Winter League pace setters are thinning out
After the completion of Round Three of Burghley Park’s Winter League, only two of the 32 teams still have a 100 per cent record, Dean Vaughan and Lewin Auciello in League A and Steve Coultas and Jason Rudkin in League D.
Both teams had to work hard to retain their records, however, being taken to the last hole in their matches, and both emerging 1 up winners.
Vaughan and Auciello were pushed hard all the way by Stewart Pringle and Andrew Vaughan, but courtesy of their victory now have a clear lead at the top of Division A.
Pringle and Vaughan slipped from second to fourth as a consequence of their loss. Bob Emmins and Chris Bradshaw leapfrogged them into second spot after a commanding 5 up defeat of Andy Stewart and Ryan Birtles, and are two points behind the leaders.
Cathal McHugh and Maurice Egglestone lie third on six points after an 8 up demolition of David Jackson and Javan Argent. In the other match, Thomas Bonnett and Rob McGarr secured their first win of the campaign with a 4 up win over Callum Pridmore and James Vaughan.
League B is boiling up nicely, with only three points separating all eight teams after a weekend that saw the top three teams all lose. Previous leaders Chris Quinn and Hugh Riddlesdell suffered their first loss of the season as Daniel Elliott and Matthew Pettitt overran them 7 up, which jumped them from fourth spot to first place in the division, with Quinn and Riddlesdell falling to third.
Paul Ramm and Richard Allen leapt from fifth to second as a result of their 3 up defeat of Jordan and Adam Mayman, who dropped from second to fourth. Rob Tap and Mike Powell got their first points of the season, beating Rob Fisher and Gary Steadman 4 up, whilst Phil Hunt and Keith Duff also opened their account with a last hole defeat of Alan Cole and Chris Townsend 1 up, courtesy of a long range uphill putt on the last.
League C is also tight at the top, with the three leading teams all winning to open up a gap to the chasing pack. Bob Howe and Kevin Toomey stay top on seven points following their narrow 1 up victory over Stuart Blessett and Martin Ash, while James Grant and Stewart Kirkpatrick’s 4 up win against Peter Barnes and Dave Gibson kept them in second place on the same score. Dave Tilley and Graham Bedford stay third after their 2 up win over William Hanson and Matthew Lord. In the other match, Gary Harrison and Dave Marsden beat Bill O’Driscoll and Terry Austin 5 up.
Steve Coultas and Jason Rudkin kept up their 100 per cent record in League D, and lead by two points as a result. But they were taken all the way by a determined effort from Bob Pimlott and Chris Lees, before running out 1 up winners on the last.
John Mayman and Paul Wilkinson continued their climb up the table and are now in second place with seven points, after a solid 4 up win over John Coulter and Jim McEwan, who slipped to third spot. John Tyrrell and Stewart Ward overcame Brian Barber and Doug Hunter 2 up, whilst Mark Norman and Neil Harden beat Graham Camp and Steve Hopkins, also 2 up.
There is now a mid-season break until the New Year, when competition for the two qualifying places in each division will intensify.
All teams still have a mathematical chance of making it through to the knockout stage, although experience suggests that the midseason leaders are always strongly favoured.
It will soon be all change in both the Ladies’ and the Seniors’ sections, following their AGMs last week.
Ladies’ captain Gill Bedford reported on a very good year for the Ladies, and will hand over to incoming Ladies’ captain Gail Hunt in March. Seniors’ captain David Porteous reported that over £1,000 had been raised by the Seniors for Thorpe Hall, and will pass over the baton to incoming Seniors’ captain Maurice Egglestone early next year.