Well, driving North on the M42 in the snow and expecting 40mph winds wasn't the best way to start the first match of the 2019 Season.
We arrived at Ruddington Grange with a strong team to take on Nottinghamshire, with a light covering of snow on the greens the start was delayed, so a big thank you should go out to the Club Professional and Head Greenkeeper and staff for getting the course playable.
The boys enjoyed a morning of snow, hail storms and showers along with gusting winds as well as taking on a strong Notts side.
Rhys Wallace (Handsworth) & Ethan Trouth (Moor Hall) lead the team out and were 3 down after 7, however the recovery started at the par 3, 8th and they went on to win 3 & 2.
A new pairing of Jacob Parsons (The Warwickshire) and Seb Cave (The Belfry) went out second and were involved in a close match. They were all square at the turn following an amazing recovery shot from Jacob on the 9th and after Seb refuelled on Jaffa cakes they both played some great golf and went on to win 3 & 2.
Third out Mitch Hopwood (Forest of Arden) & Alex Ford (Robin Hood) were always in control and ran out comfortable winners 6 & 5.
Fourth out Adam Parks & Luke Donnelly (both from The Belfry). Anything can happen with this pair, both where on their game and they ran out 3 & 1 Winners. The morning got even better for the final pair Charlie Lamb (Coventry Hearsall) & Lucas Laurie (Robin Hood) who won 7 & 5 and were actually first in the club house.
An amazing result in the foursomes, no one can remember having a 5-0 before.
After lunch the temperature dropped and the hail, rain and 25mph winds arrived together with some Sun just to confuse everyone. Any piece of clothing in the car was now been worn by anyone watching. Rhys went out number one and was 4 up after 8 and always in control and finally won 3 & 2.
Ethan came from 2 down to win 4 & 3, Jacob was always in control of his match but was enjoying the weather so much he went from dormie on 15th to winning 1 up just so he could play all 18 holes (he said he just wanted to keep Simon out in the cold), Seb was next and followed by Nev Gardener had no choice but to put a great performance in and won 5 & 4. Mitch went out 5th his match was very tight he went 1 up on 13 and kicked on to Win 3 & 2. Alex Ford battled hard but couldn't get the better of Tom Baxter and lost 4 & 3.
Adam was out next and was put under pressure by some good early play from Will Hammond, he would find himself 4 down with 6 Holes to play and knowing his good friend Luke was winning dug in and got his match all square by 17th and went on to win the 18th to complete a fantastic comeback. Luke was always in charge of his match and closed it out on 16th to win 3 & 2.
Charlie had a good battle he went 1 up early on but could not get away from Issac Payne, he finally got the break through on 17th to win 2 & 1. Ollie played one of the older Notts boys who was on his game, with three birdies in the first 5 holes and giving away 4 years as well, did very well in difficult conditions but sadly could not recover and lost. Lucas also came against a player on form and ran out second in his match. Final player on the course was young Sam Easterbrook who was involved in a very tight match with Oliver Parry, Sam was 1 up for most of the match but couldn't get away from Oliver. However, only needing a half up the last he won the hole with a good regulation par to finish 2 up.
We ended up with a 9-3 win in the singles and 14-3 win in the Match. What a great performance from all the lads, we had an age range of 13 to 17 and 90% category 1 golfers on the day.
Thank you to the Notts officials Edgar, Stan and Joe, along with their team for getting the match played in difficult conditions. The catering and bar staff for looking after us all day and being very flexible due to the weather conditions.
All the parents for bringing the boys, with a special thank you to Mr & Mrs Easterbrook, coming from Mexico to Nottingham it must have been a shock to the system, however supporter of the day goes to Scott Trouth for walking both rounds.
Finally thank you to Chris Watson, Simon Parsons, Richard Clark, Nev Gardener and of course Graham Barton for all your help on the day. It was great to see you all out on the course watching the play, I know the boys appreciate your support and encouragement. Last but my no means least of course I must thank the players, you were all great in very difficult conditions and all the county officials could see the hard work you have put in over the winter in your coaching and dedication in improving your game.
What a start to the season!
Under 18 Boys Manager