Banstead Downs A Team match
The match this year reverted back to 36 holes, with 4BBB matches in the morning and foursomes in the afternoon.
As ever, we were well looked after, with coffee and Bacon rolls before the morning play. Captain Phil Brittain started the first match with a high and handsome hook into the trees on the tricky 10th - luckily his partner Andy Inglis chose the fairway and made a sensational up and down from a bunker to go one up. Phil redeemed himself with a tap in two on 11. 2 up. The Surrey pairing continued to knit well with several birdies against an out of sorts Graham Powell and a battling Tom Cherry. The Surrey victory was eventually secured 5/4.
Jonathan Collier and Cameron Stewart represented the County for the first time in many years at the venue where they played their junior golf 30 years previously! An extremely hard fought game went to the last hole where the Banstead pairing of John Sharp and Gavin Greer came out on top. Gavin was particularly impressive - carding an impressive 2 under par.
Ben Palmer and James Molyneux played the third match against Andy Bryant and Kwan Wan. An excellent Surrey birdie on the 18th secured a well deserved half.
James Tuck and Jamie Harris were representing Surrey in the last match against Lewis Parsons and Tom Hanley. Both Surrey players had stepped into the team at the last minute after unexpected drop outs. Phil was extremely grateful that they had made themselves available to represent the county at such short notice. Lots of birdies were exchanged, but a last hole defeat was the result.
The half time score was 2.5 to 1.5 in favour of Banstead. Being an Arsenal fan, Phil is quite familiar with disappointment - but rallied the troops over a fantastic lunch of champions - ham, egg and chips.
Phil, however, did not listen to his own war cry. His missed putts and wayward drives lead to a 2 holes defeat with Andy, against Gavin and John.
Graham “never loses twice in a day around Banstead” Powell and Tom secured a handsome victory over Jonathan and Cameron in the second match.
This put Banstead into an unassailable lead. Ben and James won comfortably (5/3) to salvage some pride for Surrey against Lewis and Tom. The Surrey pairing were unbeaten on the day - an excellent achievement.
During the wait for the last match to finish, and drinks were being taken, Phil was desperately thinking of ways that Surrey could steal the victory - “the last match is worth 3 points!” and “any pairings with both players christian names beginning with ‘J’ means that they win 3 points by default!”. These pleas were rudely ignored, and James and Jamie lost on the last to Andy and Kwan anyway!.
As ever, it was a truly special day, amongst many friends, around a fabulous golf course, which was in remarkable condition.
Many congratulations to the Banstead Captain and Surrey A squad player John Sharp on securing another shield and his personal 2 from 2.
There is life in the old dog yet :)
Final score 5.5 - 2.5. We’ll be back next year.
Surrey A Team Captain