The 2018 South West Counties Championship (SW Week) is being held in Wiltshire at Cumberwell Park Golf Club. The The Captain Tom Leech has selected the following to represent Dorset: Lee James Broadstone, Giles Legg & Harry Mitchell Ferndown, Callum Ward DG&CC, Matthew Sandy Sherborne, David Cook, Andy Rideout, Arrun Singh-Brar and Ben Pritchard Parkstone, Luke Hirst Dudsbury and Sam Roles Weymouth. The event gets under way on the Saturday with a practice round for all six counties.
So our first match in this year’s Championship and we were up against Gloucestershire. The sun was up and made for a good mornings golf. All the matches were tight affairs and in most cases could have gone either way. Lee had a great tussle with Nick Day and both walked off the last all square. David Cook battled and turned it round at the end to win by one. Sam Roles making his debut had a good match but just coming out on the wrong side losing 2&1. Another great match to watch if not the result was Andy Rideout against Haider Hussain going all the way to the last hole with Haider. Ben and Harry had tough games both losing. The tail end play of Matt Sandy did very well from being two down early on to winning 5&3. So we finished the morning a point behind 3.5 to 4.5.
Lee and David led the way in the foursomes again lee was up against Nick Day and with the Dorset boys having some seven birdies in the last nine holes they just ran home winners by 2&1 a really good fought match. That looked like the only win we were going to get in the afternoon as Andy and Luke struggled to get any momentum and lost 5&3. Giles and Harry had to watch some great putting during the early holes from their opponents and by the fourteenth were 2 down but they both dug deep and made a great save on the next which really spurred them on and they took the next three holes to win one up what a great match and it gave us some hope of a possible win. It was down to the last pairing of Matt and Callum whom were struggling to get the ball in the hole and were dormy 3 down after the fifteenth, they did manage to take the next but sadly lost the seventeenth going down 3&1
The other matches Somerset v Cornwall & Devon v Wiltshire
So our first match in this year’s Championship and we were up against Wiltshire. The morning saw Lee James lead the way and he did not disappoint with a fine 2&1 win over Garry Slade. Arrun making his first appearance in the SW Week lost to youngster Tom Stagg and David Cook lost on the last. Luke Hirst won 3&2 and same Roles picked up his first points with a fine win on the last. Andy struggled with the putter going down by on. Giles having been pegged back to level then saw his opponent hook one of the tee for it onlt to het the trees and come back in bounds and secure his for a halved match and with Matt struggling at the back going down 4&3 we were again one point behind at lunch.
The foursomes got under way but to be fair we were well beaten in all four matches with some fine putting by the opponents who ensured we suffered a large loss to leave us at the bottom of the pile. It is the stroke play tomorrow then we start again with a tough match against Somerset on Wednesday let’s hope out putters start to work!
The other matches Devon v Somerset & Cornwall v Gloucestershire
The team playing in the EG Qualifier: Lee James, David Cook, Arrun Singh-Brar, Sam Roles Luke Hirst & Matt Sandy.
Congratulations to Gloucestershire taking the EG Qualifier by some 6 shots from Wiltshire, Dorset finished fifth one better than Cornwall in last spot. Congratulations to Tom Sloman Somerset on two very good rounds to take the SW Championship on -12. Our best player for the second year running was Lee James finishing on -2.
So we were out against local rivals Somerset today and Lee led the way and was out of sorts from the start pushing out wide and then losing his ball on the next to go two down after two. The three matches were all going Somerset’s way. Callum was holding his own and Ben was our ray of light as he took a 3 hole lead by eight. Harry was also holding his own and Giles was playing some fine golf as was his opponent Craig back from the professional ranks. At the tenth we were looking like only getting one point but in the end Ben got pegged back but managed to hold on and secure a half point when we were already 5 points down. Harry tried hard to get back but finally got beat 2&1. Giles though kept it going and reached the last one up and with a splendid second into the last secured our only win 2up,
So we need all the foursomes to get the win but I have to say we have really struggled this week with our foursomes and today was no different all our pairs fought hard but were well beaten by their opponents with the first three matches going down 4&3 and the last match lost on the sixteenth 3&2 so a sound dubbing 12.5 to 1,5
The other matches Gloucestershire v Wiltshire & Cornwall v Devon
Today we are playing Devon the only other side without a win so far. Matt led the way against Dan Rosevear and again Matt struggled and was again defeated 2&1 not the start we were looking for and with Luke also losing 2&1 this was going to be a long hard day. Sam Roles put some gloss on the morning with a fine 4&3 win and just behind the seasoned campaigner Giles also won 4&3 so it was now 2 all but from here it sadly went downhill. Callum who has not found any form lost 3&2 Ben got well beaten 6&5 and Andy Rideout must be going for the longest non-winning streak with another poor performance losing 2&1 Harry was three up at the turn and lost by one hole on the last. Another morning which we would like to forget with the players leaving themselves with a mountain to climb if we are to get anything out of this in the afternoon foursomes!
So needing to win 3 and half one of our foursome matches the first pair managed to secure the half point but then the third pairing of Andy Rideout and Ben Pritchard performed badly losing 5&4. Roles and Ward battled hard after being 4 down at the turn but eventually lost 2&1. Our last pair of Legg and Mitchell brought the captain a smile when they won by one hole. So a dismal day and the wooden spoon will be coming back to Dorset no matter what we do tomorrow in our final match against Cornwall. What started a hopeful week has borne little fruit!
The other matches Cornwall v Wiltshire v Gloucestershire v Somerset
So the last day of this year’s Championship and with the sun was shining we were playing our good friends from Cornwall. Tom was looking for his first win of the week and so were the players. Giles led the way but struggled on the greens and lost 4&3 to Matt Richards. Harry continued to battle but again lost by one. Sam secured himself another win beating Richard Jasper 4&3 and Luke also won 3&2. Callum continued his losing streak going down to Rob McGregor 7&6 Ben Pritchard had a great halve with a birdie on the last with his second ball having put the first into the rough and failing to find, and then we got to see Andy Rideout take his first point of the week when he held on to win by one from Joe Cruse and with Matt beating young Joe Reynard which actually made the half way mark up by one point leaving just two foursome wins away from our first win of the week!!
Giles and Harry led the way but found it very tough against Rob and Conor losing 6&4. Callum and Ben went next and whilst they held their own for the first eight holes then then played bogie golf for the next five to find themselves four down and eventually losing 4&3. But the morning win by Andy and pairing up with Sam seemed to inspire them and they saw off their opponents 9&8. With Luke and Matt together and playing some fine golf all looked well for the captain and when the pair secured a half on the fifteenth they stood dormy 3 up. Sadly what followed had to be seen to be believed Matt stuck his tee shot into the rough on the par 3 sixteenth and they lost that to par. Now worries both drives were good on the next and so were the second shots and when Cornwall missed their birdie putt all thought it was over with our boys just needing to roll it dead for the halve and the match but no Luke sticks it some 5 foot past and the put back is missed. Okay two good drives down the last and when the Cornish pair failed to get anywhere near the green with their second and we got within 23 foot it looked good. Cornwall got on for 3 and it was then down to Matt to roll it close for the match but oh no he leaves it short Cornwall sink theirs and we then miss!!! Never before have I seen such poor finishing and it perhaps reflects on the week with our players unable to finish a match off when given the opportunity. I really feel sorry for Tom whilst the win would still have left us picking up the spoon he did not need to see such poor finishing like this!
The other matches Devon v Gloucestershire & Wiltshire v Somerset