Eastern Counties Event - Seacroft
On the 18th May the Bedfordshire first team made their annual visit to Seacroft Golf Club for the Eastern Region Foursomes for their first competitive golf of the season. The squad were very positive ahead of what was, on paper, a very difficult first day. The conditions were perfect, bright and sunny with just a slight breeze.
Our first session was against Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, Paul Kenna and Jack Hawksby lead the way in match 1 in a very close affair but could only manage a half against Northants on the last and lost 1 down to Leicestershire.
Ryan Craig and first timer Dan Jones went in match 2, Paul Kirkwood and another first timer Luke Baynham went in match 3 but neither pairings were able to secure any points. Things were not going our way but Scott Armitage and Ryan Smith in match 4 produced some very entertaining shot making to gain an impressive much needed 2 points winning 1 up in both matches. Team captain Norman Cilliers and another Seacroft debutant Seb Lovell played in match 5 in another very close affair that went to the last, a half point was all that was gained, giving us a total of 3 points at lunch on day 1.
The afternoon brought an even tougher proposition with two of the competitions’ favourites being our opponents, home county Lincolnshire and B.B & O.
Again Paul & Jack played 1 and managed a great 3 and 1 win against Lincolnshire but were unable to stay with the blistering golf played by B.B & O losing to them, however another point on the board. Ryan Craig had a change of partner for the afternoon with county stalwart Paul Kitching coming in, they also managed a point this time v B.B & O. Paul and Luke again played match 3 and got off the mark with a battling half point v Lincolnshire. Scott and Ryan were to finish day one very impressively with another point and a half and remain unbeaten, a great achievement against 3 of the competition favourites. Match 5 with Norman and Seb, who started to gel, produced some great golf beating Lincolnshire 4 and 3 and narrowly losing 1 down to B.B & O on the last.
A very creditable afternoon with 5 points scored and a day total of 8, a couple behind our target of 5 points a session but almost definitely the harder of the two days, time to regroup and get ready for day 2.
Sunday morning and still great conditions, day 1 points leaders Scott and Ryan took the match 1 position and did not relent on their great form, taking another two points wining 2 & 1 against both Essex and Suffolk. Norm and Seb in match 2 and Paul and Dan in match 3 could not gain anything in either match. Paul and Jack in match 4 lost out to a very strong Essex but took another great point from Suffolk winning that match 2 & 1. Paul and Ryan in the last match also managed 1 point, narrowly losing to Essex but taking another point from Suffolk, winning 2 & 1.
Four points from the morning session, again just short of our target but everyone had played well, it seemed that a few things just never went our way, but the lads showed great positivity only focusing on the afternoon matches rather than what went against them in the morning.
A big last session was required and we all felt that we had what it takes to produce one.
Team captain Norman and Seb took the number 1 spot after a disappointing morning, they came out all guns blazing and produced their best golf of the weekend, beating Norfolk 7 & 6 and Cambrigeshire 6 & 5, a stunning afternoons golf.
Ryan and Scott, who had scored 5.5 out of 6 so far, went second and it looked like their stunning run had come to an end but a great comeback against Cambridgeshire, winning 2 of the last three holes saw them take another point although they narrowly lost out to Norfolk, but what a tournament six and a half points out of eight and the back bone of the team. Dan and Ryan in match 3 also went unbeaten in the afternoon finishing level with Norfolk and beating Cambridgeshire 1 up in a very close match.
So, four and a half points in the first three matches, a great start.
Match four with Paul and Luke, who also had their best session, playing some very accomplished golf beating Cambridgeshire 4&3 and Norfolk 3&1. Six and a half points, already our best session, with still one match going. Paul and Jack in match 5 also produced top golf in one the tightest of matches which went to the very last. Paul Kenna holed a fantastic four foot put to take another 1 up win v Norfolk and a half v Cambridgeshire, giving the Bedfordshire boys a stunning eight points from the afternoon.
So, 20 points, our target before we left, and a sixth-place finish in what was one of the closest Seacroft foursomes I have been involved with! I’m very, very proud of how the lads battled to the very last putt!
B.B & O. 24
Well done to everyone who helped make this year’s visit to Seacroft very successful. We now look forward to our first league match v Hertfordshire on June 17th at The Millbrook Golf Club.
First Team Manager.
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