Gloucestershire Golf Union

Second Team Match Halved against RAF

The 2nd team entertained the RAF at Henbury Golf Club on Sunday 14th April in the annual friendly fixture with both teams selecting strong teams.

With the weather finally being decent the course was in good condition although the strong winds made judging club selection the key to obtaining good scores. Vice-president Richard Salter was in attendence for the first time this year with Alan Robinson quick to remind him that the pressure was on him following last years undefeated season.

The morning foursomes produced a strong start for the hosts with 4 matches finishing on the 16th hole, Kieran Sutton and Calum Mortimore winning by 3&2 only for the 2nd match to be reversed with Joe Biscoe and Adam Sutton losing by 3&2. In the 3rd match Captain Neil Tocknell and James Rowles playing his first match for the County in many years were in control from the 1st hole and eventually won by 4&2 and with the 5th match of Dave Allison and Lewis Stalley also controlling their game throughout before winning 3&2 the pivotal match in the morning session turned out to be the 4th match. Charlie Taylor-Madge and Lee Hanson found themselves 4 down at one stage but vallantly fought back to be only 1 down after 15, with the 16th being halved a fine tee shot on 17 gave Charlie the chance to level the match which he converted by rolling in an 8 footer for birdie. After a cracking drive by Charlie on 18, Lee produced another terrific iron to only a few feet which again was converted for birdie giving them an unlikely 1 up win and putting the team in command with a 4-1 scoreline at lunch.

If the morning foursomes were dominated by the County the afternoon singles was very much the RAF in command with them being well up in all but 1 match for most of the afternoon. Wingman Alan was not giving Captain Neil good reports or vibes as he saw him at various stages on the course during his match and hearing he was 4 down at the turn didn't help much either and the team looked to be heading towards a heavy defeat. This squad and players are all battlers and with a 'never give up' attitude slowly small inroads were made in matches. Kieran eventually going down 2&1, Joe was beaten 4&3 but a dominant James Rowles used his local knowledge to great use in giving the team their 1st point of the afternoon with a 4&2 victory sending hope that we could still turn it around. Calum was involved in a cracking match and despite a birdie on the last his opponent followed him in to halve the hole and defeat him 1 up, Adam struggled and was soundly beaten 6&4 leaving the match standing at 5-5 with the remaining 5 matches left on the course. 

Neil then produced an amazing run winning the first 5 holes on the back nine to completely turn his match around and going 1 up, a loss on 15 followed by a half on 16 meant it was all square with 2 to play, a par secured a win on the 17th and after knocking his approach to a couple of feet on 18th the hole was conceded and a very unlikely 2up victory was achieved. With Lewis also fighting back from being down in his match to record a fantastic 2&1 win, suddenly the chance of victory appeared when all seemed lost. Dave fought to the 17th before losing 3&1 and with last match out Charlie losing 4&2 it all came down to Lee in match 9 to decide the fate of the tie playing against a fellow club member from Forest Hills in Stu Hardy who was representing the RAF. With the match all square on the 18th tee members from both teams watched on with great interest, Lee hit his 2nd shot first finding the front of the green and when Stu short-sided his approach and then chipping onto 20 feet it looked like victory was in sight but a terrific putt from Stu gave Lee the chance to take the tie but with his putt narrowly missing the match was halved and indeed the contest 7.5-7.5.

Special thanks to Tom and his team from the RAF for a great match played in terrific spirit along with everyone at Henbury GC who made us all very welcome along with the members who came out to support us.

A high quality close match sets us up perfectly now for our defence of the Wessex League and with Alan and Richard in support what possibly could go wrong!

Neil Tocknell - Second Team Captain


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