Seniors v S&H at Ludlow GC 25.7.16
With Pete Adams, ( Seniors Capt) on holiday, Bill Thompson stepped in to lead the side against a strong S&H Senior Team at Ludlow G.C. Often described as an inland links, Ludlow was in fine shape for this important league fixture. With a few players having to drop out in the lead up to this match, it was great to see Pete Craddock, Martin Mahon and Martin Cartwright returning to the seniors team again.
Overcast skies but quite warm weather greeted the players as they competed hard in the morning foursomes matches. Bill Thompson and Craig Pates were one under par in the top match but still lost 2 &1. A similar story prevailed in other matches with holes being won with birdies whilst some left the course annoyed that they'd let their lead slip away towards the end. It was the Redditch pair of Gary Bristow and Peter Craddock, who salvaged a superb half and prevented a complete 'whitewash'. That kept hopes alive as the team sat down to a fairly 'subdued' lunch.
A few pairs were shuffled around for the afternoon fourballs and this seemed to work in Worcestershire's favour to begin with. Bill Thompson and Craig Pates were seven under par before claiming a 7&6 victory on the 12th green. Brian Swain and Steve Carpenter were also in the birdie mood and secured a fine 3&2 win over the tough pairing of McGarry and Griffiths. Gary Bristow and Martin Mahon combined well to take the lead into the back nine. It was tight all the way until Martin played a superb bunker shot from the right of the 17th to 2 ft. However, Welsh International, Basil Griffiths, responded by holing bravely from 12 ft for a par to halve and take this match up the 18th. It was Gary who chipped to two feet at the last to ensure a fine 2 hole win. All credit to Gary, who was undefeated throughout the day.
Martin Mahon holes out well as Gary looks on at the 17th. Martin drives perfectly on the 18th.
With the first three matches in the bag it was beginning to look like a great Worcestershire revival. Unfortunately, the last three pairs couldn't quite get over the winning line, although Craddock and Sanders, having been 2 up with three to play, looked like they could secure a win but agonisingly lost the last three holes to lose on the last to a two ft putt. 'Gutted' seemed to be the only way to describe this loss.
Tony Sanders and Pete Craddock take their match to the last green.
The impressive fightback in the afternoon fourballs epitomised the tremendous team spirit that exists within the Worcestershire Seniors. In addition, there are a number of new players breaking into this squad which all bodes well for the future.
Bill Thompson was keen to praise his team's effort and commitment but also recognised the strength of the S&H side who have challenged Staffordshire very closely for this year's Midland League Title. Praise was also given to the Head Greenkeeper at Ludlow, Mike Hughes, who had ensured that the greens were cut twice during the day as well as preparing the course to an excellent standard. The hospitality and catering standards were extremely high and Bill thanked S&H Captain Sandy Johnston, Ludlow Club Captain, John Harris and S&H President Elect, Ernie Wllkes, for their warm reception.
Next up for the Worcestershire Seniors, the County Six at Shirley G.C. on Thursday 11th August followed by a friendly match v Northamptonshire on August 18th at Kingsthorpe.
Posted on 28/07/2016
by Bill Thompson