Dorset Seniors now at their third english Final at The Gog Magog Golf Club in Cambridgeshire got off to a great start to the 2011 final with a splendid win over the might of Lancashire. Despite the forecast of cloud after all the sunshine it was still very hot and sunny here, The course is dry but in very good condition and with the wind picking up was going to prove a great test for all over the next three days. Our SE League rivals qualified yet again along with Staffordshire and Lancashire. It should be born in mind that the Kent team is going for a hat trick of wins whilst Dorset look for their first.
Tuesday 4th. Dorset v Lancashire.
The foursomes pairs all played well and John Smith and David Barton set the pace and were soon 4 up, then came a fight back and as they walked of the sixteenth it was all square but with a fine three at the next they regained a 1 hole lead and with David finding the green with the second shot on the last secured the win. Rhys and John found it tough going against a pair that were hitting the greens with ease and soon found them selves 5 down and a mountian to climb they did get a few back but the Lancashire pair were always in control so it was one a piece. The last pair John Nash and Campbell Boal from Broadstone whilst going one down early on always looked comfortable and ran out worthy winners 3&2 so Dorset had won the foursomes!!! David Barton led the way with in the singles and was always in control winning 4&2. John Smith struggled and was finally overcome at the sixteenth. John Gordon let too many chances pass him by early on giving his opponent the momentum to then play well and take the match, Rhys was playing well and saw off his opponent 5&4 it was down to the last two matches. Campbell was down by two and ran out on the wrong side of a 4&2 score line. John was all square but came good as he played some stunning golf between fifteen and seventeen to take the match and give Dorset the win.
Wednesday 5th. Dorset v Staffordshire.
The foursomes got under way with David and John again leading from the front, they soon found themselves four down and a mountain to climb they did claw their way back and came down sixteen only one down, David then had a putt to win the hole and sent it well past with the return being missed it was Dormy two and defeat. John and Rhys played well today and looked a good pairing they were always in control and had a comfortable 5&4 win. David Lock and Graham Taylor were given a run out and it proved to be very good as they won 3&2 with some different golf being played!!! So two foursome wins for Dorset unheard of! Staffordshire came out fighting in the afternoon and it was very nip and tuck with the green seeming to take control of the scoreboard. Our lead man David was in control by the turn and ran out a 4&3 win. John Smith was struggling and again was four down at the turn, John dug hard and after seventeen had got it all square and with two great shots at the last pulled off a remarkable win. Rhys Francis was in control through nine but then suddenly lost his way (and swing) giving his opponent the spur he needed to take the game. John Gordon looked comfortable but a missed putt to go two up on the twelve and then a slip on the next let his opponent back in, sadly though he then seemed to collapse slightly and John took full advantage to secure a fine 3&2 win. Which did in fact secure the match and with the Broadstone pair of John and Campbell having very close fought games both finishing on the last in halves it was again a fine win by Dorset setting up the big match tomorrow against our SE League rivals Kent.
Thursday 6th. Dorset v Kent.
Final day and all to play for as we again take on our SE rivals but this time it is for the championship. Having won our last two days foursomes it looked like we could be on the wrong side of a white wash after nine with us being down in all three matches. Although there was some fight back in the top two it was to no avail as they both lost heavily. The Broadstone duo again kept battling and from 3 down by fifteen were one up, Kent got it back to all square by the seventeenth but sadly some unfortunate errors of judgement on the last gave Kent all three points and we now have a mountain to climb in the singles.
Conditions were difficult to say the least. Although the course was spared the showers forecast, the gusting wind made it tough to stand still let along make a swing David was on the wrong side of an 8&7 to Andrew Stracey an England senior international who was three under par for 11 holes. And it was all over when John Smith went down to Chris Hurst 5&4 in the second single to complete Kent’s third successive triumph. Rhys managed to secure a win 4&3 over David Weighton and the remaining matches were all halved. We take heart from the 3 days and whilst the team is I am sure disappointed to have again been beaten by Kent, we must look at the fact each year we have been at the finals we have taken great stride forward and progressively getting better.