Dan Smailes leads Bury St Edmunds to win over Ipswich in Stenson Shield thriller

Aldeburgh are in the last four of the Stenson Shield. Back (from left): Arthur Patten, James Keely,

Aldeburgh are in the last four of the Stenson Shield. Back (from left): Arthur Patten, James Keely, Will Wright, Nigel Robson, Roger Taylor and Gregor Tait. Front: Robert Palmer (reserve), Ian Kitson and Josh Robertson. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

It was a thriller at Bury St Edmunds where the home team beat Ipswich at the first play-off hole in their Stenson Shield quarter-final.

Josh Cottrell’s tee shot for Ipswich found a bunker while Dan Smailes was well down the fairway on the par-five opening hole.

Cottrell was still 150 yards short in two and on the fringe of the green in three. Smailes’ second shot almost produced an eagle which left him with a tap-in birdie to see Bury St Edmunds into the last four.

Ipswich led by a point after the foursomes and looked in a healthy position with early wins from Jack Phillips, Chris Bye and Cottrell after Smailes had beaten Connor James in the top match.

Bury introduced both their reserves, James Scott and Chris Driscoll, who beat James Tyler and Dan Hedges.


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Even then Bury had work to do. Teenager Max Adams did well to hold Sean Gordon, the former North Berwick club champion, to a half.

In the final match Michael Gee defeated Suffolk first team regular Sam Byford to send Bury into the play-off.

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Aldeburgh booked their place in the last four with a 9-3 victory over Felixstowe Ferry. The tie was wide open after the foursomes but Aldeburgh dominated the singles with wins for Ian Kitson, Arthur Patten, Nigel Robson, James Keely and Josh Robertson.

Felixstowe managed three halves with Rhodri Harston, their best player on the day, ending level with Will Wright. Ben Sayers and Gregor Tait also ended level as did team captains Roger Taylor and Neil Meadows who battled through to the end with no-one telling them that the tie had been won and they could have walked in.

Felixstowe were without Paul Waring who was representing Great Britain in the Deaflympics at Samsun on the Black Sea. On the first two days Waring was runner-up to former German professional Allen John after two rounds of stroke play. John had rounds of 68 and 63 on the par 70 course. Waring had 71 and 67. The match-play continues this week.

Rookery Park scored a narrow win over Hintlesham thanks largely to teenager Conal Downing. He teamed up with Phil Hetherington to win his foursomes and then lowered the colours of Suffolk county captain Jack Cardy. Downing, fully recovered from a badly broken arm, has reduced his handicap to four and is emerging as one of Suffolk’s brightest juniors.

Once Downing, two up with three to play, had beaten Cardy it was left for Andy Coleman to secure at least a half against Suffolk Senior captain Kevin Brooks to clinch a Rookery victory. Coleman won 5 and 4.

Suffolk Open champion Sam Debenham won the battle with Guy Mummery but it was not enough for Hintlesham who were without Adrian Meredith. They needed him.

Woodbridge, the holders, had no problem against a Gorleston team under-strength because so many of their players were at Royal Birkdale. A Gorleston star of yesteryear, Geraint Amos, won his match against 15-year-old George Fricker back from making the cut in the McGregor Trophy. Otherwise Woodbridge were in control with Phil Ashenden described as being “on fire” by his team captain Nathan Overton. Ashenden beat former Logan Trophy winner Steve Crosby 6 and 5.

Stenson Shield quarter-finals

Aldeburgh 9 Felixstowe Ferry 3

Foursomes: (Aldeburgh names first): Will Wright and Ian Kitson beat Neil Meadows and Steve Sayers 2 and 1; Gregor Tait and Arthur Patten halved with Jimmy Price and Billy MacLeod; Nigel Robson and James Keely beat Greg Hills and Ben Sayers 5 and 4; Josh Robertson and Roger Taylor lost to Rhodri Harston and Mark Fosker 2 and 1.

Singles: Wright halved with Harston, Kitson beat Price 6 and 5, Tait halved with B Sayers; Patten beat MacLeod two up, Robson beat Hills 2 and 1, Keely beat S Sayers 4 and 3, Robertson beat Fosker 5 and 3, Taylor halved with Meadows.

Woodbridge 9.5 Gorleston 2.5

Foursomes (Woodbridge names first): Andy Whittaker and George Fricker beat Tommy Hunt and Jack Butcher 3 and 1; Ricky Dzierozynski and Phil Ashenden beat Steve Crosby and John Maddock 5 and 4; Steve Mann and Nathan Overton beat Kevin Woods and Geraint Amos 4 and 3; James Draycott and Tom Fowler halved with Ray Thomson and Lee Chapman.

Singles: Fricker lost to Amos 2 and 1, Ashenden beat Crosby 6 and 5, Whittaker beat Hunt 5 and 4, Dzierozynski halved with Woods, Draycott beat Maddock 3 and 2, Fowler beat Butcher 4 and 3, Overton beat Thomson 6 and 4, Mann halved with Chapman.

Rookery Park 7 Hintlesham 5

Foursomes (Rookery Park names first): Guy Mummery and Luke Thompson beat James Hellyer and Matt Beith two up; Calvin Sherwood and Jack Blowers lost to Jack Cardy and Jamie Jones one down; Conal Downing and Phil Hetherington beat Trevor Hellyer and Jeremy Procter 3 and 2; Andy Coleman and Craig Bloodworth lost to Sam Debenham and Kevin Brooks 3 and 1.

Singles: Sherwood beat Procter 6 and 4, Blowers beat Beith two up, Thompson beat J Hellyer 3 and 1, Downing beat Cardy 3 and 1, Hetherington lost to Jones 6 and 5, Mummery lost to Debenham 3 and 2, Bloodworth lost to T Hellyer 5 and 3, Coleman beat Brooks 5 and 4.

Bury St Edmunds beat Ipswich at first play-off hole

Foursomes (Bury St Edmunds names first): Trevor Titcombe and Dan Smailes beat Josh Cottrell and Connor James 3 and 1; Ben Coleman and Max Adams lost to Sean Gordon and Dan Hedges one down; Craig Nurse and Michael Gee halved with James Tyler and Chris Bye; Steve Duffety and Steve Lankester lost to Jack Phillips and Sam Byford 4 and 3.

Singles: Smailes beat James 3 and 1, Titcombe lost to Phillips 2 and 1, Nurse lost to Bye 2 and 1, Coleman lost to Cottrell 4 and 2, James Scott beat Tyler 2 and 1, Chris Driscoll beat Hedges two up, Adams halved with Gordon; Gee beat Byford two up.

Semi-finals (on neutral courses on August 12): Rookery Park v Woodbridge; Aldeburgh v Bury St Edmunds.

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