Ian Winstanley – Handsworth GC
Tom Cleaton – Rugby GC
Paul Walker – Maxstoke Park GC
Chris Laird – The Warwickshire GC
Stuart Bloxham – Coventry Hearsall GC
Steve Creed – Maxstoke Park GC
Ben Goodison – Coventry GC
Rhys Wallace – Handsworth GC
Josh Davenport – Maxstoke Park GC
Cameron Bridger – Marston Lakes GC
For the fourth League match of the year the Warwickshire Men's 1st team travelled to Chevin GC in Derbyshire to take on our nearest challengers for the 2019 title. With 3 homes games and two away this season Derbyshire had made the decision to play all their homes games at the same home venue of Chevin GC and this was their third and final home match after May and July visits. With the added advantage of same pin positions for the third home match in a row, this was going to be literally a BIG hill to climb !! As many may know Chevin is a test of stamina as it winds its way up hills from holes three to eleven and then gradually takes you back to normal oxygen levels for the last seven!!!!
Warwickshire prepared well with a Saturday practice and everyone hoped the weather behaved for the whole day as late afternoon thunderstorms threatened to delay completion of this fixture.
First off in the morning foursomes was Ben Goodison & Chris Laird, after a steady start, a couple of wins from Derbyshire gave a two up advantage after 7. An eagle on 10 took the lead to 4up and although Warwickshire pulled a hole back a 3&2 victory gave Derbyshire first blood. Fresh from a recent holiday Ian Winstanley partnered Tom Cleaton in match 2. Although all square after 3, Derbyshire birdied 4, 5 & 7 to gain a 3up lead. Warwickshire errors on 8 & 9 coupled with a two putt birdie on 10 meant 6 down. A brief win delayed the outcome, but Derbyshire won 5&4.
Steve Creed & Josh Davenport have played golf together for a few years and know each other's game well. As expected they gelled well to be 2up after 4 and then 3 up after an outrageous birdie three on the very tough uphill par 4 8th hole following a less than perfect tee shot from Mr Creed !!
They would hang on to that advantage and give Warwickshire it's first point of the day by a 3&2 margin. Making their 1st Team debuts was Cameron Bridger and Rhys Wallace in match 4, they confidently birdied the 1st and finished the front nine 2up. Birdies halved 10 but a great tee shot close on the par 3 11th gave Rhys a tap in for 3 up. They won 14 with a par and then closed out the match on 15 by 5&3. Well done lads, great start to your 1st team career.
Honours even after four matches with the experienced pairing of Stuart Bloxham & Paul Walker in match five trying to give Warwickshire the lunchtime advantage. They arrived at the fourth tee one down and then watched Derbyshire use their local knowledge to finish the front nine 3up. A further birdie on 10 made it 4up and a 5&4 defeat gave Derbyshire a 3-2 lunchtime lead.
Following lunch the singles began with Josh Davenport crushing a drive down the 1st just short of the green. Josh played well on the front nine but found himself 1 down to the Derbyshire No.1. A couple more holes went to Derbyshire and Josh lost 3&2. Good luck in the USA Josh we look forward to seeing you in 2020. Another USA bound player is Tom Cleaton, although 1up after 7, could not maintain the advantage and lost on the 17th 3&1. Ben Goodison was third out and was quickly three down after 7, Ben dug in well and stood all square on the 15th tee. Solid pars on 15, 16 and 17 and a closing Birdie 4 on the 18th gave Warwickshire it's first singles point. Brilliant win Ben !!
Ian Winstanley makes his fair share of birdies but this time was on the receiving end as the Derby man had 5 in the first 7 holes to take a 3up lead. Ian battled bravely to limit any further damage but lost 3&2. Cameron Bridger has no fear but his Derbyshire opponent took no mercy and built a three up lead after 8. Solid golf continued and Cam lost 5&4, unlucky but invaluable experience. Stuart Bloxham needed to steady our ship and although 1 down after 8 holes he battled hard to be all square after 14 holes. A win on the 17th gave Stuart the advantage and a great birdie on 18 gave him a gritty 2up victory. Top playing Stuart !!
Match score - Derbyshire 7 Warwickshire 4
With 4 matches left on the course we would need all to go our way to sneak a win.
Rhys Wallace, not helped by breaking the face of his 3 wood just before his singles match. A quick replacement was found but 1 down after 7 was a familiar story. The Par 3 seventh yielded many Derbyshire birdies as the pin position knowledge showed its value.
Rhys won the tough 8th with a birdie but still found himself one down after 14. Losses on 16 & 17 gave Derbyshire that all important 8th point for match victory. Chris Laird was another 1 down after 7 and his opponent took control to record a 5&4 win. Steve Creed does not know the meaning of defeat and although 5 down after 7 he rallied hard to be only one down after 14. Another win on the way in and Creedy was all square on the 18th tee. The hole was halved in par and a fantastic half point gained for Warwickshire. Well done Steve !!!
Last man out (again) was Paul Walker against the very experienced previous Chevin member Paul Tatlow. Again 1 down after 7, that did not alter through 13 holes. A very tight game but Derbyshire took the final point by a 2&1 margin.
So a convincing victory for Derbyshire by 10½ to 4½. Well done !!!!!
My personal thanks to Pete Clarke for the Practice & Match day assistance and Graham Barton (Warks President) for your support on the course all day as usual. Also the support and help from Bob Wallace and Mr Bridger (Cam's dad) for your on-course support. My thanks to Chevin GC for hosting and the Derbyshire team for a match fought in good spirit.
With the last league match to play Warwickshire and Derbyshire sit top of the league with 6 points each. Warwickshire have a home game against Worcestershire at Harborne GC on Sunday 1st September and Derbyshire travel to Burghill Valley GC in Shropshire. So all to play for on the last day of the season, all support at Harborne would be most welcome.