2020 Midland Seniors v UK Seniors Golf Association.
The second annual match between the Midland Golf Union Seniors and the UK Seniors Golf Association took place at Stanton-on-the-Wolds Golf Club on Monday 28th September 2020. With the course in excellent condition and warm sunshine the teams set off over 18 holes in Fourball format. The inaugural match had finished in favour of the Midland Golf Union Seniors 4.5 to 1.5 and it was evident by the strength in depth of the visitors that they were determined to reverse the result from 12 months ago. With the Midland Seniors, under the guidance of Seniors Captain Steve Kellett, also a much stronger team, they were equally determined not to be overhauled by the visitors.
With fast running greens proving a real challenge both teams were keen to develop an early lead. Paul Wharton and Jeremy Baldwin were facing the vastly experienced pairing of Ian Attoe and Andrew Atkinson. At the turn they were just one hole down but determined to reverse that position. Les Toyne and Graham Marshall were battling away against home player Charles Banks and Graham Forrest with honours even as they walked onto the 10th tee.
Dave Westwood and late replacement Kevin Blow were in command by the halfway point holding a 4-hole lead over Keith Davies and Paul Knight. Dominic Jessup and Matthew Horton were trailing by a single hole at the turn to Nottinghamshire based Tim Clarke and Malcolm Cawte. A similar score line for Andrew Guy and Paul Longden against UKSGA Captain and President Billy Mitchell and David Price.
The final game of Martin Fell and Bill Thompson was honours even against Simon Dymoke and UKSGA Secretary John Hemphrey.
The back nine was going to be crucial if the Midland Seniors were to reverse the trend at the halfway point.
Paul Wharton and Jeremy Baldwin displayed some good approach play and found their touch on the greens and resisted the challenge of Attoe and Atkinson to run out winners 3 and 2. First points on the board to the Midland Seniors. The match behind was a closer and more tense affair. Les Toyne and Graham Marshall headed up the long 18th safe in the knowledge a half would secure another victory for their side. In the end a concession on the 18th meant a 2-up win. The tide was obviously turning in favour of the Midland Seniors. Dave Westwood and Kevin Blow increased their early lead to finish with a comfortable 5 and 4 win. The UK Seniors Golf Association fought back through Tim Clarke and Malcolm Cawte keeping hold of their early lead to give them a 2 and 1 win.
The last two matches could have gone either way. Andrew Guy and Paul Longden fought hard all the way to the 18th green and eventually finished on the 18th green at 1 up. With the match sown up at this point there was still pride to play for in the last game. They couldn’t be separated through nine holes the same applied through 18 with both teams having an outside chance of snatching a win on the final green but it wasn’t to be.
The match result was a win for the Midland Seniors by 4.5 to 1.5 which was a repeat of the 2019 match. However, it was clear from the team sheets at the start that each squad was stronger than last year.
With all the difficulties of the 2020 season it was good to see the match played in such a good competitive spirit and everyone observed the guidelines put in place by the club and the Midland Golf Union. Protocols were followed to the letter for a very enjoyable and successful day.
Steve Kellett the MGU Seniors Captain said "I knew UKSGA were still smarting following last year's result and looking for revenge. When I saw their side and how strong it was I felt it was very important to get the right pairings and order. It was always going to be tough and at halfway when we were down in 3 matches and level in two more, I did wonder, but the boys played the back 9 magnificently. We ran out worthy winners in the end"
Steve went on " it was a real team effort not just from the players but also from Neil, the MGU secretary - without whose efforts we couldn't have played, Mike the Seniors Chair and Paul the Vice-Captain. I couldn't be happier"
Jeremy Baldwin (Cambridgeshire)
Paul Wharton (Lincolnshire)
Graham Marshall (Leicestershire & Rutland)
Les Toyne (Lincolnshire)
Dave Westwood (Staffordshire)
Kevin Blow (Lincolnshire)
Dominic Jessup (Northamptonshire)
Matthew Horton (Leicestershire & Rutland)
Andrew Guy (Staffordshire)
Paul Longden (Derbyshire)
Bill Thompson (Worcestershire)
Martin Fell (Warwickshire)
Game 1 - Jeremy Baldwin and Paul Wharton defeated Ian Attoe and Andrew Atkinson 3 & 2
Game 2 - Graham Marshal and Les Toyne defeated Charles Banks and Graham Forrester 2 up
Game 3 - Dave Westwood and Kevin Blow defeated Keith Davies and Paul Knight 5 & 4
Game 4 - Dominic Jessup and Matthew Horton suffered defeat to Tim Clarke and Malcolm Cawte 2 & 1
Game 5 - Andrew Guy and Paul Longden defeated Billy Mitchell and David Price 1 up
Game 6 - Martin Fell and Bill Thompson halved their game against Simon Dymoke and John Hemphrey