The u16 Boys made their competitive start to the season with a tough away match against Worcestershire at Little Lakes GC, near Bewdley.
It was a fine sunny morning and the Boys were eager to play, despite the very early start and the 100+ mile journey for most of them.
We were soon to learn that the Worcestershire team included the current Reid Trophy winner ( Hugh Adams) and that the majority of their team were Category 1 players. Not that handicaps seem to deter the Derbyshire lads!
It was a difficult start for the team in the foursomes, as Ben and Tom Weeks lost to the in-form Hugh Adams & Harvey Jones. However, the match were soon leveled, after Tom Allen and Tom Bennett played consistently strong golf to win their game 3 & 1.
Harvey & James fought hard to take their game to the wire, just missing out on the last, whilst Quinn & Taylor never looked in danger, winning their game 5 & 4.
Olly and Gavin's game was closer than the result suggests, it was all square, when Ian (Worcestershire Team Manager) and I advised the foursome that they were in danger of missing out on lunch because of the slow speed of play.. I'm sure it was pure co-incidence that Olly & Gavin took control of the game from this point and made sure it didn't go down the 17th and 18th, winning the game 4 & 2 and therefore making it in time for lunch!
Derbyshire went into the singles 3-2 up. It was great to see that the boys were using the course notes, as they said these had made a difference to the way they played a couple of the holes. A good lesson learnt, use all the information available to help you gain an advantage, not matter how small.
The singles began with Ben playing against the defending Reid Trophy Champion, Hugh Adams and, despite playing some good golf, he could not match Hugh.After some great ball striking in the morning,Tom Bennett belied his handicap by going out 3rd in the Singles and should gain great confidence from his 3 & 2 victory. After his narrow defeat in the morning, James promised to deliver a point in the afternoon and he was as good as his word, with a comprehensive 7 & 5 victory. Harvey lost out to the straight hitting James Illsley and Ollie couldn't repeat his morning heroics, losing to James Humphries.
This left the match in the balance, It was now all square, with Derbyshire needing 3 more points from the remaining 5 games, in which we were only winning in 2.
Quinn played superbly to win his game 4 & 3 (he was 2 over gross) and Gavin confidently dispatched his opponent 5 & 3. Only 1 more point was needed, but we weren't winning in any of the 3 remaining games. Step up Tom Allen. His game had been close all the way, Tom was 1 up playing the last but, had to chip out sideways after his opponent had found the green in 2. Tom needed to get up and down from 80 yards. No problem, he hit a great approach and holed the 4 foot putt to win 1 up. Taylor and Tom Weeks were both behind coming down the final stretch and both fought valiantly to take their games to the 18th. Tom secured a half on the last hole and Taylor just missed out, despite a brilliant chip on the 17th to take it back to all square.
A great start to the season saw Derbyshire win 8.5 to 6.5.
The venue, Little Lakes GC, were incredibly helpful and supportive and the match was played in a competitive spirit. The Worcestershire Lads were a credit to their team manager (Ian Henry).
The Derbyshire lads were supported brilliantly by the Parents all day (on a very hilly course), who again showed up in their numbers (thank you). Yet again, this was another example of the Derbyshire County Juniors showing what teamwork, camaraderie and dogged determination they have in getting the job done!
Well done boys, can't wait for the next match!.
P.S. thanks for the birthday cake!
u16 Boys Team Manager