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Burghley reclaim trophy in annual trophy tussle

Pete Hickman claims the September Stableford at Burghley Park. (4160974)
Pete Hickman claims the September Stableford at Burghley Park. (4160974)

Burghley Park members were delighted to get back on the course following its closure for the Horse Trials with good turn-outs for the competitions on Sunday.

Seventy-eight players turned out for the men’s September Stableford which was won by Pete Hickman (10) who carded the best score of the day with an impressive 40 points.

He started fast, shooting just two over gross for the front nine to give him 21 points at the turn.

While unable to maintain this very high level of performance, he managed to negotiate the back nine in just four over gross for 19 points, ensuring that he was the only player on the day to reach the 40 point mark.

This, along with other recent strong performances, saw his handicap cut to eight.

In Division One, Mick Marriott (9) continued his run of good form, coming in with 37 points to secure top spot, birdying three holes on the back nine for a return half of 21 points, which also included a blob.

Mark Duffen (8) and Barrie Dawson (8) had a good tussle for second spot, both coming in with 37 points but Duffen edging in front on countback, leaving Dawson to rue his failure to score on two holes in the front nine. Duffen was cut to 7.

Hickman took the Division Two prize, ahead of Neil Harden (10) on 38 and Peter Barnes (11) on 36. Harden was cut to nine.

Division Three was won by Mike Powell (17) with 39 points, his 21 point back nine taking him clear of Tommy Johnson (16) and James Wright (16) who both carded 38, Johnson taking second place on countback and coming down to 15.

On the same day, Burghley Park’s Ladies played a bogey competition for the Barnes Bowl with 23 vying for the trophy.

In this challenging format scoring is always challenging, but Sara Harris (28) and Christine Taylor (20) made it look easy, both coming home with an impressive score of +4.

Harris, who is having a great year as she settles into the game, edged it on countback to claim the trophy, with Taylor at least having the satisfaction of being cut to 19. Christine Wright (25) claimed third spot on +2.

Burghley Park lady vice-captain Michelle Powell receives the Reverend Faithfull Trophy from Charnwood captain Rod Darby. (4160968)
Burghley Park lady vice-captain Michelle Powell receives the Reverend Faithfull Trophy from Charnwood captain Rod Darby. (4160968)

Saturday saw Burghley’s Mixed team welcome Charnwood Forest to Stamford for their annual 1890 Club match for the Reverend Faithfull Trophy.

Both clubs were formed way back in 1890 and established a relationship three 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 home side was determined to reclaim the trophy which they had lost away at Charnwood last year, but didn’t get off to a good start when Lynda Lancaster and Bob Collier lost one down in the first match.

However, Michelle Powell and Mike Beaumont, out at two, stemmed the tide with a good one up win to level the tie before wins for Anne Fensom and Mike Powell (6&5) and Carol Johnson and Mick Marriott (3&1) made the score 3-1 to Burghley.

A fighting half for Janet Duff and Brian Plowright (the latter having an uncomfortable encounter with a thicket of burdock seeds whilst looking for his ball on the third) strengthened Burghley’s position which was just as well as Charnwood weren’t finished yet.

Sheila Mayman and Keith Duff found themselves pitted against inspired opponents and went down 4&3 and then Marilyn Marriott and Jim Clarke had a similar experience, losing 3&2, and suddenly it was all square with two matches to go.

Barbara Newell and John Mayman found themselves in a battle that went right to the wire, but hung on to win one up on the last, meaning that just a half in the last match would bring the trophy back to Burghley.

Mollie Plowright and David Shales made no mistake, securing a 2&1 victory which gave Burghley the match 5.5-3.5.

Burghley Park’s C team traditionally play concurrent away fixtures on Horse Trials Saturday and once again teams were dispatched to Greetham Valley and Rutland County with excellent outcomes.

C team captain Robb Tapp led the team visiting Greetham Valley, hoping to repeat last year’s impressive away win.

It didn’t start well with Tapp and his partner Rob McGarr going down to a narrow defeat one down, but from then on it was all Burghley.

Bill O’Driscoll and Dave Tilley put the visitors ahead with a 2&1 win before Scott Downie and Jamie Crowson extended the lead with their 3&1 victory to put Burghley two clear.

Mike Beaumont and Steve Coultas emerged with a two up win and Matt Payton and Mark Saggers kept up the pressure with a 3&1 success.

Further wins for Bob Pimlott and Jack Sullivan (3&1) and Stewart Ward and Neil Harden (3&2) made the outcome secure for Burghley, before a half for David Shales and David Brailsford in the last match made the final score 6.5-1.5.

In the other C Team match that day, at Rutland County, Burghley found themselves having a much tougher time.

Mike Powell and Paul Evans got the visitors away well with a convincing 3&2 win which saw Paul plunder an ace on the 307-yard par four 12th hole.

Tim Chapman and Richard Cook extended the lead with another 3&2 victory, but te home side narrowed the deficit when Charlie Gardiner and John Tilley went down 2&1 before Stuart Pringle and Alan Gray steadied the ship with a good half.

When Charles Cade and Stewart Kirkpatrick were beaten two down in the penultimate match, Rutland County were level and everything depended on the last match on the course.

David Shales and Cathal McHugh made no mistake though, knitting together well to come in 3&1 winners, to give Burghley the match by the narrow 3.5-2.5 margin.

As Burghley Park’s seniors’ team season approaches its end, captain George Clayton-Jones is wondering where their consistency has gone.

It’s been an up and down season, but hopes were high when Burghley travelled to Sleaford, who were out for revenge after having lost at Burghley earlier in the season.

It didn’t last long as Clayton-Jones and Maurice Egglestone were crushed 7&6 in the first match before Dave Rae and Peter Symonds restored some of the visitors’ dignity with a 4&3 win to square the tie.

However, losses for David Cleminson and Bill Sewell (5&4), and Richard Cook and Paul Wilkinson (one down) put Burghley on the back foot again before Brian Plowright and Keith Duff came back strongly over the final holes to halve their match.

Rob Sorrell and Pete Hickman kept the tie alive with a 2&1 win, but losses in the last two matches sealed Burghley’s fate as Bill Purchase and Ron Carter went down 6&4, and Dave Lennie and Phil Hunt were beaten 3&1.

The final outcome was a convincing 5.5-2.5 win for Sleaford who are proving to be one of Burghley’s bogey sides.

The September Midweek Stableford took place the day after Burghley Park reopened following the Horse Trials and attracted a field of 44 players.

Despite the course works carried out during the closure, scoring was very impressive with more than a third of the field scoring 37 points or more and five players carding 40-plus points.

Victory was claimed by Geoff McDonald (11) with 43 points, but it was very close with Peter Hopkins (20) coming in with the same score but losing out on countback.

McDonald played steadily throughout, going through each half in just two over gross for 21 points out and 22 points back.

Hopkins went off like a rocket, reaching the turn in just four over gross for 24 points, but was unable to maintain such momentum scoring 19 points on the way back. Both players were cut two shots, McDonald to nine and Hopkins to 18.

McDonald took the Division One win, ahead of Terry Austin (11) on 40, and Russell Compton (9) also on 40. Both were cut one shot.

Division Two was won by Hopkins, but he was run close by Geoff Jones (23) who finished with 42 points (and was cut to 21), with Barry Doggett (20) in third place with 38, earning a cut to 19.

Unluckiest player of the day was Piers Compton (15) who went round in just seven over par gross for 44 points, but was disqualified for writing an incorrect handicap on his card.

However, since his score stood for handicap purposes he was cut from 15 to 11, a rather bittersweet outcome.

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