MEN'S SENIORS TEAM PICTURED ON THE BALCONY AT WEST MIDDLESEX GC, FROM L TO R, GORDON STEWART, TYE CARTER, RUSSELL CONWAY-LYE, JOHN AMBRIDGE, PAUL NANCARROW, PHIL EMBLETON, MIKE READY, KEN WHITTON & BOB PEACOCK
Report from Men's Seniors Captain Simon Kay;
The Senior County team played its first South East Counties league match lastTuesday (9th May). The threat of storms never materialized and therefore the match was played in good but soft conditions.
Middlesex with home advantage were certainly focussed on starting their season well, with a few new players including home players from West Middlesex. Under new captaincy they were certainly well prepared and motivated.
The early sense from the opening holes, apart from John Ambridge stealing the 2nd hole with clinical chip in, was a tight match was unfolding. Middlesex had the advantage after 9 holes with very few holes positive scores from Herts; the Captain was worried!
Unfortunately, early order loses meant the pressure was on for serial winner Mike Ready to reverse our fortune. Mike had a commanding lead but decided to feel sorry for his opponent and only win on the 17th. This left Paul Nancarrow, from our top order, to reverse his score and give us some much needed points. Paul, having been 4 down, birdied the 16th to offer hope, but was still one down with 2 to play, well that's what was concluded on the 17th tee by him and his opponent - we will return to this.
Bob Peacock at number 5 was always on top and made a solid par at 18th to win his match. Following Bob was Gordon Stewart, one up playing the last, kept the assembled Herts crowd on edge when he finally stopped playing ping pong around the hole, holing a two footer for his win.
Tye Carter followed and won his match comfortably on 17th. Our middle order had as usual performed well to provide some hope.
Meanwhile, we need to return to Paul Nancarrow's match which became pivotal. Playing 17, apparently one down, both Paul and his opponent had layed up to the optimum distance. Paul's opponent wedged nicely onto the green. Paul with 60 yards hit an arrow like shot down the flag. However as most of the team know Paul likes to tinker with his clubs, and he must have de-lofted his lob wedge into a 9 iron as sadly he hit it 140 yards sailing over the green, never to be found in the woods. Paul then returned to his previous fate and hit a nice wedge but it was for 5 with his opponent safely on the green for 3. At this point his Captain returned to other groups assuming the loss. Out of his Captain's gaze, Paul's opponent 3 putted and Paul holed for a half. They then decided to have another count of the match score and realised that the score was actually all square! Paul, with no one watching, made a solid par at the 18th to win his match. A major development in the overall score with Herts suddenly having 5 points and a half was needed from the last 3 games.
Unfortunately, things still didn't look good but eventually news came to the 18th green that Russell Conway-Lye was 1 up playing the last. A half was achieved along with the match.
A winning result that only seemed possible in the last half hour and a major turnround from the depths of defeat!
A great team performance and a relieved watching Captain!