On a sunny but chilly day, Royal Eastbourne hosted the annual match against the Sussex under 14 boys team. Playing 10 holes of foursomes in the morning and 18 holes of singles in the afternoon was a physical challenge for some of the younger boys and there were some tired legs at the end of the day. Despite that the standard of play was very high on both sides and the competition was very fierce – no prisoners taken!
In the foursomes, the three leading Sussex pairs all suffered defeats with two of the matches going to the final hole, before the younger boys added wins to Monty Charlton and Billy Aspital’s excellent 4and 3 win over strong opponents. Thomas Harrison and Joel Funnell had a good one up win over the Royal’s solid pairing of Tom Welch and Harri Bellfield and Lucas Durrant and Joshua Davis carved out a 3 and 1 win over equally tough opponents. So, at lunch the score stood at 5-3 to the Royal and they deserved their lead.
In the afternoon, there was some sparkling play from both teams but the winning advantage was soon to be with the Royal with Captain Alex Hughes having a very good win over Cameron Henderson and Jack Harris seeing off Sussex’s Jack Sutton which put two early points onto the morning lead. In the other two top matches, Nathan Longley and Joe White each earned hard fought halves despite Nathan shooting an approximate 3 under par round of 67. (I said the competition was tough!) Billy Aspital completed a good personal day with a 2 and 1 win and Monty Charlton managed a half in his match. It was left to two of the younger boys in the Sussex team to bring the final two points in – Joshua Hardy got an excellent 2 and 1 win despite having to give 7 shots to his opponent and Joe Fradgley brought the final win in over a hard working Ben Clarke. For the Royal, Tom Welch, Dominic Collins and Ben Hervey were particularly impressive in their afternoon wins. For Sussex, their undoubted man of the match was Billy Aspital who won both his matches but the final match score was 16.5 to 7.5 to the Royal.
The real winners on the day were the spectators who were allegedly frozen but still there at the end. Special thanks to County President, David Richardson who put in two appearances but general thanks are given to the many parents and other supporters who braved the cold easterly wind.
Real thanks must be given to Theresa and Simon Ward and Royal Eastbourne Golf Club for the excellent arrangements and allowing so much of the course to be taken up by 32 young boys and they should all be proud of the many compliments older club members were heard to make.