Wallwork increases the tempo to claim Stableford success at Burghley Park

Burghley Park Mixed team at Charnwood.
Burghley Park Mixed team at Charnwood.
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Burghley Park members were delighted to get back on the course following its closure for the Horse Trials with good turnouts for the competitions on Sunday.

Seventy-six turned out for the Men’s September Stableford, which was dominated by Paul Wallwork (13) who carded the best score of the day with an impressive 41 points.

He started steadily, shooting just five over gross for the front nine to give him 19 points at the turn before increasing the tempo on the back nine which he negotiated in just three over gross for 22 points, ensuring that he was the only player on the day to go through the 40 point barrier. This gave him the overall win and a handicap cut to 11.

In Division One, Barrie Dawson (8) continued his run of good form, coming in with 37 points to secure top spot, ahead of Jon Tyrrell (9) and Stephen Dawson (6), both on 35.

Wallwork took the Division Two prize, but was pressed hard by Peter Barnes (11) and Joe Carr (12), who both came in with 39 points to take second and third places and come down a shot each.

Division Three was won by Dave Gibson (16) with 37 points, with John Mayman (18) second on 35 and Mark Hotchkin (21) third on 34. Gibson came down to 15 as a result of his efforts.

On the same day, the ladies played a bogey competition for the Barnes Bowl with 22 vying for the trophy.

In breezy conditions scoring was difficult, but winner Barbara Newell (25) made it look easy, coming home well clear of the field with an impressive score of +5.

After a shaky start, losing the first and halving the second, Barbara then won three in a row to go two up.

She dropped a hole on seven, but then won the next two to reach the turn on +3. It looked as if her round might falter at the start of the back nine, as she lost 10 and 11, but she rallied strongly to restore her three-hole advantage by winning 12 and 13 and adding two more with wins on 17 and 18.

Helen Cox (17) was the only other player to beat the course, getting to the turn at +1 and adding another on the way home to finish at +2.

Jane Mantell (33) was one down at halfway, but picked up a shot on the back nine to finish level with the course for third place, pushing Gill Webb (36) into fourth on countback.

Saturday saw the Mixed team travel to Charnwood Forest Golf Club, near Loughborough, for their annual 1890 Club match for the Reverend Faithfull Trophy.

Both clubs were formed way back in 1890 and established a relationship two years ago when both were celebrating their 125th anniversaries.

After discovering that the Reverend Faithfull, who was a founder member of Charnwood Forest, had become a member at Burghley when he became the Rector of Glinton and Peakirk in about 1894, it had seemed appropriate to initiate an annual fixture between the clubs.

The Charnwood Forest course is a very challenging nine-holer, with many blind shots, rock faces and stone walls to be negotiated and, as ever, home advantage proved significant.

Striving hard to retain the trophy which they had won at home last year, Burghley got off to a good start when Lynda Lancaster and Bill O’Driscoll took the first match 2&1.

But things then started to go wrong, as the home side made good use of their knowledge of the subtleties of the course.

Losses for Marilyn Webley and Chris Harrison-Smith (5&4) and Stephanie Crook and John Mayman (3&2) put Burghley on the back foot before Anne Harrison-Smith and Jim Clarke levelled the tie with a 2&1 win.

But that was it – the final four matches all went the way of the home side in spite of valiant efforts from Sheila Mayman and Colin Shearman (lost 8&7), Janet Duff and David Shales (lost 4&3), Christine Wright and Peter Beeke (lost 4&3) and Mary Sharp and Keith Duff (lost 4&3) as Charnwood reclaimed the cup with an emphatic 6-2 victory.

Club captain Bill O’Driscoll made clear that he was looking for better when the return fixture is played at Burghley next year.

Burghley Park’s C Team traditionally play concurrent away fixtures on Horse Trials Saturday and this year teams were dispatched to Greetham Valley and Rutland County with mixed fortunes.

O’Driscoll led the team visiting Greetham Valley and, as ever, the match was closely fought, all the way to the last match.

O’Driscoll and Mike Beaumont found themselves against tough opponents and took the match to the final green but lost two down, before Scott Downie and Jim Clarke levelled the tie with a 3&2 win.

Shean Smith and Stewart Ward went down 3&2 to put Burghley behind again, but Bob Pimlott and Stewart Pringle’s 5&4 win restored parity.

That was the pattern to the end of the match, with alternating wins and losses, before Peter Barnes and Neil Harden won the last match on the 18th green to give Burghley a narrow 5-4 win.

Other Burghley winners were David Brailsford and Peter Hopkins (1 up) and David Shales and Mark Hotchkin with Robert Dennis and Mike Wright losing 7&6 and Doug Hunter and Graham Camp going down 5&4.

In the other C Team match that day, at Rutland County, things didn’t go quite so well.

The opening pairing of Rob Tapp and Rob McGarr were never up in the match and found themselves on the receiving end of some inspired putting on the back nine from one of their opponents to go down 3&2.

Dan Elliott’s run of three consecutive wins was brought to an abrupt end when he and playing partner Matt Pettit went down by the same score in match two, but a win for Burghley in match three, courtesy of debutant Ian Robb and the big-hitting Thomas Wright who took the match 2up, gave the visitors some hope.

However, Tim Chapman and Alan Cole suffered the heaviest defeat of the day, going down 4&3 to a pair playing well under handicap to put Burghley under pressure again.

Alan Kinch managed his first win of the C Team season, winning 3&2 with partner Charlie Gardiner, to leave the door open to Burghley’s final pairing, of Nigel Pugh and Bob Moss to save the day for the visitors.

However, it was not to be, as they couldn’t manage to get the win they needed, shaking hands on the 16th green for a 3&2 defeat which gave the overall match to Rutland County 4-2.

As Burghley Park’s Seniors’ Team season approaches its end, captain Alan Gray is still wondering where their consistency has gone.

After two victories in the previous week, Burghley travelled to Toft with renewed confidence, but after losing the first three matches the die was cast.

Alan Gray and Alan Kinch lost 4&3, David Devlin and David Porteous lost 3&2 and Richard Cook and Stephen Cheeseman lost 4&2 to leave the visitors with their backs against the wall.

Step up Pete Hickman and Jim Clarke as the experienced pair played some outstanding golf to run out 3&1 winners, but hopes of the tide being turned were premature.

Needing to win three of the last matches to avoid a defeat proved too much of an ask, but Burghley salvaged some honour by not losing any of them either – unusually, the final four matches were all halved by Bob Collier and Phil Hunt, Maurice Egglestone and Rob Sorrell, Colin Shearman and Mike Wright, and Geoff Kevan and George Clayton-Jones to give Toft the match by a score of 5-3.

A few days later Burghley were on the road again, this time to Sleaford, who were out for revenge after having lost at Burghley earlier in the season.

Initially it looked promising when the honours were even after the first four matches as defeats for Alan Gray and Terry Lill (2&1) and John Drury and Bob Emmins (1 hole) were balanced by outstanding wins for David Cleminson and Bill O’Driscoll (1up) and Richard Cook and David Rae (2&1).

However, the next four matches all went the way of the home side, with Ron Carter and Rowland Davies losing 2&1, Pete Hickman and Mike Wright losing 4&3, Maurice Egglestone and Alan Kinch losing 2&1, and George Clayton-Jones and Jim Clarke losing 3&2 to confirm the result as a 6-2 win for Sleaford.

Enter Elton Furze, who were welcomed to Burghley on Thursday, and at last the home side rediscovered some form.

The top four matches were all wins for Burghley, with Alan Gray and Paul Wilkinson winning 3&2, Rowland Davies and Maurice Egglestone winning 3&2, Bill Sewell and Jim Clarke winning 4&3, and Paul Sampy and John Drury winning 1 up.

Victory was assured when Pete Hickman and Peter Symonds halved the next match, followed by a narrow 1 up win for George Clayton-Jones and Mike Wright.

Dave Rae and Brian Ross-Jones fought hard but went down 3&2 while John Read and Colin Shearman lost 6&4, but the overall result was a 5.5-2.5 win for Burghley.

Tuesday saw what is always the most fiercely contested match of the year for the Seniors, their match against the Midweek Ladies.

As always, the preliminaries began with the debate about how many courtesy shots the Ladies should receive, with Alan Gray and Elspeth Irvine eventually agreeing it should be three, which turned out about right, as the match turned out to be very close.

Twelve matches were played, and there was never more than a single point between the teams throughout the fixture.

The Seniors took an early lead with Stephen Cheeseman and David Piff beating Ann Butland and Joan Hickman 2 up, but that was to be the last time they were in front.

It all came down to the last game with Ian Roberts and David Fovargue needing to win in order to halve the overall match and ensure that the Seniors retained the trophy.

But their opponents Bev Harpham and Sue Adlam clearly hadn’t read the script, and the match which had been close all day ended as a half, meaning that the Midweek Ladies regained the trophy with a 6.5-5.5 win.

The other results were Chris Taylor and Dierdre O’Sullivan beat Terry Arnold and Ken Marshall 2&1, Bob Parker and Barry Doggett halved with Pat Hudson and Pauline Crampin, Margaret Wright and Elaine Brown beat Steve Mossey and Alan Kinch 3&2, Ian McDonald and Jim Clarke beat Zillah Taylor and Joanne Wheatley 2up, Maggie Friend and Janet Kuzemko beat George Clayton-Jones and Chris Harrison-Smith 2&1, Brian Ross-Jones and Terry Wheatley halved with Margaret Middleton and Ann Garrad, Donald MacMillan and Maurice Egglestone beat Jill Unsworth and Barbara Allen 5&4, Sara Harris and Jane Mantell beat Stan Beesley and Brian Tunnicliffe 2&1, John Read and David Newell beat Jenny Walsh and Gill Webb 2&1, Janet Metcalfe and Janet Roberts beat Mike Wright and Pete Hickman 3&2.