The 2019 South West Counties Championship (SW Week) is on home territory with Parkstone Golf Club hosting the event. Captain Tom Leech has selected the following to represent Dorset: David Cook, Pete Corrick, David Norton, Andy Rideout and Adan Yates Parkstone, Giles Legg & Harry Mitchell Ferndown, Matthew Sandy Sherborne, Luke Hirst Dudsbury and Tom Kollberg Broadstone.
So the 2019 Championship got under way with the team taking on Wiltshire. David Cook led the team out and did not disappoint with a fine 3&1 win over Garry Slade. Luke Hirst was next against Simon Futcher in what was a fine match and bettered when Luke having been pegged back took the Sixteenth and Seventeenth to win 2&1. David Norton cruised to a fine 6&5 win, whilst Andy Rideout slumped going down 6&4. Pete Corrick got his Championship off to a great start with a fine 2&1 win over Jamie Cooper. Young Tom Kollberg making his SW debut just got pipped on the last. Adan Yates also making his SW debut lost 5&3 to Tom Law. Harry Mitchell had a super win at the tail beating Wiltshire’s young gun Tom Stagg 2 &1 to give Dorset a 5-3 lead at the lunchtime interval.
The foursomes got under way with us being in unfamiliar territory just needing one win and a halve to secure an opening win. That said at the half way stage it looked unlikely but some fine play by all saw a swing in the first three matches in our favour with Cook and Norton winning by one, Hirst and Sandy securing a super 3&2 win and Corrick and Rideout turning a two hole deficit into a 2&1 win. Harry & Giles started well but ended up going down 4&3.
So a great win and a great team effort let’s hope they keep it going.
The other matches Cornwall v Devon & Somerset v Gloucestershire
Out against Gloucestershire on day two buoyed by the win yesterday and to be fair the players yet again proved they were up to the task with some fine wins in the morning singles. With David Cook having a break Dave Norton led the way and saw off Jake Phillips 6&5. Luke lost 4&3 but an inspired Vice Captain Andy Rideout clinched a great win one up on Andy Hale. Matt Sandy lost but then two great wins by our debutants with Adan taking it on the last winning 1 up and Tom Kollberg took his first SW Win with a fine performance winning 4&3. Pete Corrick then turned a two hole deficit around to win 3&1and Harry at the end failed to get back at Tom Workman going down 3&1. Still we were yet again 5-3 up after the morning session and congratulations to Adan and Tom on getting their first win and points under their belts.
So with the rain closing in the Foursomes got under way and the pairings were as per yesterday. The two David’s led the way and they had a great battle against Joe Harvey and Jake Phillips a match that went all the way with the Dorset pair coming out on top winning by one. Luke and Matt were down early on but then got it back, they then lost 16 and 17 to lose 2&1. Once more the pairing of Rideout and Corrick were inspired as they played some good golf and whilst always in control it took them until the sixteenth for them to close the game out 2&1 and ensure Dorset won their second match of the campaign. A very buoyant Captain then saw the last match close out with Mitchell and Legg losing 2&1. In my time I have never known or been able to report such a great start by a Dorset team well done all. It is the Stroke Play tomorrow and EG Qualifier so we wish all our players the best of luck.
The other matches Devon v Somerset & Cornwall v Wiltshire
The team playing in the EG Qualifier: David Cook, David Norton, Andy Rideout, Pete Corrick, Adan Yates and Luke Hirst I must say the results speak for themselves and on home soil were somewhat disappointing.
So to Day 3 of the match play and we are against Somerset winners of the Qualifier yesterday and looking for their first win of this year’s competition. David Norton led the way and did not disappoint winning 3&2. Adan Yates who looked comfortable early on was held to a half. Andy pulled it around and won 2&1 to keep his momentum going. Another great win for Tom Kollberg who seems to have found his feet beating seasoned campaigner Jonathan Grace 3&2. Giles held out for a half, Matt lost two Down to Phil White and Pete Corrick also suffered defeat losing 3&2. Great to see Harry Mitchell turn on the Style beating the Wimborne Cup holder Craig Adams 6&5. So the spoils were shared in the morning.
Pete and Andy led the way and claimed the first points of the afternoon winning 3&2 and when Harry and Tom won 4&3 all that was need now for the third victory was a half point from either of the last two matches. Sadly it slipped away from us with David and Adan opponents squeaking a win on the last, which also happened to Matt and Luke. So no real damage as we are still out in front and can still do it so onto the Devon match tomorrow.
The other matches Gloucestershire v Cornwall & Wiltshire v Devon
So to the fourth Match Play day and we are up against Devon whose team includes the recent St Andrews links winner Jake Burnage. David Norton was playing Jake and one by the odd hole. Adan went down 2&1 but Andy Rideout was in better form and won 3&2. Pete Carrick’s was 3 up after 7 which inspired his paying partner who suddenly found birdies pulling it around and by the twelfth was two down going on to lose 4&2. Luke won 3&2 and Giles ground out a good halve. Matt Sandy lost 4&3 but the rock at the back came home with a fine 2&1 win even if it got a bit nervy during the last few holes.
Corrick and Rideout led the way in the foursomes and did not disappoint winning 2&1. Adan and David halved and the new pairing of Harry and Tom lost by one leaving the other new pairing of Giles and Luke to bring home the points to secure the win which they duly obliged winning 3&2. So we go into tomorrow needing to win as Gloucester having turned up the heat since we beat them.
The other matches Gloucestershire v Wiltshire & Somerset v Cornwall
So the last day and we were out against Cornwall. Both sides up for the challenge and all the matches proved to be tight affairs. Pete Corrick was impressive and won 5&4. David Norton came from behind to take his match by one and with Adan winning 4&3 we had 3 points. Then matches got tighter and Andy lost out on the last when his putt just slipped by. Tom lost also on the last and with Luke going down 2&1 the spoils were even. Giles managed a great win given some parts of the course he managed to recover from and Harry “the Rock” won two up to see Dorset go into the afternoon 5-3 up.
The foursomes saw Cornwall dig deep and they really played well, sadly the dream of winning started to slip away as the Cornish pairings piled on the pressure. We lost three foursome matches with Harry and Tom getting a half at the last so losing the match which will see Gloucestershire lift the Match Play once more. The team have done Dorset proud as has Tom Leech our Captain they have put us in contention throughout the week and should be very proud of their achievements. They can walk away with their heads held high as it has never in my time been so close to winning the shield which was last won by Dorset in 1972.
Very well done all and here’s looking forward to Burnham.
The other matches Devon v Gloucestershire & Wiltshire v Somerset