MEN'S SENIORS TEAM PICTURED AT BOYCE HILL GC, FROM L TO R, LEWIS WATCHAM, TYE CARTER, IAN FOSTER, DAVID SCAMMELL, PAUL NANCARROW, PHIL EMBLETON, NICK DRAPER, JOHN AMBRIDGE. CHARLES MCKAY & GORDON STEWART
Report from Men's Seniors Team Manager Nick O'Byrne;
The final South East Group league match of the season on Monday this week (2nd September) saw Herts Seniors take on Essex Seniors at Boyce Hill in the title decider.
Several went down on the prior day for a practice round and took notes for the team on what was found to be a very tricky course where local course knowledge was paramount.
The course at only 6,009 yards is described as the longest short course you will play with many blind tee shots over or around the rolling hills, making it very testing to score well under bouncy and windy conditions on greens that had recently been hollow tined.
In the early stages after 7 holes Herts were up in 4 matches, down in 3 and level in 3, so all to play for. As we got later into the round the pendulum stated to swing towards Essex, but it was looking very close and wondering where we could get the 6 points from.
Top match saw Dave Scammell against local player Mark Stones and with 3 holes to play Dave was 1 up, but went to 18 all square, Ian Foster got back to level with 3 consecutive birdies to then lose a couple of holes, Paul Nancarrow had been 3 down and got back to 1 down, Tye and Lewis in the middle order were always in a commanding position and coasted to early wins, 3/2 and 6/5 respectively. john Ambridge was having a tight tussle with Steve Rooney, being 1 up, then lost a couple of holes, Nick Draper and Gordon Stewart had early leads but had been pegged back, but Phil Embleton continued to stay well in front. Last man out, Charles McKay, on his league debut was always behind. Dave lost the last hole to lose 1 down, followed by Ian who lost a couple more holes. Paul failed to maintain his momentum and lost 3/2 meaning we had lost the top 3 matches. So we were now 3/2 down. John with a chance to win the last for a half failed from 6 feet to lose 1 down, and Phil won 4/3. We were now 4/3 down, Nick also failed on the last to lose, and Gordon halved, whilst Charles lost 3/2.
This all meant the final result was a 6.5/3.5 loss, meaning Essex won the league with a clean sweep of 4 victories.
Local knowledge had certainly come to the fore and a number of rounds on the course would have been needed to get to know it in any real depth.
This was ultimately a disappointing end to the league season, but we look forward to appearing in the Southern Counties Foursomes final in Exeter on Monday 16th September for a further chance of success and silverware.