Our 2016 match against Devon at Salisbury saw Wiltshire thrashing Devon by an impressive 12-3 margin; the 2017 match at Torquay saw Wiltshire humbled by a 10½-4½. You might say, ‘honours even’ coming into our 2018 match at Cumberwell. There are no ‘easy’ matches in the Channel League but it’s guaranteed that any match against Devon will be tougher than most…they can draw on a large number of high quality players and today was no exception to this expectation.
Historically, and consistently, Cumberwell has been good for Wiltshire we always get well-presented courses and great support from the back-office, it’s staff and catering. On the field of play, the courses have been good to us too…especially in our Channel League winning year when, effectively, our winning point was achieved on the 18th hole by Simon Davis. [Note: it’s a bit like playing in a football penalty kick shoot-out, the first four guys all score their goals but, the accolade for the victory always goes to the guy who scores the fifth and winning goal!] Fate conspired that the result against Devon today would be decided on the last green in a match involving none other than the very same Simon Davis!
The points after the morning 4somes matches were shared 2½-2½ following good wins for the Paul Bloomfield (Kingsdown)/Chris Graham (Ogbourne) and Richard Jeffery(Salisbury)/Nigel Phillips (Kingsway) pairs.
In the afternoon we suffered a couple of heavy losses for Richard Jeffery and Paul Dimond(The Wiltshire), and a couple of close run losses for Per-Axel Warensjo(Marlborough) and Chris Graham. The match, near the end, boiled down to 4 wins for Wiltshire: our County Champion Paul Bloomfield (great win over another great golfer and all round nice guy, Tim Aggett…well, they’re all great golfers and all round nice guys, aren’t they!), Simon Dymoke (The Wiltshire), Kevin Arthur (High Post) and Nigel Phillips…and still out on the course we had Simon Davis winning the 16th to go 2up with 2 to play and Roger Searle (High Post) playing the 18th with the chance of a good half. It was going to be tight!
A large gathering of players and officials were following the Davis v Barry Keith(Devon) match down the 17th when news filtered back that Roger had narrowly lost the last hole (and his match). This meant that Devon had a total of 7½ points in the bag and, with Simon Davis playing well, the match looked destined for a well-earned and fair draw. However, two great drives from Barrie Keith followed by two well played second shots at each of 17 and 18 topped by two winning birdie putts meant this game was halved and Devon won the match by the score 8-7.
Thank you Devon, thank you Cumberwell and thank you to all the Wiltshire team who, generally, played well and always supported one another throughout a very tight match
The Channel League is still within our grasp – next match is Gwent at St Pierre on Wednesday 18 July.
Bill Cardno (Captain)
(The individual match results can be found in the "Diary" section)