The DevonGolf Seniors' side had a tough day in their first home Seniors' Channel League match of the season against Dorset at Warren on 20th May.

Injuries and work-related absences meant 3 changes to the side that played Wiltshire with Colin Papworth (Teignmouth), Simon Knapman (Churston) and debutant Andy Procter (East Devon) in for the injured Mark Evans and Dave Eva and work-tied Jez Binch.

The day could not have started better against last year’s League runners-up as the home side forged a 4-1 lunchtime lead without losing a match. Chris Audin (Warren) and Andy Clark (Honiton) led off positively, winning 3/2 against Mike Spearing (Came Down) and Gerry Whiteley (Lyme Regis). Debutant Procter played second with Team Manager Tim Aggett (Warren) in an up and down game against John Smith (Parkstone) and Dave Barton (Moors Valley) which ended all square as a heavy-handed approach putt from Aggett meant the Devon pair unfortunately 3-putted the final green.

By contrast, and playing with his Churston clubmate Rick Osborne, Knapman holed a great 8-footer to secure their half in the third match against Garry Earl (Ferndown) and Peter Jarvis (Ferndown Forest) in the third game. By this time back pair Tony Allsopp (Tiverton) and Tim Jones (Warren) had defeated Vince Joyce (Parkstone) and Mark Stickley (Came Down) 3/2 in the last match and arrived to tell that tale as the fourth game came up the final hole with a 1-up lead.

Playing against the Ferndown pairing of Todd Southcott and Steve Sidney, Andy Rich (Stover) and Colin Papworth (Teignmouth) lay hole high in 2, just off the green. Andy’s approach putt stuck in the fringe a little and came up 6-feet short; Papworth hammered the putt in for the half and a 1 up win. 4 -1 to Devon at half time.

The afternoon got off to a near perfect start with Aggett registering an early, big win over Whiteley, but Dorset got momentum as they won the other three of the top four matches. The Ferndown duo of Earl and Southcott both won 5/4 over Clark and an ailing Osborne respectively, whilst in the top match Smith held a 1-hole advantage over Audin throughout the back 9. A superb bunker shot from the Warren man secured par at the final hole, but Smith responded with a brilliant pitch of his own to make his par certain and win the game. The 3-match lead was now down to 1. It became a level game when Sidney defeated Knapman on the 16th green in the 6th match.

Match 7 was Devon’s Rich in control against Stickley, Andy also registering his win on the 16th green. Meanwhile in match 5 debutant Procter was having a tight, quality tussle with the highly experienced Dave Barton. The East Devon man holed a great 5-foot putt for half at 14, then a significantly longer one at 17 to remain all square going to the last. His birdie putt at 18 did everything except drop in, but Barton showed all his skills in matching the closing par for a halved match. Devon 1 ahead, 3 games left.

Papworth and Spearing were having another tight contest. Papworth came to 17 1-up and fashioned a superb up and down from behind the green to stay that way going to the last. Two good drives, Papworth hit what looked a sound approach, but the ball struck the road beside the green and kicked left, away from the green and into the rough around the front of the back 1st tee. Somehow he made the chip onto the sunken green spin and check at the top of a step that should have swept the ball down to the hole 20-feet away. His par putt stopped a millimetre short, smack on line. Spearing made a solid par to win the hole. Match halved. Devon lead 7-6

Having been called through the 9th game 10th man Allsopp was next up those last two holes, 1 down on the 17th having lost the par 3. Jarvis made a bit of a mess of his approach putt at that 17th hole, whilst Allsopp laid his dead. When Jarvis missed from 8-foot it was all square. However, after two good drives Allsopp mishit his approach to 18 whilst Jarvis hit it to 25-feet. Although the Devon man’s pitch was a little closer Jarvis, putting first, made birdie to secure the match. All square, one game left.

Jones had fought back from 2-down to Joyce early in the back 9 to be level but suffered real misfortune at 16, a hard bounce taking his tee shot over the back of the green into a horrible place in the penalty area. Despite being 1-down he struck his approach inside 4-feet at 17 for an uncontested birdie and level paying the last. His 18th tee shot was tight to the boundary line right, leaving him a really tough angle to the green, effectively having to fly the ball around the clubhouse and into the wind, and his approach didn’t quite cut enough, ending up almost precisely where Papworth had been 25 minutes earlier, and with the same result. The pitch stuck on the higher tier; the par save went slightly wide. Joyce had hit an excellent approach, pin-high and inside 20-feet, and made a nerveless 2-putt to win the hole and the match.

On a day of wildly swinging fortunes it was a tough pill for the home side to swallow but huge credit goes to the visitors for getting onto that extraordinary afternoon run and doing enough to win. Both sides were highly complimentary about the condition of the course, which was absolutely magnificent. Our thanks go to Warren for hosting such a tremendous game.

The Senior’s attention now moves on to the Southern Counties Foursomes qualifier against Gloucestershire and Somerset at Lilleybrook GC in Cheltenham and a home SCL match with Gwent, both in the same week in mid-June.

For full match details click here

Return to News Page

Created by intelligentgolf version 10.1.2.