Devon’s Seniors bounced back from the disappointment of the runners-up spot at the South West Championship with a dominant Channel League performance against Gwent at Stover. Playing the fourth game of the season the side went into the match knowing that a strong result was necessary to maintain the challenge to leaders Gloucestershire.
In the morning session of foursomes the visitors struck first, their two Welsh internationals Andy Williams and Nigel Evans defeating Paul Newcombe (East Devon) and Mark Evans (RND) 2/1, but from there on it was all Devon. The four remaining pairs all won their matches 2/1 sending the team into a strong 4-1 lunchtime lead.
Evans and Williams again led off for the visitors in the afternoon singles, this time playing Tim Aggett (Warren) and Tony Allsopp (Tiverton). Both Devon players triumphed at the 18th, but in very different fashions, Aggett surviving a fightback from Evans after getting to 3 up, Allsopp delivering a fightback having been 4 down after 7. Ironically those games going to the final hole was about the last action of the afternoon.
By then Devon’s middle order had delivered the match win, with games 3 to 7 all winning between the 14th and 16th holes. Playing 3 and 5 Newcombe and Evans came back from their morning disappointment to both dispatch their opponents Tony Horton and Edgar Powell by 4/3, whilst in between them SW Super Senior Champion Paul Vickery (Saunton) defeated Billy Ridler 5/4. Richard Ward (Dainton Park) defeated Rob Collett 3/2 in match 6, and the ever-reliable Barrie Keith (Warren) completed the run, beating Terry O’Donnell at the 15th.
Colin Papworth (Exeter) and David Eva (Thurlestone) both halved their games, playing at 8 and 9, and it was left to Mark Haskell (Teignmouth) to complete an unbeaten afternoon for Devon with a 2/1 win over visiting Captain Rob Ware.
Over the course of the day the only game actually lost was the opening foursomes. Devon emerged with a 13-2 victory to vault themselves back to 2nd place in the Senior Channel League table behind unbeaten leaders Gloucester. They are next up for the Devon squad, at Knowle GC on August 30th.