On Monday 13 August our Scratch Team entertained old rivals Retford in their penultimate match in this seasons Nottinghamshire Scratch league Division Two. On a very warm evening with an ever increasing breeze conditions promised to be tricky.
Callum Fern led our Team off and after being in trouble on the first he immediately went 1 down. He leveled matters after winning the 2nd but when he went into the water on the 3rd he was again behind. Play remained very even on the front 9 and at the turn Callum was still 1 down to an opponent who was giving our County Champion a very tough match. However Callum then seemed to switch into another gear and went on a fine run which saw him win 5 holes on the bounce in a run that included 2 birdies to record what was in the end a comfortable victory by 5&3.
Behind him Paul Calland won the first to take an early lead but then followed a succession of halved holes before Paul turned up the pressure to go 3 ahead at the turn and seemed to be well in control of his match. He lost the 10th but a half at the 11th and a win on the 13th restored his 3 hole lead and once again he seemed to be on the way to a win. However his opponent had other ideas and by the 17 had reduced Paul’s lead to just 1. Both players were just short of the final green in 2 shots and when Paul holed his testing 10 foot putt for birdie he closed out his match by 2 up to record yet another fine win for himself and the Team.
The third match featured Dean Boyle who had only returned to Nottingham late on Sunday and stepped in to the Team following a late withdrawal. He started well by winning the first but when he went in the water at the 3rd the match was back to all square Play was very even and at the turn Dean was 1 down. It was level again when Dean won the 9th but then lost 3 holes running to be back to 3 down. Dean pulled one of those holes back but had to concede defeat by 2&1 when he could only halve the 17th after a brave effort.
Behind him Robin Moody, who has had some fine results for us over the season was up against a player very much on top form and he immediately fell behind when he lost the first 2 holes. Robin was struggling to find his A game which made his task the more difficult as his opponent was playing so well and disappointingly he was beaten by 6&5.
The final match saw Will Hammond make his debut for the Team. A slightly nervous start saw him lose the 1st but then he steadied himself by halving the next 2 holes and a win on the 4th brought the match back to all square. The next 2 holes were halved and then a win on the 7th saw Will take the lead for the first time. His confidence was growing all the time and by the 10th he had increased his lead to 3 holes and seemed to be well placed to close out his match. He lost the 11th but a half at the 12th and a win on the 13th when he made a magnificent chip restored his 3 hole lead. This seemed to galvanise his experienced opponent who then went on an amazing run to win 5 consecutive holes which included 3 birdies and an eagle on the last when Will narrowly missed his own eagle putt. So Will was beaten by 2 holes after a most encouraging debut which showed much promise for the future.
So on the night we were beaten by the narrowest possible margin of 3-2 and so lost our mathematical chance of winning the League. However while disappointed there have been consolations in the way our Team has played this year. Ten members of our squad have played in our Team and we have shown we have the strength in depth to prosper next season in the proposed new format of the Leagues.
Before that we have one final game to be played next Monday 20 August at Home to College Pines on our Championship Course with the first Tee at 4-00 pm when we will look to round of our season with a win.