Date: 13thMay 2018
Venue: Wharton Park Golf Club
Captain: Stuart Bloxham
This is it, our first Midland League game of the season following from what seems to feel like a very long winter season. Having won both friendless our confidence was high and it was Wharton Park Golf Club that hosted our match against Worcestershire. A course which has plenty of water and hills to contend with so course management and patience had to be the key thoughts for the day.
David Atkins, George Gill, Joe Macilwraith, Liam Phipps, Rhys Lawrence, Rob Copperthwaite, Sam Foster, Tom Cleaton, Tom Ibbertson, Mike Pell
First out was the strong pairing of Rhys Lawrence and Dave Atkins, who were up against Steve Lane and Mike Dunkley. This game had plenty of birdies but one that was very tight. It was the Warwickshire duo that finally took hold of the game to produce a welcome first point, winning 2&1.
The young yet confident pairing of George Gill and Tom Cleaton who played great golf early on to take a 4up lead were then hit by a mixture of birdies and mistakes and their lead quickly diminished and it was the Worcestershire Captain Adam Norman and James Robinson who went on to win the game 2up.
An early share of the points in the first two matches was a statement of how close the morning foursomes can be - however our guys had other ideas.
Olton Golf Club pairing of Liam Phipps and Mike Pell started the ball rolling again and played some powerful golf to go on and win 4&2.
This was quickly followed by Tom Ibbertson and Joe Macilwraith. Joe decided to bare all when having to play out of a brook on the 15thto no avail but quickly towelled himself down and the pair went on the win 3&2. Another important point for Warwickshire.
It was also great news in the last match with Sam Foster and Rob Copperthwaite in total control from start to finish with an impressive 7&5 win and taking Warwickshire into a 4-1 lead at lunch.
Worcestershire 1 - 4 Warwickshire
The afternoon singles had to be delayed by 30minutes to let a number of fourballs tee off which became a topic of conversation and one that caused mayhem for our singles round.
With a 4-1 lead we needed 4 points from 10 matches. Liam Phipps was out first against James Robinson and somehow bypassed their way through the traffic to half their match. It was a game that I didn’t see much of as our buggy ran out of petrol and they were too fast to keep up with!
Rhys Lawrence had his match in control following Steve Lanes opening 3 birdies on the first 3 holes. Rhys went on to play solid golf with superb ball striking and finish on the 14thwith a 5&4 victory.
Tom Ibbertson finished his match on the 15thbut it was Adam Norman who took the point with a 4&3 loss.
Dave Atkins soon put Warwickshire back in the points with a consistent days performance playing solid golf to win his match 4&3. It was very welcomed giving Warwickshire 6.5 points, leaving 1.5 to secure a win with 6 matches remaining.
The 5thmatch saw Tom Cleaton battling it out and with some errant drives in the morning he was able to get himself over the line which is a sign of a great player especially when they are not on top form. Tom’s 1up victory shows the grit and determination he has which is a vital ingredient in this Sport. Well done Tom.
So, with the match drawn it was time for our guys to push on and finish the match off. George Gill whose commitment to the cause is unquestionable was the man to get us over the line with another fantastic ball striking display. George won his match 2up and then heading straight back down to Bath to get himself ready for his university exams this week, of which I am sure he will achieve top grades.
With Sam Foster and Mike Pell losing their matches 1dn and 3&1 respectively but performing well on the day, left two matches remaining on the course.
Joe Macilwraith had a hard tussle with Antony Hill but it was Joe (now with his trousers on) who birdied the 18thto secure his 2ndpoint of the day winning 1up.
Rob Copperthwaite also had a great battle and once again produced the goods down the stretch to win his match 1up with a steely performance we have become accustomed to.
With the on-course issues we had to endure and on reflection over a Peroni at home because the bar was closed when we finished, it was a great team winning performance and a test of character which was great to see.
Worcestershire 3.5 – 6.5 Warwickshire
Worcestershire 4.5 – 10.5 Warwickshire
I would like to wish Adam, Stuart and his team all the best for the season.
I would also like to thank Graham Barton, President of Warwickshire, for opting to spend his 72ndbirthday with us and his support helping guide our players through the congestion on the course in the afternoon. A birthday I am sure Graham will never forget! Finally, thanks to Pete Clarke for his excellent support throughout the day.