Dorset County Golf Union

Dorset Seniors Make it 6-in-a-Row

Dorset Seniors 8 - Wiltshire Seniors 7

Dorset Seniors played their last away match in the Channel League this year against Wiltshire Seniors at North Wilts Golf Club on Friday 25th August.

North Wilts Golf Club, near Devizes, was founded in 1890 and is a challenging and very undulating course. The weather for the match was cool with occasional light rain and a slight breeze.

Dorset expected a tough match versus Wiltshire, who qualified last year for the England Golf National County Finals by just pipping Dorset Seniors at Bristol and Clifton Golf Club. Wiltshire fielded a strong team with a Welsh Senior International, a player who reached the semi-finals of this year’s English Seniors Championships and three players from the host Club.

Wiltshire were clearly up for the challenge and intent on ending Dorset Seniors undefeated run in this year’s Channel League and also retaining the Jock Lawrence Quaich. This is a trophy that was presented by Jock to be contested between Wiltshire and Dorset Seniors, as Jock had played golf for both Counties. Played for over many years in a so called ‘friendly’ match between the two Counties, when Dorset were not in the Channel League, it has served as a season opener for the two County Senior Teams in previous years and has always been great fun and a chance to meet up with old friends. Since the two sides will now play each other annually in the Channel League it has been agreed to incorporate it into these matches. Dorset had won the trophy a number of consecutive times but lost to Wiltshire in the last match before COVID and we were as keen to win it back as Wiltshire were to retain it.

The morning greensomes were a very tight affair with Wiltshire winning two of the early matches and Dorset levelling the score in the last two matches; 2 ½ each at lunch, game on and all to play for in the afternoon singles.

In the afternoon, the early matches were very much going the way of Wiltshire. When the players crossed the road after 10 holes, to the lower part of the course, Dorset were down in most matches, level in only a few and held a slim 1-hole lead in just one match. A substantial defeat was very much on the cards and the omens did not look good for Dorset.

But as the Dorset Seniors side have shown time and time again this season, they do not give in without a fight. The last 8 holes provided some remarkable turnarounds, one being Dave Barton who was dead and buried at 4 down with 8 to play and still eventually won 1 up (you can’t keep an old dog down!). Gary Earl and Ashley Beckett battled hard to get back to all square after 17 holes and Gary went on to win on the 18th while Ashley secured an invaluable half.

Mark Stickley, the Dorset Seniors silent assassin, won 2&1 and the sting in the Dorset Team’s tail, Todd Sothcott and Phil Bill, came good to win comfortably and seal the result for Dorset.

Three wins in the last three matches earned Dorset the crucial 5 ½ points required in the afternoon to maintain the unbeaten run in their first year back in the Channel League.

The match, as ever, was played in excellent spirit and Dorset Team Manager, Phil Addis thanked Wiltshire and the host club, North Wilts, for their welcome and faultless hospitality.

Dorset Seniors play their last match at home on 5th September at Broadstone Golf Club against Glamorgan, in what will be a classic encounter with the winning side claiming the Channel League title.

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