It was tough out there as the sun gave the course it's full glare. Drawn against Dorset, Devon knew they'd have to be on form to hold on to second place, first place looking unlikely as the scores lay in Gloucestershire's favour.
Gloucestershire (to play Wiltshire) 3.5 points
Devon (to play Dorset) 3.0 points
Cornwall (to play Somerset) 2.5 points
Somerset 2.0 points
Dorset 1.0 points
Wiltshire 0.0 points
Who to choose to play for Devon with Cornwall just half a point behind? No room to lose the 1 point available for Devon for the day or we would be sliding down the table. Who is fresh? Who is on form? After a total of 36 games being played thus far, split between a team of 10 ladies, a lot of golf had already been played by all - and another 9 matches to come. Not to mention those who, when not playing, had caddied for players. It's an exhausting week, yet the girls were all keen and eager to go. But Team Manager Sally Charnock, County Captain Chris Longden, County Vice Captain Anne Norman and Team Coach Tiffany Mckenzie had a plan....
|Anne Norman, Tiff Mckenzie, Chris Longden & Sally Charnock|
The available team were Amanda Burchell (Bigbury), Keeley Clarke (Torquay), Lexi Dart (Churston), Charlotte Dommett (Torquay), Caitlin-Evans-Brand (Yelverton), Abbie Moyes (Saunton), Molly Pavey (Torquay), Lauren Pearce (Woodbury Park), Evie Stone (East Devon) and Abby Turner (Okehampton). It was decided that the first Foursomes pairing out would be Evie Stone & Lexi Dart, then Keeley Clarke & Charlotte Dommett with Molly Pavey & Abby Turner going out as the final pairing. Good decisions it seems, as all 3 brought home wins, although none an easy game.
3-0 up after the morning Foursomes is as good as it could be, meaning 2 more wins would secure the point for the day and, more importantly, second place. The afternoon's singles picks were crucial and hardened campaigner Keeley Clarke was first up. Second was young Caitlin Evans-Brand, followed by Evie Stone, Amanda Burchell, Lauren Pearce and young Lexi Dart. Just as important as the players are the caddys. Stu Charnock proved fickle over the week as he caddied 6 times, not often with the same lady, yet bought home a winner each time. Although not playing, no one knows Keeley's game better than Charlotte and she proved decisive. Was such a young pairing as Caitlin & Molly a good choice? Only time would tell. They were, however, determined to go out and have fun. Abbie Moyes would like to have played but was more than happy to caddy for Amanda and Lauren had her support in Vice Captain Anne, who had brought Lauren home a winner on earlier days. Young Evie had Abby Turner on her bag. Level headed Abby is a true team player, quietly going about her work on the course. No fuss, no heroics it seems, but gets great results.
|Charlotte on the bag for Keeley||Caitlin with caddy Molly||Abby on the bag for Evie|
|Amanda with caddy Abbie||Lauren with Anne on the bag||Stu was caddying for Lexi|
The scores at half time proved to be nail-bitingly close. Keeley was 1 down but Caitlin 3 up. We were heartened by Evie going through next, also 3 up, then Amanda 1 up but Lauren 1 down and Lexi all square. We just needed 2 points....
Going through on the 15th, Keeley was 3 down, 3 to play - and faces started to take an an anxious look. But then came Caitlin with caddy Molly and she clinched the first point on the 15th green. Great play girls. And then it started to happen. A win from Evie sealed the afternoon's necessary 2 points but the girls weren't finished. Amanda and Lauren, in spite of great play, couldn't seal the deal but Keeley and Lexi are battlers. Keeley took her 3 down, 3 to play to the 18th green and her grit and determination saw her through to win. Lexi, not to be outdone, finished with a win on the 17th green. A 7-2 win over Dorset for the day and second place with 4 points in the South West Inter-Counties Match Week at St Enodoc in the bag!
Gloucestershire were very worthy winners with their 4.5 points to retain the title and go forward to represent the South West in September at the England Golf Women's County Finals at Royal North Devon - 17-21st September. Gloucestershire won the title 2 years ago, let's support them to win again for the South West. For more information, http://bit.ly/2L2nDEF
|St Enodoc across 16th fairway|
St Enodoc Golf Club were magnificent. Our thanks are unbounded to everyone involved in any way. Not least the members who gave up their Church Course completely, no play in-between matches, no play at all for the entire 5 days. A sacrifice indeed and one much appreciated. The Clubhouse staff, the greens staff the ball spotters - where to stop? A huge thank you from DevonGolf.