Team Warren hosted top of the table Dainton Park at the Warren on Saturday 7th in the South Devon League. Read on for the Match report
Dainton fielded a strong team after their first defeat in 5 years at home to Stover in the previous game with low handicappers and long hitters. Looking at the start sheet you could see the team was mixed up with experience and youth with two farther and sons in the team and two pairs of brothers.
In match one it was father and son Mike and Mike Pennington taking on Team Warren's Heath McDonald and Simon Rooke. This game hung in the balance all the way round with the match all square after 9 holes but wayward second shots from the Dainton pair on the 12th gave Team Warren a chance to get some daylight from their opponents and go two up. Pars on holes 13,14 and 15 kept the home side 2 up and all looked good when Heath hit a solid long iron to 12 feet on the tough 16th and young Simon Rooke could afford to smile but those who have played golf know it's never over and young Mikey Pennington showed real class to hit a long iron to 2 feet which was conceded for a two; wiping the smile off young Rooke's face and leaving Heath a tricky putt for the half which slid agonisingly wide. Off to 17 to see if the farther and son duo could keep the game going but two real class shots from Heath put the game away and the first point on the board was for Team Warren.
Match 2 was also extremely close with Dainton arriving at the 17th 1 up but with a strong left to right wind these closing holes were going to be tricky. Both Warren players hit good shots into the fairway followed by Dainton's Carl Evans but the estuary gathered up Owen Williams drive leaving Evans to fight this hole alone. Two more solid shots put the pressure on young Evans and a pulled second followed by three putts gave the hole to Team Warren match all square. Four solid pars on the 18th saw the match halved and the points shared.
Match 3 had youth against experience with the latter coming through to win for Team Warren. Some great links golf played by Stephen Mayes with his playing partner Adrian Henley dove tailing well when needed! . So another point on the board, could this be a shock in the making with Team Warren 2 1/2 points to Daintons 1/2 a point.
Match 4 saw Dainton's Peter Kneebone and Gary Taylor in control with consistent golf to win 3 and 2; bringing the match closer with just a point between the teams.
On the course Dainton were up in Match 5, all square in Match 6 but the ever consistent Chris McGill and Curtis Penalkon from Team Warren had won Match 7 with a 4 and 3 victory. Could team Warren cause an upset or would Dainton's strength pull back a half?
Match 5 reached the 16th all square and a magical birdie 2 from Steve Henson gave Dainton the lead but a nett birdie on the 17th from Jonathan Skinner brought the game back to all square. All four players made pars on the last for a deserved half point for both teams. Team Warren had taken a 2 point lead and with only 1 game on the course it was now about how many points they could win by to boost them up the table.
Match 6 reached the 18th hole all square. Could Team Warren nick this game and send shock waves around the South Devon League? Up first were Daintons pair and a pushed drive from Dave Henson bounced out of bounds putting the pressure onto his partner John Jones who slow swing sent the ball off to the right side landing In bounds but two more bounces to the right saw his ball very close to the boundary line. News filtered back from the crowd that this too was out of bounds by inches, all Team Warren had to do was to get a ball in play and surely the match would be theirs. Up first stepped Marcus Dove who had changed his club to an iron for safety and aimed well left but a miss hit shot saw his ball dive into the heather and gorse. Could young Liam Brooks find the fairway? One of beauties of youth is the 'no fear attitude' and he stood up hitting his drive straight down the middle as if it was a practice match. Dainton's pair tried three of the tee but when neither found the green with their fourth shots it was hand shakes on the fairway and a great win for Team Warren 5 points to 2.
So final result Warren 5 to Dainton 2, well done Team Warren!
For full SDL results see the South Devon League website.