Garnett on Golf: Defeat at Northants ends Suffolk's Anglian League hopes
PUBLISHED: 10:55 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:55 06 August 2018
Suffolk’s hopes of winning the Anglian League ended at Wellingborough on Sunday where Northants won by seven and a half matches to four and a half.
Suffolk left themselves with too much to do after collecting just half a point from the foursomes.
There was a spirited fight back in the singles with debut-making Ben Sayers, Paul Waring and the dependable Sam Debenham all winning.
Calvin Sherwood did well to halve his match against Charlie Salter, the best Northants player, after trailing most of the afternoon.
Chris Fleming halved with Lee Hitchcock when he looked a likely winner. It was on the 17th, with Fleming one up, that both players drove into trees. Hitchcock had a clear view of the green while Fleming had to chip out onto the fairway. The final hole was halved.
It is unusual for James Biggs to suffer two defeats. After the pressure of reaching the third match-play round in the English Amateur Championship at Formby he looked weary.
When he eagled the par five 12th he reduced the deficit to five.
Sayers and Waring struggled as a foursomes pairing but both won their singles.
Sayers kept calm after Luis Witherall chipped in from 90 yards for an eagle at the 12th to level the match. Sayers went on to win by a single hole.
In the final match, with the outcome already decided, Cardy went down on the last green after narrowly missing the seven-foot birdie putt he needed to avoid defeat.
The Wellingborough greens have subtle undulations and very few long putts were sunk and many six footers missed.
Although Suffolk will finish in mid-table they can reflect on a far more successful season than in the past two years.
Sherwood won the Sir Nick Faldo Commemoration Jug at Welwyn Garden City on Saturday. Faldo was a junior member at the club.
The event is for club champions from EGU affiliated clubs.
Sherwood had rounds of 69 and 68 to be three under par winning by one shot from Brandon Meads of Chelmsford.
There was a field of 52. No other Suffolk champion took part.
- The Suffolk second team, playing at Diss, are still undefeated with one match to play. Sam Byford had two wins.
Singles successes for Josh Robertson, Jasper Johnson and Adam Sheldrake made sure of victory.
Northants 7.5 Suffolk 1st 4.5
Foursomes (Northants names first): Michael Farr and Mikey Chambers beat Calvin Sherwood and Chris Fleming 2 and 1; Lee Hitchcock and Fraser Carnihan beat Josh Cottrell and James Biggs two up; Luis Witherall and Charlie Salter beat Paul Waring and Ben Sayers 4 and 3; Miles Mudge and Liam McNeela halved with Sam Debenham and Jack Cardy.
Singles: Salter halved with Sherwood, Chambers beat Biggs 5 and 4, Hitchcock halved with Fleming, Witherall lost to Sayers one down, Carnihan lost to Waring 4 and 3, Farr beat Cottrell 3 and 2, Mudge lost to Debenham 2 and 1, McNeela beat Cardy one up.
Suffolk 2nd 7.5 Northants 2nd 4.5
Foursomes (Suffolk names first): Jed Seeley and Sam Byford beat Jamie Powell and Taylor Sargeant 4 and 3; Jasper Johnson and Charlie Taylor lost to Owen Watts and Tom Burgh one down; Josh Robertson and Adam Sheldrake halved with Ryan Genner and Jack Brown; James Tyler and Chris Bartrum beat Chris White and Richard Dalton 2 and 1.
Singles: Seeley lost to Sargeant two down, Byford beat Powell 4 and 2, Bartrum halved with Watts, Tyler halved with Burgh, Taylor lost to Genner one down, Johnson beat White one up, Robertson beat Brown 3 and 1, Sheldrake beat Dalton 3 and 1.
- Suffolk Under 18 boys narrowly failed to qualify for the final of the Junior Anglian League losing out to Cambridgeshire at Thetford. Norfolk took third place. Final scores: Cambridgeshire 15 points, Suffolk 12 points, Norfolk 9 points.
The damage was done in the foursomes when Cambridgeshire took a three-point advantage over Suffolk by seven matches to four. Norfolk scored one point. The afternoon singles were evenly contested with all three counties scoring eight points.
For Suffolk George Fricker scored maximum points, teaming up with the rapidly improving Taylor Crisp in the foursomes to record Suffolk’s only win over Cambridgeshire. Jack Butcher continued his good form after winning the Fishing Smack a few days earlier by securing three points, a victory over Norfolk with Max Weaver in the foursomes and two resounding wins in the singles.
Four of the eight Suffolk singles matches against Norfolk reached the 18th green where Liam Hansey scored a win, Louis Martin and Conal Downing both halved and Max Weaver lost by one hole.
Cambridgeshire, coached by former Suffolk professional Ben Kerr now at Bourn Golf Club, go on to meet Lincolnshire in the final.