Greetham juniors hold their nerve after success in sudden death drama
Greetham Valley Juniors continued their run in the Royal British Legion Junior Golf Challenge (Poppy Cup) with a fantastic home win on the Valley course against a very tough Redditch team.
The team was brilliantly led by Joe Sargood (8) who captained the side and who also went out first with Wilby Toothill (16) as his partner.
The competition is decided over two matches (pairs matchplay) by the aggregate of holes won over each set of 18 holes and Joe and Wilby came home after their 18 with a lead of four holes, this after losing the first hole.
The second match out was 12 year-old Winston Childs (17) and 11 year-old Isabella Condie (20) (possibly the youngest combination in the competition) and they struggled against more mature opponents who were far longer in their shots but they fought magnificently and, although five down at the final hole, they did not give up.
Greetham needed a win on the final hole to reduce the overall aggregate score to level and all four players hit tee shots to the green.
With the pin at the back of the sloping green and both teams looking certain to score pars after their tee shots, Isabella had a down-hill putt (from the apron) and nailed the hole for a birdie.
This put too much pressure on the opposition who needed a similar birdie to halve the hole and hence achieve the win but they could not.
The many supporters from each side who had followed their teams around the course were set to continue into the showdown.
Going into sudden death the rules stated that the two lowest handicappers from each team should play together and Joe and Wilby set out together again.
The first hole was halved but the par three 16th (played as the second hole) proved decisive.
The three-tiered green with the pin on the middle level is always a challenge in terms of the tee shot and, while Wilby hit right of the green, both his opponents also missed the green to the left and right. Joe’s tee shot soared onto the correct tier and he waited for the opposition to play.
Wilby played his second shot onto the middle tier while the Redditch players missed the middle level and left themselves with overly-challenging putts for their pars.
Wilby neatly putted out for his three and for the team victory on the 20th hole.
Both teams showed great sportsmanship throughout and should be congratulated on a great match.
Greetham are now in the final four (from 158 teams who started) and the semi-finals and finals are to be played at Daventry Staverton Park on October 13-15 where the other teams will be Bondhay, Colchester and Weymouth.