Hardy A v Crane Valley
Came Down went to Crane Valley needing 2.5 points from 8 games to secure the Division 3 Championship and complete an incredible league and cup double. Crane were the only team that could prevent this, and needed 6 wins from 8 to knock Came off top spot.
Gareth Hughes, back in the side after a recent few losses found himself 2 down through 8, but birdies through the turn and some rare consistent play got him to being up going down the final hole. A birdie on 18 secured a 2up win and a first point on the board for Came. 1-0.
Scratch Club Champion, Mark Stickley made his first appearance of the season. However he was playing their Club Champion who flew out of the blocks to take an early lead. Mark battled hard and won a few holes back, but ultimately his opponent kicked on and secured a 3&2 win. 1-1.
Captain Ford opened up with a birdie on the first but was soon pegged back from giving two shots away in the first five holes to go 1 down. But Ryan won holes 7,8,9 and 10 to go 3up, but again his opponent clawed back holes on 11 and 14 using his shots. A birdie on 15 and 16 from the Crane number 3 put Ryan 1 down on the 17th tee. He couldn’t win a hole coming in and ultimately lost only his second match of the year. 1-2.
Geraint Hughes returned to the side after a serious operation and got off to a flyer. The Welsh Wizard was back to his ruthless best and was 3 up for the majority of the back nine and secured a fantastic 3&2 Win. 2-2.
Vice Captain Steve Wells played another great game and put himself in a fantastic position being 2up with 3 holes to play. However bogies on 16 and 17 gave the Crane player some hope. Steve missed the green with his approach on the 18th while his opponent was on the green in regulation. A fantastic chip left him a 6 footer across the slope for the all important half. But the putt just ran out of pace and the ball missed the hole on the low side giving the Crane player victory. 2-3
Stuart Chainey made a slow start and struggled to fight back against a very steady opponent. Although Stuart won a couple of holes on the back nine, his opponent found an extra gear and shook hands on the 16th for a 3&2 win. 2-4.
Paul Walker was making his Hardy A debut after a fantastic summer of match play. Understandably very nervous, he went 4down through 7 holes. However a monumental fight back saw his game get back to all square after 14 holes. Unfortunately the momentum shifted back to the home player, who won a couple of holes in a row to secure a 2&1 win. A fantastic performance from Paul. 2-5.
The whole match and ultimately, the whole season came down to the penultimate game involving Tony Howe. Being 2 down for most of the back nine, Tony battled hard to be all square going down the 17th. That hole was halved by the players and a nerve-racking final hole unfolded. Both players hit perfect drives down the right hand side of the fairway to open up the green. The Crane player went first and pushed it to the right and long. But the ball managed to grab the back of the green. Tony hit a fine shot towards the flag, but the crosswind and the upslope into the green prevented the ball from hopping onto the green. The Crane player putted first and left his putt 12 feet short, downhill, across the slope. Tony then attempted to bump his ball up the green, however a slight miss hit left the ball 15 feet short of the hole. Tony hit a great putt, just missing the cup and running the ball 18 inches past the hole. The Crane player then hit his putt. The ball trickled down to the hole and just missed on the high side. Tony still needing to make the putt stood up and slotted it straight in the middle of the hole. A halved hole and match and the all important half point to secure the title for Came Down Golf Club. An unbelievable climax to an incredible season.
Well down the players who battled hard at Crane Valley and the other ten players who all contributed points to the team this year to help Came get over the line. This will go down in history as one of the best seasons ever after winning the cup the week before.
Congratulations to Ryan and his team and we hope they can replicate this success next season.