Warwickshire 8½ Nottinghamshire 9½ at Sutton Coldfield - March 8th, 2020
Report by Bob Wallace - Under-18’s Boys Manager
Warwickshire Under-18’s Boys team lost a tight friendly contest on Sunday, March 8th but they will be pleased to get some ring rustiness out of their system following all the bad weather recently.
On a day when we had weather for all seasons and finished in the dark, Chris Watson and myself were able to select the following strong team:
Adam Perks (Sutton Coldfield) - Captain
Seb Cave (The Belfry)
Oliver Clark (The Warwickshire)
Luke Donnelly (The Belfry)
Sam Easterbrook (Wishaw)
Alex Ford (Robin Hood)
Ryan Gavin (Coventry)
Chanon James (Coventry Hearsall)
Charlie Lamb (Coventry Hearsall)
Lucas Laurie (Robin Hood)
Fredi Pearce (Ladbrook)
Alex Spencer (Ladbrook)
Out first pair of new captain Adam Perks and Seb Cave were two down after nine holes but by the 15th had turned the match around to be two up and finally won two up on the last.
The second pair was a Ladbrook combination of Alex Spencer and debutante Fredi Pearce. It was a tough introduction to foursomes for Fredi as the boys were four down after nine holes, but never gave in and got it back to two down on 15, before finally losing 3&2.
The third pair of Alex Ford and Sam Easterbrook took an early command in their match, going three up after nine, and then withstood a fight back from the Notts pair to win 2&1.
Next was the Coventry Hearsall pair of Charlie Lamb and Chanon James, who were comfortably three up at the half stage and looking like an early finish.
But a strong fight back from the Notts pair saw the match go up all square at 17, however the boys hit a quality drive and iron shot into the last to win 18 and the match.
Our fifth pair of Luke Donnelly and Lucas Laurie played in a very close match, when there was never more than one hole in it.
With the home pair looking like they were going to win the 17th to go all square and take the match up 18, the match turned Notts way as the home pairing’s short game deserted them and they somehow managed to lose the hole and the match 2&1.
Our final pair saw our two youngest players, Oliver Clark and also making his debut for the boys team 13-year-old Ryan Gavin.
They were playing some impressive fairways-and-greens golf to go one up after nine, before they both went up the gears and ran out 4&2 winners.
We therefore won the foursomes 4-2 and were in a good position for the singles, which is always a tense affair.
Leading us out is our number one Seb taking on Oscar, the Notts Captain, who found two up after nine and in control. Despite some good golf from Seb, he couldn't get back into the match and lost 5&4.
Out second was the Boys Captain Adam. He was one down after nine but also couldn't get the match level with a few wayward drives on the back nine as he finally lost 3&2.
Next came Alex Spencer. He was in a very tight battle - two up after nine and then two down after 15, he fought back to win one up on the last.
Alex Ford was next. Playing some great golf he was three up after nine, he kept the pressure on to win 7&5, which restored our two point advantage.
Charlie was next. He was also two down after nine but had got the match level by the 15, both boys parred in and the match finished all square. Unfortunately that was the end of the good news for Warwickshire.
Sam was two down after nine and couldn't find a way back into his game and lost 3&2, while Chanon was two up after nine but couldn't hold on and a few loose shots cost him, finally losing one down.
The match was now 6½-6½ and we needed three points from the last five games we were fast running out of light.
Luke was struggling to keep the ball on the course and went down 7&6, but Oliver drew us level winning 4&3.
Fredi was three down after 14, but won 15 and 16 to get back to just one down before he lost 17 and the match 2&1.
With the score now 8½-7½ to Notts, we needed to win the last two matches to secure the team victory.
Although Lucas was one up after nine and Ryan two up, it had all changed by 15 as Lucas had started to miss fairways and was now one down while Ryan was now only one up.
Lucas couldn't turn the match around and lost one down, but despite finishing in the dark, Ryan maintained his lead to win on the 15th, which was a great performance on his debut.
We had lost a great match 9½-8½, with too many missed fairways during the day being the difference between the two teams.
I look to congratulate Oscar and his team, Stan Yoemans (Notts Boys manager) and the Notts President for another sporting fixture.
Thank you to Pat Brady the club professional and Adam in the Sutton Coldfield pro shop, the green staff who did a fantastic job in getting the course in great condition after the overnight rain and the bar and catering team for looking after us so well.
Finally, can I thank all the parents, Chris Watson and the Warwickshire officials, Nev Gardner, Richard Clark, Simon Parsons, Mr and Mrs Barton and our President-elect Mark Reynolds for their support throughout the day.