The Worcestershire U18 Boys side who played in the Midland League Final against Nottinghamshire at Kedleston Park GC on Sunday 8th October 2017;
Back row (l-r) Connor Thomas (Kings Norton), Nathan Slater (Bewdley Pines), Jack Severn (Cleobury Mortimer) Will Stott (Bewdley Pines), Cameron Green (Wharton Park) & Ian Henry (Team Manager) Front row (l-r) Ted Pickering (Worcester G&CC), Alex Band (Worcester G&CC), Joe Price (Captain, Hagley GCC), Paddy Leydon (Kings Norton) & Evan Lewis (Bromsgrove)
Midland League Boys Final.
8th October 2017
Kedleston Park Golf Club
Joe Price (Captain) - Hagley Golf Club
Nathan Slater - Bewdley Pines Golf Club
William Stott - Bewdley Pines Golf Club
Alex Band - Worcester Golf & Country Club
Edward Pickering - Worcester Golf & Country Club
Cameron Green - Wharton Park Golf Club
Evan Lewis - Bromsgrove Golf Club
Jack Severn - Cleobury Mortimer Golf Club
Patrick Leydon - Kings Norton Golf Club
Connor Thomas - Kings Norton Golf Club
This year has been a fantastic year for the boys squad, finishing second in both four counties tournaments and an unbeaten league campaign that resulted in us winning the West Midlands League for the first time in at least 27 years. As West Midlands Champions this put us through to play against Nottinghamshire, the East Midland Champions for the overall Midlands title. This in its own was a great achievement and an opportunity to test ourselves against a very strong county that had already won this title a record six times.
As you can imagine the squad were very excited for this fixture, especially as it would prolong the season and give four more players the chance to play for the boys team one final time. Unfortunately due to university commitments and injury Oliver Lowe, Jake Kelly and Harry Chadwick were unavailable, but this gave Patrick Leydon and Evan Lewis their well deserved debut in the under eighteen boys team.
The team arrived prompt at 6.45am and gathered as always for breakfast and a team meeting. As normal the pairings had been released early, so we discussed some crucial holes and how today was all about enjoying the occasion and playing with no fear.
The foursomes started well for Worcestershire and every player seemed to be swinging freely and confidently. As I watched the groups come though the spectacular par three seventh, Ted converted a birdie putt from Will's close approach, and it seemed that we had the upper hand in most games. I then cut ahead to the 13th tee and we hand a commanding lead at this stage in all but one match which was being tightly contested by Patrick and Connor. Shortly after Worcestershire claimed the first point of the match with Jack and Evan winning comfortably. Alex and Cameron followed before I watched three matches go up the eighteenth. All the boys did brilliantly halving all three of the close games and Worcestershire would stop Nottinghamshire from winning any foursomes games. Three and a half to one and a half at lunch.
After Lunch came the singles and a little change round in the order. Joe our captain lead from the front and his long time foursomes partner Nathan out at number two. Through the tenth I watched Joe play one of the best shots I've ever seen from a fairway bunker. He struck the ball crisply from the right hand fairway bunker at approximately one hundred and sixty yards, pitching the ball some ten yards past the pin before spinning it back to two feet. This was to his third successive birdie and to give him a one up lead. Nathan followed with equally fine golf saving par from forty yards out to go two up. Our middle order were finding the going tough with most struggling to find a lead, except for out lefty Connor who took a three up lead to the eleventh tee. As I watched on it looked like it was going to be a very tight finish. Once the games started to finish Worcestershire had only one and a half points from the first seven finished, which would mean we needed a minimum of two and a half from three to draw. Alex played the eighteenth in textbook fashion, finding the fairway, green and two putting to half his game. Jack Severn our under sixteen captain finished well on the seventeenth to win two up as anchor and this left the stage open for Evan. Evan had been five down through nine holes and had somehow miraculously found himself one up with one to play! This is the type of spirit needed to make our boys team, and I look forward to watching him over the next two seasons. However a brilliant par save from the Nottinghamshire player left Evan needing to chip in to halve the entire match. He played it very well in a high pressured situation, but the ball just rolled by the left edge. So it wasn't to be this time for this great squad of committed players, but it's been a fun journey over the past three years. The team went from a young group of players struggling to compete, to a well experienced tightly knit team that would give anyone a tough match.
I'd like to give a big thank you to our captain Joe Price, and all the players for giving their all over this long season. Thank you to our Assistant Manager Roger Martin and of course Stuart Pritchard for all his hard work behind the scenes and at the matches.
Now it's time to rebuild and come back stronger in 2018.
Worcestershire Boys Team Manager
Posted on 09/10/2017
by Stuart Pritchard