1st TEAM LOSE FINAL GAME OF LEAGUE SEASON TO STRONG BB&O

1st TEAM LOSE FINAL GAME OF LEAGUE SEASON TO STRONG BB&O

HERTS 1ST TEAM, FROM L TO R, TONY WILKINS, JASON MITCHELL, LUKE COLGATE, LOUIS MATAMALA (MANAGER), PHIL DORMER, JAMES SURRIDGE, MATT SMITH, BEN HARMAN & ALEX COLLMAN (CAPTAIN)

The Herts Mens 1st Team finished their league season yesterday (Sun 6 August) on the Red course at the delightful Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire by losing against a strong BB&O side 8 points to 4. 

Any small remaining hopes to win the division were finally and definitively extinguished by the hosts, who themselves could still win should Essex slip up against bottom of the league Bedfordshire next month at Chelmsford. 

The morning foursomes saw some good play by the Herts pairings, but in the main suffered against some excellent putting from the opposition, particularly in the top match, where Captain Alex Collman and James Surridge, recent individual winner at the South East Mens Qualifier, played steadily and were around level par when they were beaten 3&2 by the youthful pair of John Gough and Ollie Huggins, both England Boy Internationals. The second match saw the BB&O pair of long hitting Tim Shin and George Bell take a commanding lead, 6 up after 6, and although the pairing of Luke Colgate and Phil Dormer would steady the ship and fight back, this only ultimately made the final result respectable rather than a drubbing and finished on the 15th green by the margin of 4&3. Likewise in the final match our pairing of County Champion Tony Wilkins and Ben Harman would get off to a good start to be 3 up through 7 and would finish the match by the 11th green, winning 8&7, with birdies on each of their final 3 holes. The 3rd match was an all together tighter affair with Jason Mitchell and Matt Smith paired together. This was a nip and tuck game all the way and the BB&O pairing of Rory Browne and Harrison Arnold holed a long putt on the 15th green for birdie to take a 2 up lead, which they would hold onto for a 2&1 victory. 

The score therefore was 3-1 to BB&O at lunch, which although not insurmountable would require a huge effort from our team to reverse, aligned to a large slice of luck and in all probability some poor play from our hosts. These factors would not materialise on an afternoon where BB&O pressed up their advantage. 

The top 3 singles were all great tussles, played in the right spirit and with some excellent golf, but we were only to get 1 point out of the 3 available. Luke Colgate in the top match held Tim Shin to a halved match, Tony Wilkins fought hard and got his opponent John Gough to the last hole, only for Jon to make a perfect birdie 3 on the short par 4 18th hole for the victory 1 up. While in the 3rd match Jason Mitchell did well to half with +3 handicapper Ollie Huggins on his home course, with Ollie requiring to hole a testing 8 foot putt on the last green for the half.

The skipper Alex Collman, not for the first time this year, came up against a man possessed in George Bell and despite Alex playing steadily was blown away by the BB&O man who was well under par when winning the match on the 14th green 5&4. Herts did have their own men on fire however when both Ben Harman and Matt Smith were each well under par and dominated their matches to win 6&5 and 5&4 respectively. James Surridge, who tasted defeat for the 1st time in the league season in the morning unfortunately tasted it once again the afternoon, losing 4&3 to Alex Stubbs, who rallied well after a poor start. In the final match Phil Dormer was playing well against Rory Browne and was all square through 13 holes, but then would lose 14, 15 and 16 on the bounce to lose his match 3&2 to his steady opponent. Final score BB&O 8 – 4 Herts. 

It looks as though Herts will finish in 3rd position in the division, behind Essex and BB&O, and in front of both Middlesex and Bedfordshire, a huge improvement from the 2016 season when we finished bottom of the pile. Hopefully we will continue in the same vein in 2018 and improve further with an even greater push for the division title. 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE MATCH RESULTS

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