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In continuance of an excellent relationship between Sussex and Scotland, the week of 11th March was set for three days of competition between the visitors from North of the border and the three local counties –Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex. With accommodation booked for the Scottish team in the stately surroundings of Goodwood House and dire warnings of ghostly visitations in the dead of night, Sussex provided a true Southern welcome with several inches of drifting snow, freezing cold temperatures and no prospect of golf at Goodwood for the week ahead. Alternative plans were put in place and despite the weather problems, golf was duly organised on Wednesday and Thursday for the teams. Thanks to the smooth talking Alan Covey and his powers of persuasion, a match for Scotland against Surrey was arranged for the Wednesday at the RAC Club and with minibus arranged as well the match of 9 holes foursomes and 18 holes singles was played with Surrey proving too strong and clearly more used to the cold and wintry conditions – happens a lot in Surrey!

Liphook Golf Club was the setting for the three cornered (singles only) match between Hampshire, Sussex and Scotland and on a beautiful if cold day, the course proved to be very popular with the boys and it showed with some low scoring golf played. Watchers were treated to a bevy of birdies and the occasional exceptional eagle and overall some competitive and entertaining contests. Sussex and Scotland were competing for their challenge cup for the 6th time (with the overall score of 3-2 to Scotland) and Hampshire were competing for local and trans- border bragging rights.

The first match featured two local England squad players –Harry Ellis from Hampshire and Marco Penge from Sussex as well as Andrew Burgess from Scotland.  Andrew knew he was in for a struggle after losing his ball on the first hole but he hung in strongly while the other two boys fought out their mini England battle. Marco managed to secure 2 wins but only turned his match against Harry around with an eagle on the 18th to nick the point. In the second match T J Donaldson from Hampshire won both his matches with Matt Greenfield but Matt gave himself a mountain to climb with a nightmare start. He showed his fighting spirit by losing one match at the last and salvaging a half against Blair Gavin from Scotland.

In match 3, James Lelliott from Sussex was on fire and proved too consistent and strong for his two opponents winning 8&7 and 7&5 and after 13 holes he was 4 under par. Jordan Sundborge (Hampshire) prevailed in his match against Evan Bowden from Scotland. In match 4, Fraser Dauren from Scotland put in a fine performance to win both his matches to put points on the board for his team and Arrun Singh Brar (Hampshire) just held his nerve to beat Josh Glossop from Sussex. Arrun managed to put terror into the hearts of 80 female bridge players in the clubhouse when he tried to hit his ball backwards out of a clubhouse bush –they thought he was hitting it towards them. The youngest of Sussex’s team, Charlie Strickland, battled to a win against Scotland (Lewis Bain) and a half against Josh Oddy from Hampshire. Despite his youth, Charlie competes well against boys who are older and more experienced and he showed his match-play skills in his two matches.

The overall results hinged on a strong finish from one of the sides and Sussex provided it; Jared Perks, Harry Bayley and Jack Floydd all gave quality performances to win all their individual matches and a major boost to the points total for the team’s. Scotland finished strongly too with Callum Cochrane beating Ryan Hamer from Hampshire, 14 year old Aiden Hussaine who impressed on the course all afternoon, beat Charley Crawford (Hampshire) and only lost to Harry Bayley on the 18th after his finishing birdie was matched by Harry’s. Greg Forrester from Scotland fought out a gallant half against George Roberts (Hampshire) but Jack Floydd had another under par score to gain comfortable wins against both of them.

Match results – Hampshire beat Scotland 4.5 -3.5, Sussex beat Hampshire 5.5 -2.5 and Sussex beat Scotland 6.5 -1.5 (trophy score now 3-3.) It was a good day for Sussex but after the start to the week, everybody was a winner with excellent competition on a magnificent golf course.

Many thanks to Hampshire for hosting the match, to Liphook Golf Club for agreeing to let it take place at such short notice and to the players and officials from Scotland and the three counties for making it happen.

Ian Jaggard

(One of many, past, present, future, dual or wannabe Sussex junior and team managers at Liphook on 14th March!)

Please click here for a match result sheet.


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