The weather was overcast with a stiff breeze blowing when Stoke by Nayland took on Burnham in the final of The John Day Trophy held at Three Rivers Golf Club.
The matches overall were played in good spirit.
The first three matches were played with Stoke giving a shot in each but this didn’t seem to hinder Tony Carman and Bob Filer who won 2/1 and 8/7 respectively. Mike Webley who was following them had an off day and lost 6/5.
Our middle order of Tony Denmead, Malcolm Norton, Peter Garnett and Peter Hele had a mixed bag with only Malcolm winning 6/5. The two Peters and Tony all lost narrowly.
We were all waiting around the 18th green as word had spread that we needed two wins from two to win the match. No pressure Adrian Cherry and Norman Davidson who had replaced Peter Jay at the last hour due to illness.
Adrian’s approach to the 18th was good and his opponent Fred also reached the green but was a good distance from the hole. To everyone’s amazement he sunk the putt. This left Adrian a tricky seven footer for the half and to win his match but such are the gods of golf his putt slid by thereby giving both players a half.
Norman followed being 1up and by now we needed Norman to win his match to take us to a play off. The pressure was building and both players were feeling it as their approached the green. Norman putting first from the fringe to 4 feet and his opponent bit nearer. Norman slid his putt by and to the suprise and joy of the Stoke fans so did his opponent giving Norman the half and a game win.
A play off beckoned and once again Malcolm Norton volunteered his services. Burnham’s play off man Stephen had lost heavily to Bob Filer so we were all optimistic.
Unfortunately this was not to be as Steve from Burnham sent a good drive down the middle whereas Malcolm unluckily pulled his tee shot under a tree. After a drop he hit a good shot toward the green but his opponents second found the green and after a gimme putt the hole was conceded.
We all know how it is to win a play off and now we were on the other end so to speak.
The team played well considering that most players have only played the course a few times as it doesn’t feature in our Inter Club fixtures.
Well done to Burnham. It was a very tight game and had everyone guessing until the last. Very well done to the Stoke team who played well. We look forward to next year with the knowledge that we are good enough to go all the way.
Thanks to all who supported by caddying and encouraging our guys on.
Many thanks to the Team Manager, Lionel Hatch, for his report of today’s final.
Special thanks must also go to Lionel for his efforts during this year’s run to the final - he has done an outstanding job despite the pressures on him as Team Manager. Thanks Hatchy, you efforts, enthusiasm and hard work has been so much appreciated.