Garnett on Golf: Suffolk hopes dashed after disappointing defeat
Suffolk's hopes of winning the Anglian League for the first time since 2002 were dented by a narrow defeat at the hands of a resurgent Cambridgeshire at Brampton Park on Sunday.
The home team, with victories over Northants and Norfolk, carried on their good work but Suffolk will look back on a match they should have won.
Team captain Joe Cardy was able to field a strong side including Habebul Islam, Monty Scowsill and James Biggs all of whom have been playing amateur golf at the top level this year.
For a while all the Suffolk foursomes pairings were trailing on a tricky course. It was scenic with swans, cygnets, Canada geese and some wonderful ancient trees and no shortage of ponds. It needed cool heads and accurate irons to navigate to victory.
Scowsill and Biggs staged a late recovery to win 2 and 1 while the experienced last pair, Sam Debenham and Jack Cardy were one up at the end.
On paper Suffolk should have gone to victory in the singles and were leading in five of the eight matches.
Habebul Islam scored a 7 and 5 victory over Danny Loveday and then went to support fellow juniors Alfie Halil and George Fricker. The singles were played as four-balls to avoid being held up by the club championship which was also taking place.
Scowsill and Biggs looked to be in control at the turn. Scowsill sent on to win but home captain Ed Dimambro found his best form from the 12th hole to turn the tables on Biggs.
Chris Fleming took control against Tom Rogers midway through the round and held on for victory.
Fricker, one up with two to play, had to settle for a half with Toby Crisp while Hailil went down on the 17th green against Paul Hodgkin.
For the past couple of seasons Suffolk have come to rely on points from Debenham and Cardy.
This time not even Debenham's splendid short game could save him while the long-hitting Cardy was not always accurate.
The same players, except Fricker and Cardy, will represent the county in the South Eastern Group county qualifier at Ashford on Saturday.
Cambridgeshire 6.5 Suffolk 5.5
At Brampton Park.
Foursomes (Cambridgeshire names first):
Ed Dimambro and Danny Loveday lost to Monty Scowsill and James Biggs 2 and 1.
Luke Ryan and Tom Rogers beat Alfie Halil and George Fricker 3 and 2.
Paul Hodgkin and Craig Thorburn beat Habebul Islam and Chris Fleming 2 and 1.
Owen Davies and Toby Crisp lost to Sam Debenham and Jack Cardy one down.
Ryan lost to Scowsill 3 and 2, Dimambro beat Biggs two up, Crisp halved with Fricker, Hodgkin beat Halil 2 and 1, Rogers lost to Fleming 2 and 1, Loveday lost to Islam 7 and 5, Thorburn beat Debenham 3 and 2, Davies beat Cardy 3 and 1.
THE Suffolk second team, which also looked strong on paper, was well beaten by Cambridgeshire at Haverhill.
It was almost a home game for the visitors whose Louis Martin (Saffron Walden), a former Suffolk match play champion and junior captain, won both his matches
Suffolk 2nd 3.5 Cambridgeshire 2nd 8.5
Foursomes (Suffolk names first):
Chris Vince and Josh Driver beat Alfie Guy-Pinkney and Kevin Taylor two up.
Ben Sayers and Chris Bartrum lost to David Marris and James McLaughlin 5 and 4.
Jamie Jones and Jed Seeley lost to Louis Martin and Spencer Burlingham 3 and 2.
Adam Sheldrake and Russell Oakey halved with Owen Meads and Isaac Rowlands.
Singles: Vince lost to Marris one down, Driver lost to Guy-Pinkney one down, Seeley lost to Rowlands one down, Bartrum lost to McLaughlin 4 and 3,
Sayers beat Meads two up, Jones lost to Martin 3 and 2, Sheldrake beat Burlingham 4 and 2, Oakey lost to Taylor 3 and 2.
SUFFOLK boys finished fifth in the South Eastern Group of the boys' England Golf county qualifier at Orsett.
You may also want to watch:
This was a year when Suffolk, had they been able to field their strongest team, might have challenged for top spot.
In the event they would have been hard pressed to beat Kent, the convincing winners, whose best five scores from six in each round left them at level par.
Alfie Halil (Flempton) was impressive. He returned Suffolk's best scores of 71 and 72 to finish one under par. He took individual fourth place overall.
Habebul Islam (Ipswich) was one under in the morning but his putts failed to drop in the afternoon when he had 74. He finished eighth overall.
George Fricker (Woodbridge), Suffolk men's matchplay champion, did not enjoy the best of days. Two rounds of 78 were disappointing.
Jack Butcher (Gorleston) battled tenaciously but his concentration lapsed when he had a triple on his final hole.
Taylor Crisp (Woodbridge) found problems in the morning with a round of 83, but in the afternoon his game was transformed. His 73 included a nine at a par four.
Conal Downing (Rookery Park) is finding golf difficult at present but his scores did not count in the team total.
What of the players who might have taken part? Max Adams (Bury St Edmunds), who made such a good impression in the Lagonda at Gog Magog, was having a brief holiday after his exams. Let's hope that he is suitably refreshed to do well in the Carris Trophy at Moor Park on July 23 in which Halil and Fricker are also entered. Habebul has opted for an event at Walton Heath for which a greater number of world ranking points are available.
Suffolk team manager John Maddock (Gorleston), who played for Suffolk in the Anglian League at the age of 15, is a believer that if any player is good enough age is irrelevant.
SUFFOLK under 16 boys beat Norfolk 6.5 to 1.5 but lost to Essex 3-5 in their triangular match at The Warren on Saturday. Tyler Weaver, George Austin and Harry Tibble all scored maximum points for Suffolk.
Two Suffolk players took part in the English Mid Amateur Championship (Logan Trophy) held at The Leicestershire Golf Club last week..
Danny Western (Gorleston) missed the cut, which fell at 10 over par, with round of 75 and 77 for a 12 over par total of 152. Will Wright (Aldeburgh) progressed in 33rd place with 72 and 76 for an eight over par total of 148. He added a 74 in his third round to finish tied in 33rd place.
Suffolk finished runners-up in the Southern Counties Seniors Foursomes qualifier against Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Bedfordshire at The Bedfordshire Golf Club.
Cambs go forward to the final at Exeter on September 16. If the Suffolk senior players are disappointed, the county treasurer may be relieved to escape having to play expenses for an event in Devon.
PAUL Waring of Felixstowe Ferry made the cut in the PGA Europro event at Linden Hall, near Morpeth with rounds of 69 74 and 69. Hugo Dobson (Woodbridge) missed the cut.
ROOKERY Park beat Gorleston by six points in the final of the Suffolk Junior Team Championship hosted by Southwold.
The Rookery players will represent Suffolk in the English Junior Club Championship at Woodhall Spa on August 12 and 13.
Scores in the final: Rookery Park: Conal Downing 33, Josh Altham 35, Spencer Eade 31. Gorleston: Charlie Peacock 30, Tom Hellory 30, Bradley Thompson 33.
Second round: Bury St Edmunds 101 Ipswich 86, Gorleston 109 Kingfishers 74, Fynn Valley 97 Rookery Park 98, Flempton 95 Ufford Park 97.
Semi-finals: Gorleston 98 Ufford Park 95 (at Halesworth), Bury St Edmunds 85 Rookery Park 95 (at Diss).
ESSEX amateur champion Curtis Knipes (Chelmsford and Abridge) is at Royal Portrush in the Open Championship. He won the Final qualifier at Prince's with rounds of 67 and 68.
Sam Forgan (Stowmarket) was on course with an opening round of 68. A repeat in the afternoon would have been good enough but he had 73.
There was no joy for the Suffolk trio at Notts (Hollinwell). Jamie Abbott, Hugo Dobson and James Biggs will all have to try again next year.
TIM Cooper (Newton Green) and Gary Borthwick (Stoke by Nayland) led after the Greensomes Stableford on the first day of the East Region PGA Summer Classic at Royal Cromer.
Their 43 points gave them a slender advantage which they let slip on the second better-ball round at Sheringham.
THE Parks Trophy, a Suffolk inter-club knockout for low-handicap seniors, has reached the last eight.
Aldeburgh, competing for the first time since 2006 when they reached the final, are at home to Woodbridge.
Second round results: Bury St Edmunds 13 Felixstowe Ferry 0, Ufford Park 12 Newton Green 0, Fynn Valley 7 Southwold 0, Woodbridge 8 Bungay 0, St Audry's walked over Brett Vale, Rushmere 14 Haverhill 0, Stowmarket 13 Thorpeness (holders) 0.
Quarter-finals: Aldeburgh v Woodbridge, Ufford Park v Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds v Rushmere, Fynn Valley v St Audry's.