Play-off drama in Stenson Shield

JOE Cardy put his tee shot six yards from the pin at the 322 yard par four first play-off hole to enable Hintlesham to win at Bungay in the quarter-final of the Stenson Shield on Saturday.

By Tony Garnett

JOE Cardy put his tee shot six yards from the pin at the 322 yard par four first play-off hole to enable Hintlesham to win at Bungay in the quarter-final of the Stenson Shield on Saturday.

His mammoth drive put Phil Vincent under immense pressure and the Bungay player opted for a three-wood off the tee which left him 85 yards short. He had a 10 foot putt for birdie but his effort rolled past the hole.

This left Cardy with two putts for the birdie he needed for victory and he made no mistake.


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Joe Cardy was on fire. In his singles he beat Alastair Hall, who made a winning debut for the Suffolk second team against Cambridgeshire. Fifteen-year-old Hall is not used to suffering setbacks in Hambro or Stenson matches on his home course.

It was also a great day for Hintlesham's Adrian Meredith.

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He partnered Phil Westley to a foursomes victory over Vincent and Doug Muttitt. Then he beat Vincent in the singles.

It was a tremendous match. Hintlesham trailed narrowly after the foursomes but made inroads at the top of the singles order with victories for Meredith, Joe Cardy and skipper Clive Lawley in the first three matches,

Bungay hit back with Dickon Housman and Mick Hills beating Trevor Hellyer and Jack Cardy respectively while James Williams and Nigel Redding halved.

Matt Ransome steadied Hintlesham nerves with a 6 and 5 win over Tom Bonner so everything rested on the final game between Westley and Muttitt. The Bungay man was one up on the final tee and secured the par to take the match to extra time.

Hintlesham captain Lawley said: “The match was a credit to both clubs and it was a shame there had to be a loser. It was a wonderful achievement by my team. I am very proud of them.”

Stoke by Nayland, the holders, avenged their Hambro Cup defeat at the hands of Fynn Valley in a match of high quality round the Constable course that would have made a tremendous final. There was a time during the afternoon when Stoke looked in dire trouble but they produced a spirited finish to see them through to a semi-final meeting with Hintlesham on a neutral venue on July 21.

A turning point in the morning came when Ian McKay, the club captain, and Paul Whittle fought back from three down to claim a half against Bradley Wilkins and Chris Smith in the foursomes. Had Wilkins and Smith won Fynn Valley would have gone in to lunch 3-1 ahead.

Two crucial singles matches ended with Stoke victories on the last green. Greg Hills holed his second shot on the first against Warren Goddard and was three up after three. Goddard chipped in at the 10th and was one up by the 14th. Hills held his nerve to fight back for a crucial point.

Michael Swan, at times trailing by two holes against Andy Munro, staged a dramatic finish.

Both players birdied the 15th then Swan drove the 16th green, an uphill par four, to level the match with an eagle.

The 17th was halved but Swan chipped to within a foot at the 18th from the right. Munro missed the green on the left. His 10 foot putt hit the back of the hole but was going too fast leaving Swan a tap-in for a vital win.

Scott Brace produced chipping and putting of the highest order when beating Paul Dobson 2 and 1, both players being well under par. At one stage Dobson produced a run of birdie, par, birdie, eagle, par but made no progress in the match.

Owen Pearl had a ding-dong tussle with Wilkins. Three down early on, Pearl was one up after seven. It was tight at the end but Pearl took a five at the 17th which ended his hopes.

It was a tight match at Bury St Edmunds where Ipswich won through thanks largely to the experience of Paul Barnard, Neil Meadows and Daniel Bryett who collected maximum points. Bury were trailing by two and a half to one and a half after the foursomes with Richard Kent and Dean Fairweather winning the opening foursomes against Ian Brown and Chris Gooding.

Nick Brewster was introduced for the singles in the Bury team and excelled himself by sinking a pitch with a wedge for eagle on the last to beat Jack Jowers one up.

Chris Wright of Bury was five under by the time he had beaten Graham Wardley 6 and 5.

In a battle between two of Suffolk's top juniors, Ben Farthing of Ipswich won the day against Tom Stephenson who last year reached final of the Suffolk Amateur Matchplay on the same course.

Ipswich meet Stowmarket for a place in the final. Stowmarket gelled as a team to beat The Suffolk, who only managed to secure half a point although three of the singles were decided on the last green.

After losing all the foursomes The Suffolk needed something approaching a miracle if they were to turn the tables. Stowmarket never lost their focus and had the greater strength in depth on the day.

Non-playing captain Rob Wisker said: “It was a steady team effort with everyone making a contribution.”

Tim Pakenham secured the half point for The Suffolk by holding Chris Underwood in the top singles. Nathan Overton, Kenton Jameson and Ben Forgan all came through close matches successfully against Gary Last, Simon Byford and Malcolm Wyer who played in the singles in place of captain Barry Scarfe.

The Suffolk perhaps missed the experience of Doug Frew but there was no denying Stowmarket's superiority.

The semi-finals on July 21 will be played on neutral venues to be arranged: Stoke by Nayland (holders) v Hintlesham; Ipswich v Stowmarket.

Full scores appear in Monday's EADT.

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