History was made with the 50th match between the two counties as Oxfordshire celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2018! Conditions at Carswell Golf Club on Wednesday 25th April were pleasant but windy. Prior to this encounter, the running total was 180.5 match points each! But read on ….
Leading from the front in match 1, Captain of Captains Andy Carter and Richard Clist had a great day out ; with some quality golf being played by the Oxfordshire pair of Pete Walton and Brian Mallon. Andy and Rich did well until the 17th when Andy picked up thinking he had lost the hole! A ‘senior moment’ from the youngest member of the association! 1-0 to Oxfordshire.
In match 2, Murray Parsons and Mike Nash appreciated the very pleasant company of Darren Carman & Chris Spearing. They enjoyed playing a new course and the meal afterwards – and also recorded a 6&5 win for Somerset.
Another win for Somerset followed in match 3, where Chris Warcup and Bill Campbell beat Ian Allison & Brian Arrighi by 3&2. The Somerset pair conceded they were lucky with the weather and lucky with the win! Best comment of the day came from Oxford “There goes the drive of a 17 handicapper!” as Bill hit another one down the middle. Somerset now leading 2-1.
The winning streak continued with match 4, where Max Putnam and Colin Davies beat Oxfordshire secretary Roger Sillence and his partner Gerry Hinnigan by 4&2, although the match was actually tighter than the score would suggest. This group found the wind difficult and the rough challenging. Roger played well for Oxford and Gerry had a good back nine. Somerset now leading 3-1!
(Games 5-8 started from the 11th tee.)
Fortunes changed again in match 5, where Steve Butterfield and Iain Robertson were beaten by a better pair on the day. Bob Bannister and Bill Major, who received 9 shots, secured a 5&4 win for Oxfordshire. “Nine shots is too much for us oldies from Somerset”. The match score now 3-2 to Somerset.
The match was all square at 3-3, after Glyn Sewell and John Blackwell lost to John Rees and Graham Fullager by 4&3 in match 6. Nevertheless, a most enjoyable day with good company. The course was a challenge, with the 19th being the most enjoyable.
The momentum was now with Oxfordshire, who went into a 4-3 lead after match 7, when Rob Hardy and Rob Ford lost 4&3 to Tim Nunneley and John Fisher. Good company, but Somerset could not match their opponents on a windy day.
A great game and close tussle in the final pairing where Mike Poole and Geoff Rooke took on David Pratt and Ollie Bowden. Somerset were overcome by having to concede five consecutive shots on the back (front) nine! Another win for Oxfordshire to secure an overall winning margin of 5-3.
Congratulations to Oxfordshire – both on the win, and on the 50th anniversary.
Special thanks to Steve Butterfield for everything he did so efficiently as Match Manager on behalf of Somerset Golf Captains
(If you click on a thumbnail below, you will see the original photo)