Brean strengthen their position at the top

PUBLISHED: 09:43 03 June 2011

Mendip Spring juniors.

Mendip Spring juniors.

Archant

Brean strengthen their position at the top of the Avalon League.

THE Brean Avalon B team who are currently in the upper reaches of Division 6 continued their good form.

They made the short trip to Weston and came home with a 3-2 success which strengthened their league position.

The seniors battled against the seemingly ever present breeze in their monthly medal last week and only one player broke par. George Thomas who returned a creditable nett 70 in trying conditions and with it reduced his handicap by a shot.

Second place two strokes back was Roger Phillips, while Barry Tucker had the best gross score of the day, but had to settle for third in the handicap part of the competition.

The first event in the West Region PGA season was held at Oake Manor in Taunton last week. Both Brean professionals were hoping to get their ‘Race to Woodbury’ campaign off to good starts but unfortunately neither managed the results they were hoping for.

David Haines made the cut, but then suffered a couple of poor holes on the second day as he finished well down the leaderboard. He did fare better than his Brean colleague Andrew March, who had a nightmare opening eight holes and failed to qualify for the second day.

The event’s format sees some amateur golfers play alongside the pros in the final round and Brean featured well up the leaderboard in this event as Roy Baker carded 34 points to finish in an excellent sixth position.

■ WESTON B hosted Bath B in a Bristol & District League Division 7 match.

After opening the season with three straight defeats, Weston urgently needed a victory and fielded a strong side. The opening pair of Nathan Bateman and Ian Hudson were surprisingly 3 down after seven holes, but fought back to secure a 2&1 victory.

Nigel Browne and Tim Rees played very solidly and the pair birdied the 14th to win the match 5&4, being level par at that stage. Graham Hicken and Andy Balcombe had an up and down match with experienced opponents. They were two down early on, but three birdies in four holes saw the match swing dramatically in their favour. They moved into a three hole lead only to be quickly pegged back to all square, before finally winning on the 18th green.

Roger Magor and Gary Homer came up against a strong Bath pair, who took a liking to the Weston greens and defeated the home pair 4&3. Two promising juniors from Bath took on Westons’ James Popham and Matt Pearson, but were shown exactly what it takes to perform at county level, the Weston pair winning comfortably 7&6. The final match result was a much needed 4-1 win for Weston.

The return of this fixture was but a few days later on Sunday as Weston travelled to Bath. John McGrail made his competitive debut for Weston, partnering Ian Hudson.

The Weston pair were behind early on, and never quite got back into the match, eventually losing 3&2. Nigel and James Browne were one up after eight holes, but a couple of birdies, followed by two chip-ins by their opponents turned the game on its head, Bath prevailing on the 15th green.

Sam Fernley and Pete Blunden were four down with four to play, but staged a rousing comeback, taking the game all the way to the 18th, only to just lose out by one down. Gary Homer and Graham Hicken did not have their normal straight game on the day, and they lost 7&6.

The only Weston winners were Carl Hall and Rich Magor who came to the last hole one up. Despite laying up off the tee, Rich saved his best until last, a superb bunker shot from short of the green setting up the halved hole that gave the Weston pair a win. The final result was a 4-1 win for Bath, a reversal of the score earlier in the week.

The Avalon B side continued their disappointing start to the season with a 3-2 loss at home to Brean A on Sunday.

Dan Hewlett and Steve Blackaller had a convincing 4-3 win and were never behind. Kenton Simpson and Adrian Edwards won 2-1 in the final match, but the game was lost by then. Steve Ham and Andy Smith lost 3-1, Mikey Brueford and Jack Radcliffe despite getting level after three down after three, lost their match and vice-captain Steve Corrick and Andy Skinner lost 2&1.

From the ladies’ section, the EWGA Medal was won by Kaley Davey with a nett 70, followed by Pam Hudson (71) and Reine O’Reilly (72).

■ IT was back to the grindstone at Wedmore this week as both the seniors’ and club held their monthly medals.

The seniors started in blustery weather turning to rain in the afternoon. This did not stop some good scores. John Sanderson played through the rain, but still recorded a nett 69 which won Division 1 from Stephen Lawrence on countback. Tony Roe was one shot behind in third place.

There was another tight finish in Division 2, which was won by Frank Denniston with nett 70 on countback from Richard Blake. Mike Tanswell was a further two shots back in third place.

Best score of the day was in Division 3, which was won by Ron Walton with a nett 68. There was a neat progression in this division as John Bussell was one shot back in second and Geoff Bliss a further shot back in third.

Conditions had not changed much by Saturday for the club medal, but there was a spectacular score of 63 from Greg Cox to win Division 3. This was not only four shots clear of second placed Alan Hill, but four shots better than any other scores. Geoff Poole came third in the division with 69.

There was a close finish in Division 1 which went to Mike Snelgrove (67) on countback from Terry Edwards, with James Vowles one shot behind in third. Martin Wilyman also scored 67 to win Division 2, four shots clear of Richard Tye and Mike Atkins who came second and third respectively. Val Webber (76) and Saybria Sims (77) were the best ladies on the day.

The worst conditions were on Thursday for the ladies’ Stableford, with the strongest winds and some rain as well. All the players struggled which made Alison Dodkin’s 32 points in her birthday week a deserving winning score.

Sue Tarry was second in silver division with 30 and Claire Biggs a further two points behind in third. Bronze division players struggled even more with Glenda Donald (30) just beating June Smith on countback and Eileen Gillibrand five points adrift in third.

■ WESTON seniors’ Salmon & Vets Trophies: Mo Sweeney (winner of the Salmon Cup) 39 pts; Gary Homer 38; Graham Somerville 37; Keith Davey (winner of the Vets Trophy) 36; John Atherton 35; Brian Whiddett 35; Roy Hodgin 35; Terry Holden 34.

■ MENDIP Spring Golf Club member Sam Day has just won the Somerset County Championship held at a blustery Minehead & West Somerset course.

The pace was set early by local player Warren Knight who was out in the first group and scored an impressive 73. This was matched by Clevedon junior Myles Angell, but Day returned a 71. With Clevedon’s Ashley Mansell being at level par with 72 and several others on 74, the afternoon round would prove decisive.

With no let-up in the force of the wind, conditions were not easing and Knight came home in 74 to set a target of 147. However, the morning leader Day continued his steady progress and returned to the clubhouse with another 71 and an overall score of 142.

The climax came on the 18th when Matt Kippen required a par and Craig Adams a birdie to force a play-off. Kippen finished with a bogey and finish alongside Adams and Mansell on 143.

Countback on the better afternoon round saw Adams finish second, ahead of Kippen and Mansell. Kippen also won the JMM Richardson Trophy for the best Colt, with Angell winning the Arthur Evans Cup for the best junior.

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