Finals Weekend Success for Boys Under 16’s

Finals Weekend Success for Boys Under 16’s

COUNTY BOYS UNDER 16 TEAM – 2023 SOUTH EAST GROUP CHAMPIONS

Report from Boys Under 16 Manager Gerald Duddy: 

As Luke Donald’s Ryder Cup team were going head to head with their US counterpart in Rome, the County Boys U16 team were going toe to toe with a youthful team from Norfolk and an unknown Sussex team, in the England Golf South Eastern finals on the Martello course at Felixstowe Ferry GC, Suffolk.

After Saturday’s practice round on the rugged links course, the 8 selected players from 6 different clubs across Hertfordshire arrived in buoyant mood on Sunday hoping to make it 3rd time lucky in these finals having finish 3rd and 2nd in 2021 and 2022 respectively. For 7 of the 8, the memory of losing an U14 final in 2021 by half a point was still to be banished. And banish it they did!

Needing 4.5 points in both games to become league champions, Ben Sessions once again set the tone for the day with two convincing wins. A outstanding 7&5 victory against Sussex was soon followed by a 5&4 win against the recent Reid Trophy runner up from Norfolk. Harry Cox, recently selected to represent England in an international against Ireland next weekend then recorded two 4&3 victories. Finlay Rennie saw off his opponent from Norfolk with relative ease but was pushed all the way by his Sussex counterpart and in the end, a tied match was the deserved outcome. When Louie Bloxham then finished his games with 5&4 and 2&1 wins, Hertfordshire led Norfolk 4-0 and Sussex 3.5-0.5 and that elusive target started looking like a reality and thoughts turned to who might hole the winning putt.

Further double wins for Ronnie Gibb and Ed Wade secured the necessary points to confirm the U16 league title for Hertfordshire with two groups still on the course. Matthew Benson-Jones enjoyed a 6&4 win against Norfolk but eventually succumbed to Sussex on the 17th green having put in a great fight back from 3 down making the long walk from the 12th green to the 13th tee.  In the final match, 2023 team captain, Harrison Preston won both his games including turning a 2 down deficit through 11 holes into a 1 hole win against Sussex and the final results were confirmed as a resounding 8-0 win against Norfolk and a convincing 6.5-1.5 win against Sussex.

Although 8 players played this weekend, in total 14 different players played in the league matches and each one contributed to the final total of individual match points which enabled us to qualify for the final and this win was as much as their win as it was for the 8 players who travelled.

In his presentation speech, as well as thanking the host club for their fantastic hospitality and the SE Group organisers, Harrison thanked the many parents from all three counties who had taxied players to league matches all across the South East of England throughout the year and who without their continued support we couldn’t make this happen and on behalf of the U16 management team I would like to express our gratitude too for their support throughout the season.

Click here for match results vs Norfolk

Click here for match results vs Sussex

FROM L TO R, FINLAY RENNIE, MATTHEW BENSON, EDDIE WADE, BEN SESSIONS, HARRISON PRESTON, RONNIE GIBB, HARRY COX & LOUIE BLOXHAM

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