Tuesday 24th October 2017
Hampshire Seniors beat Hertfordshire at Bedfordshire GC
Phill Evans (Royal Jersey), Oscar O'Herlihy (Basingstoke), Bobby Eggo (Royal Guernsey), David Price (Test Valley), John Moore (President, Hampshire Golf), Trevor Gray (Royal Jersey), Alan Drayton (Seniors Manager), Peter Scott (Andover), Jamie Pinchon (Stoneham), Alan Mew (Stoneham), Richard Elmes (Stoneham) and Tim Gilbert (Hayling).
Hampshire Seniors added to the county’s success this season by retaining the South East League title after beating Hertfordshire at Bedfordshire GC last week (19/10).
Captain Alan Drayton, from Hockley, was able to include Walker Cup player Bobby Eggo who played against the Americans in 1987 at Sunningdale, and he was sent out first against Lewis Watchman, who got a half against the Royal Guernsey man, who also lost to Lee-on-Solent’s Steve Richardson in the 1989 English Amateur Championship final at Royal St George’s, having lost the 1987 final to Hampshire county team-mate Kevin Weeks.
But Hampshire had already taken the lead by the time the Channel Islander had reached the 18th with Stoneham's England Seniors international Alan Mew giving Hertfordshire’s Bob Peacock a long walk in from the 13th having gone six down.
Hertfordshire who had made the much shorter journey to The Bedfordshire GC, hit back with wins against Royal Jersey pair Trevor Gray and Phill Evans, but Hayling’s Tim Gilbert hit back winning the 18th against Gordon Stewart to win by two while Stoneham’s former county captain Richard Elmes was also walking in from the 13th in the penultimate match having beaten Nigel Lawrence 6&5 to make it 31/2-21/2 to Hampshire.
When Test Valley’s David Price beat Phil Embleton 2&1 Hampshire were within touching distance of the trophy and despite Warwick Grant beating Basingstoke’s Peter Scott 4&3, clubmate Oscar O’Herlihy also won the 18th to beat Herts veteran Gauis Potton by two and seal the victory.
Stoneham’s Jamie Pinchon held on for a half in the final match to give his team a two-point margin of victory.
Earlier in the season, Hampshire beat Surrey 61/2-31/2 at Rowlands Castle to get their title defence off to a good start.
But a 6-4 defeat against Sussex at Bognor Regis meant they could not afford to drop any more points and and a 71/2-21/2 victory away against Dorset at Ashley Wood set up a cliff-hanger for their final South Division match of the season.
Hampshire needed to win against Kent by at least 7-3 to win the South Division title and qualify on game points and produced a brilliant 81/2-11/2 scoreline at North Hants in September, to make the final for a second year in a row.
The two teams have now met in two of the four finals they have played in since 2009 - Hertfordshire ran-out winners in 2015 before Hampshire broke their duck with a 7-3 win over BB&O twelve months ago.
When they met 8 years ago Hampshire were able to include Jersey based ex-Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell in their line-up after the La Moye member was available for selection for the first time since reaching the qualifying age of 55.