Over twenty clubs were represented at the Greetham Valley Seniors’ Open on Monday. On a windy yet warm day on the Lakes course, the scoring was quite brisk even off three quarter handicap. Three teams came in with 42 points and were separated on countback. B. Marriot and E. Markham from Boston Golf Club took fifth, John Taylor and Peter Wood from Greetham Valley came fourth and M. Stevens and his partner G. Nickerson from Peterborough Milton Golf Club were third.
Seniors Captain Rod Wells and his brother Peter from Castle Coombe led the field with 42 points until almost the end of the competition but a 44 came in to snatch it away from them. This is the second time in five years that this has happened to them but they were philosophical about it and said that they had had a great day out with good company and know that their day will come, hopefully next year!
East Midlands Secretary and Greetham Valley member Neil Harris, off six, and his partner Wayne Wallace from Spalding Golf Club off five took the trophy with 44 points. Neil said that they both played very well and complemented each other. On the front nine they were one under, they went even better in the back nine playing to two under. Fantastic golf considering that they only had nine shots between them to play with.
Rod Wells thanked all the competitors but paid particular thanks to scorers Mike Churchill and Bill Smith. Malcolm Barnes who couldn’t play after a long spell in hospital but who wanted to help and be involved, officiated as starter for the day.
Neil Harris, who has a lot on his plate as an author, East Midlands Secretary, playing all over the country and qualifying for the televised Trilby Trophy, has also taken on the role as Secretary for the Lincolnshire Alliance. As a consequence, something has to give and Neil has had to relinquish the role of First Team Captain.
In their last match of the season, the Greetham Valley’s First Team entertained Sutton Bridge Golf Club at home. Andrew Frisby and Ben Gasson finished with a comfortable four and two win, Brian Birchall and Ryan Tarrant, Adam Clegg and Richard Wilson finished the next two games all square. However Neil Harris and Nick Cunnington cruised to a very comfortable seven and five win. Scottie Stevenson and Ali McNaughton battled hard to secure a victory on the last hole in a match which swung backwards and forwards throughout the round. George Grant and Ray Gladwinfield won the final game four and three to secure a five to one victory for Greetham Valley to finish off the season in style.
Neil said, “It has been a hard season and at one point we had the league title in our sights but the two home defeats cancelled out the three away victories and in the end we just didn’t have the strength in depth needed to take the title. All the players have battled hard throughout the season and it has been a pleasure to lead the team in my final season in the league”.
The Ladies had good weather for their weekend medal on Sunday. Playing on the Lakes course, Lesley Young came third with a nett 76. Scratch player Sophie Beardsall, who had the lowest gross of the day with a 75 took second place. Sue Brand won the medal with a fantastic nett 71 and was cut to eighteen.
The Mixed Team started their game away to Elton Furze Golf Club with umbrellas and waterproofs to hand but apart from a short two minute shower they got away with it. The wind, with gusts of over fifty miles an hour, kept the rain away but made play very difficult. After the first four matches Elton Furze, with home advantage, led by two and a half to one and a half but the Greetham Valley team fought back to take the final two matches and the overall win. Team Captain and Ladies’ Vice Captain Bev Dolman said that it was a very tough day but she was really pleased with the way that the team had played and supported each other.
The Second Team ended their season with a great draw away at Toft Golf Club. The result keeps Greetham Valley in division two for next year. Alan Bennett who has captained the team for the last three years will be stepping down but said that over the three years he has been Captain, he has been very lucky to have had a squad of keen, eager and very enthusiastic players to choose from, many of whom have gone on to play for the First Team. In all, he has had the services of forty two different players. In his first year they were promoted to the First Division, unfortunately they were relegated in the following year but have pushed hard each year to try to get back. Alan thanked and paid tribute to all of the players for their support and wished the new Captain, who is yet to be elected, and the team, all the best for next year.