In a thrilling finale to the Senior's Channel League season, Nigel Phillips's Wiltshire team defeated a very strong Devon outfit in the gathering gloom at Mendip Spring in Somerset yesterday.
The morning greensomes were always close, but solid putting saw the Senior Tractor Boys go in at halfway leading three and a half to one and a half.
The afternoon singles were equally tight with both Colin Edwards (Cumberwell Park) and Mike White (West Wilts) sharing the spoils with their southern opponents.
However, Mark Slater (Bowood), Martyn Evans (Upavon) and Simon Dymoke (North Wilts) all won their games bringing Wiltshire to the verge of a famous victory. The Champagne had to be put on ice for a while as both Mark Snape (Tidworth Garrison) and new Grandfather Al Patterson (Tidworth) came up just short against strong opposition, and it fell to Graeme Wright (North Wilts) to register a hard fought half to get us over the line. The victory was re-inforced by Dave Barbour's (Tidworth Garrison) 2 & 1 victory. Captain Nigel Phillips (Kingsdown) was the last man in, and had his final putt not slid agonisingly past the victory margin would have been even greater.
The team are pictured above left to right:
Mark Snape, Colin Edwards, Martin Evans, Mike White, Nigel Phillips (Capt), Dave Barbour, Graeme Wright, an Exhausted Alan Patterson (Grandad), Mark Slater and Simon Dymoke.
This is a very impressive victory as the standard of Seniors golf in the South West region is now remarkably high, and we would like to thank all the players, clubs and volunteers for their support and assistance this year.
At the other end of the talent pathway, the Wiltshire Under 12 team took on their Hampshire counterparts at Salisbury and South Wilts last weekend. Several of the team had never played for the County before, and indeed, had not played competitive matchplay, so it was a stiff challenge against more experienced opponents.
Ruben Chauhan-Drane (Wrag Barn) and Lewis Barker (North Wilts) led the team off and in a closely fought match delivered a well-deserved half. This performance was matched by Toby Morris (West Wilts) and Charlie O'Dowd (Marlborough) and at this point a tight finish was in prospect.
However, the last 3 Wiltshire pairs had other plans and took their matches by the scruff of the neck. The Wrag Barn pair of Noah Risdale & Gethin Jones won 5 & 4 and this was followed up by Lucas Gale (Broome Manor) and Charlie Sampson (North Wilts) 3 & 2 winners. The afternoon was concluded with a 4 & 3 victory for Ted Hodgkinson (North Wilts) and his partner Jordan Murphy (Chippenham).
Huge thanks must go to Salisbury & South Wilts Golf Club for hosting, and to team Manager Ian Welding for his endless enthusisam and hard work.
The future's bright, the future is tractor-shaped!