly turned it on to win 15 & 16 and go dormie, and then watched as the opposition lipped out with a four-footer to give us the required half! 8 – 7.
Thus we finished a very poor season with much optimism for the future as all our new young players performed admirably, showing much promise with massive enthusiasm, drawing praise from the opposition organisers for their splendid team spirit. This is where our revival in junior county golf begins, of that you can be sure.
Team: Rhys Wallace (Handsworth), Ethan Trouth (Moor Hall), Jacob Parsons (The Warwickshire), Alex Spencer (Ladbrook Park), Harrison Kentish (Robin Hood), Arnie James (Leamington), Chanon James(Leamington), Lucas Laurie (Robin Hood), Joe McInnes (Robin Hood), Harry Bromwich (The Warwickshire).