Stoke flattered by win margin

GolfIF ever there was a flattering margin of victory it was Stoke by Nayland's 9-3 success over Bungay & Waveney Valley in the final of the Stenson Shield played under cloudy skies at Fynn Valley on Saturday.

Golf

IF ever there was a flattering margin of victory it was Stoke by Nayland's 9-3 success over Bungay & Waveney Valley in the final of the Stenson Shield played under cloudy skies at Fynn Valley on Saturday.

The Stoke team had a clean sweep of the foursomes but three of the matches were settled on the 18th green, so Bungay may feel that luck deserted them.

They kept battling manfully in the singles knowing that Stoke needed only two wins and a half to claim the trophy for the ninth time since 1991.


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Bungay started well with Phil Vincent ending two up against the left-handed Iain Younger despite the loser chipping in from off the green at the par-five 13th hole.

In the second singles Bungay's Dickon Housman won a tense battle with Tom Everett by two holes, overhauling an early deficit.

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Liam Brace, left out of the foursomes because he only arrived back in Suffolk late into the night after coming runner-up in the North of England Under 16 Championship at Heswall, maintained his good form to beat Paul Whiting 3 and 1.

The left-handed Owen Pearl was under par as he powered to a 4 and 3 win over Doug Muttitt and then Scott Brace made sure of victory with a one-hole success over James Williams.

Michael Swan is enjoying a great season. He ended a week when he won his regional age group section in the Faldo Series with a 4 and 3 win over Rob Long, who had no answer to the consistency of the teenage county first-team player.

Alex Cameron, who works for Bungay professional Andrew Collison, was in determined mood. He clung onto a narrow lead against Paul Pengelly and will recall a great approach shot to make sure of his par on the 15th hole when his tee shot was blocked out on the left.

Cameron won the 16th after Pengelly had gone from a fairway bunker on the left to a ditch short of the green. Then Cameron found the green with his tee shot at the long par three 17th hole to close out victory.

The final match saw Paul Whittle come in two up against Mick Hill but by that time the Stoke celebrations were already under way.

Stoke team captain Dean Brace has worked on a squad system all year with England amateur international Jamie Moul the only player sure of a place whenever he was available - which was only once.

Rob Murray had been unwell during the week and was due to be rested until Greg Hills expressed concern about his form and stood down. Stoke have many more category one players from whom they can choose than Bungay, whose success has been built round team spirit boosted by the capture of such notable scalps such as Fynn Valley and Bury St Edmunds in Stenson and Hambro matches.

Bungay were unable to choose teenager Alistair Hall because he had already turned out for Halesworth in an early round of the competition. Hall showed his support as a caddy.

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