A tough game lay in wait for our Guildford squad, away to the very club that knocked us out last year in our own back yard. With a few drop outs in the weeks leading up to the match, special thanks should go the captain Dicky and his vice’s, for managing to get 8 players out on the day.
Optimism was high in the early part of the day, Scott Seabrook was looking to continue his fine form which had led him to victory in the Captain’s Cup the day before (although his close friend Jack Daniels had other ideas).
In the first group, George Farrington and Steve Mallard played a scrappy game, never going more than 1DN, ensuring a tight match throughout. With the match A/S on the 17th tee, two safe shots left both balls side by side (leave it) 80 yards away. Farrington finally showed why his handicap was going through the roof with an impressively poor wedge shot to around 30ft short right of the flag, whilst the opposition gave themselves a great look at birdie. Two very different two putts saw a half and a nervy 18th.
Bunker for us + lost ball for them = Game over
George and Steve took the point on the last, and were then greeted by the back pair, Greg and Richard, who had quietly gone about their business, taking a 5&4 bashing from their club champion. So we stood 1-1.
Out second, Dicky and Row stormed into a quick lead, and never looked back. At 3UP with 4 to play it appeared victory was a mere formality, but, this being foursomes match play, it went down the last, but a sensibly played hole from our guys was enough to turn a 1UP lead into our second point of the morning.
News from the final match on the course came through, that from 3 down with 6 to play, Scott and Sonny had fought back to A/S on the last tee. The full effect of match play reared its head on the last green however, with Sonny hitting an decent birdie putt which just shaved the right edge of the hole, only for the reply from the home pair to just creep in on the right side. Another tight match but this one hadn’t gone our way. 2-2 at half time.
Extremely upbeat at being right in the match, we set out in the afternoon singles with real purpose. However, as the wind got up, it became harder and harder for anyone to gain any real momentum, so the less said about the following 4 hours the better, as one by one we were picked off. Dicky led by example winning his point, and Row fought back bravely on the back nine for a half. Sonny played steady golf, making hardly any errors, but when your opponent skies his 3 wood off the tee and still makes eagle, its probably time to book your taxi.
Arguably the most exciting story of day came late, Greg Murrock in the back group, up against the Sittingbourne club champion, found himself 6 down through 6, which turned into dormie on the 12th tee. The spirit of our team shone through as went on to win five holes on the bounce, before bowing out to a par on 17. Credit to Richard Francis (stepping in to play the day before)who was soundly beaten 7&6 in his match, but stayed out to support Greg for the rest of his game (potentially just to see what the final few holes looked like ;)
The Guildford is over for another year, but the team spirit and atmosphere on the day was unlike anything I’ve seen from our boys in the past 3 seasons. So if we stay positive and concentrate on our remaining matches in the league, I’m convinced it will deliver success.
Final Score: Sittingbourne 8.5 – 3.5 Kings Hill
Head up boys, on to the next one!