The Team Warren's first SDL match against Torquay ended in a draw while the first Palairet round saw a substantial win, read match reports for all the details.
South Devon League
The Warren's Men's South Devon League (SDL) team played at home on Saturday 3rd May against this year’s favourites, Torquay. The 14 man teams assembled on what was a perfect day for golf; blue skies, soft fairways and lush, true greens. As ever with these matches, it was going to be close and the banter on the first tee showed that the games meant a lot to all the players selected to represent their clubs. Early news from the course suggested that the matches were all in the balance with both teams up in two matches and all square in the others. First points went to Torquay in Match 2 with Dave Cadwallader and
Richard Overton too strong for Nick Bunn and Pete Morrish, defeating them on the 15th. Match 3 was also going Torquay's way with SDL captain Garry Passmore and Andy Clarke hitting the Warren's experienced pair of John Stokes and Mike Davis with a barrage of 4 birdies to win their match on the 16th. Torquay were now 2 up and the news from Match 1, which earlier had looked to be controlled by the Warren, was not great. The Warren’s Club Chairman, Simon Carr, and Paul Fryatt were 3 up with 4 to play but some excellent golf from the Torquay pair of Roy Bovey and Mike Lees pulled the match back to all square. So 3 matches completed and Torquay were 2 1/2 points to the Warren’s 1/2 point. Could the Warren’s tail wag and save the day?
Match 4 saw the Warren’s Nick Wildren and Dave Burridge entertain the small crowd that had formed. It seemed neither team could win this one with balls in the estuary, in the car park and one bouncing off the fence protecting the railway line on the 18th green. So it seemed fitting to shake hands on it and share the points. Match 6 finally had good news for the Warren with the long hitting pair of James Allum and Jonathan Skinner defeating Torquay’s Jason Brooks and Chris Overton on the 16th. This gave the Warren their first win of the year and made the score a little more respectable at 3 to 2 in Torquay's favour. Match 5 had now reached the 18th with more good news for Team Warren as Rob Baker and Adrian Henley were one up against the competitive pair of Lee Baker & Steve Groves. Two solid shots from Nick to the centre of the green followed by 2 putts gained another valuable point and now the scores were tied at 3 a piece with the last match on the 17th hole. As with most of the SDL teams the stronger players are picked in the later matches and this saw the highly respected Steve Thorne and Dave Carter from Torquay against the Warren’s consistent Marcus Dove and up and coming Tom Joseph. Team Warren were one up playing the long the 17th but a magical 40 foot putt from Thorn for a birdie 3 put pressure on the Warren’s youngster who had hit two good shots to the front edge but then three putted.
The match now hung in the balance, all square coming down the famous 18th with out of bounds both sides, it was a matter of who could hold their nerve and win the match. Torquay were first to tee off and good drives by both players found the fairway. The Warren's Dove also found the fairway but the pressure had got to young Tom and a pushed tee shot got on to the wind and landed out of bounds, so advantage to Torquay. First to play from the fairway was Torquay's Dave Carter and a miss hit iron shot went left and out of bounds in to the car park, leaving the experienced Dove and Thorn to do battle alone. Dove was first to play and a well struck long iron went on its way, a little right and with the wind off the sea it was not coming back but heading towards Dawlish Warren railway station. It landed on the fence and fortunately (or local knowledge) bounced back just in front of the green. A sigh of disbelief came from Thorn, who must have thought it was heading out of bounds , he then composed himself to play his second shot. A fairway wood was his choice of weapon and his smooth swing sent the ball towards the green, but just as Dove’s had the wind got hold of it a little and pushed the ball onto the bank of the bunker protecting the right side of the green. With all the players from both teams and spectators watching, now was the moment for which both these experienced players play this great game. Both played reasonable chip shots but neither could convert so it was caps off and a gentleman's handshake for all as the game and match was halved. So 3 1/2 points each and a good start to the SDL season for both teams.
Next match: 10th May Warren v. Stover (A) . For further information including results and fixtures see: http://www.southdevongolf.co.uk/league.html
The clubs elite golfers headed off to Dartmouth for this year's first Palairet Trophy match against newly formed Dinnaton Golf club on Sunday 4th May.
Palairet Captain, Marcus Dove, told his team to concentrate on their own games in this awkward matchwhere they were giving the opponents 11 or 12 shots in each foursomes match.
His team used these words well and went out and won the first 4 games with powerful controlled golf. Dove, however, had to eat his words as in his match, having initially looked in control to the point of being 3 up then lost concentration and allowed the opponents to sneak back into the game. The rest of Team Warren, having assembled on the 18th, then had to watch as the last pair reaching the 18th hole all square, then had to watch Dinnaton win and get their first point in the 2014 trophy.
Final result Warren 4 to Dinnaton 1
Next match: 1st June Warren v. Budleigh Town at Okehampton. For further information including fixtures and results see: Devon Golf Union - Palairet Draw and Results page