The Jack Roberts League Fixture - A Game of 2 Halves
With two DevonGolf U14's debut players in the team, Joel Warne (Tiverton) & Daniel Jones (Bovey Tracey), Devon were keen and ready to take on a Somerset team at Stover Golf Club. Devon was missing Churston's Jack Dart, this year's captain so Noah Mulligan (Thurlestone) took the mantle. After bacon baps the Foursomes were paired up and ready to get started on their morning 9 hole matches. Stover had taken a beating from the wet weather over recent days but the green keepers had the course well set up and it was looking great as we approached the tee for the first match in calm, dry conditions. A good crowd of players and spectators saw all the matches begin with some great drives down the first and, as any early nerves settled, Devon were looking good over the first few holes. However, the day was going to prove to be a match of two halves as we quickly fell behind in some of the 4 matches. The Devon boys were playing well but the Somerset players just seemed to have the edge. By the time the first pairing of Noah Mulligan and Troy Riley (Torquay) got to the 7th they were already 3 down and, with only 9 holes to cover, found themselves in trouble conceding the hole to lose 4-2. Stanley White (Saunton) and Joel Warne battled through to the 9th but lost 2 down. Thomas Yeo (Portmore) and George Furneaux (Churston) looked like they were going to pick up our first point but couldn't quite scrape through for the win, but they did pick up our only score of half a point for the morning foursomes. 3½ to ½ down when the boys headed into the clubhouse for lunch.
The singles 18 hole Matchplay matches were looking good and although Devon were generally falling a couple behind on their handicaps to their opponents, local knowledge, a good feed and great spirit meant they all went out feeling optimistic for their individual games. All were supporting each other on the first tee and the Devon players had a great start. The first 2 players, Noah Mulligan and Stanley White, took early leads and stretched ahead and, despite a couple of set backs, stayed ahead for much of their matches winning 3-1 and 4-2 respectively. Thomas Yeo (Portmore) put in a great performance in the morning but struggled against a strong consistent player from Somerset, losing out 6-4 but showed a mature attitude to the defeat. Troy Riley, who has been improving well all season, looked confident and played with a real desire to win resulting in some great shots and winning over his opponent with a great 3-2. Joel Warne had a great match and both players were up and down throughout, but Joel kept going to the 18th only to lose 1 down. George Furneaux followed like a steam roller hitting some killer approach shots and overcoming his opponent 4-3. Devon knew they might not win the fixture but the players kept playing with conviction with debut player Daniel Jones fighting to stay in the match being 3 down with 3 to play. Daniel took it to the final putt on the 18th but unfortunately missed out on the last putt for loss of 1 down. Devon's final singles player Charlie Ashbee (Boringdon Park) was looking confident with some great ball striking, but was out played by his opponent losing 6-5. A moral victory for Devon, splitting the singles 4 points each after picking up just the half a point in the morning. Once again the Devon U14's team did DevonGolf, themselves and their families proud with great attitudes, strong performances and a great team spirit. Stover fed all the players with great food and both team captains thanked all those involved with a couple of fantastic speeches.
DevonGolf U14s Golf Team Manager