The annual challenge match between Worthing Juniors and the Sussex under 14 team took place
on 30th March at Worthing Golf Club.
The Upper Course at Worthing was in excellent condition for what has always been a closely
contested and fiercely fought match. The Worthing team of 12 contained six Sussex Performance
Academy- two under 16 boys, two under 14 boys and two under 13 boys - as well as four players
who are part of the County Development Academy programme. With the other two being past
members of regional county training the 2014 contest was always going to be well fought. The
Sussex team was made up of ten players from the current under 14 squad plus two from the
regional under 13 squads and the matches were all with one exception played off scratch.
In the opening match, Jake Stoneham put up a valiant fight against under 16 player James
Huggett but the win became a formality when James came up with a run of birdies. Connor
Johnson brought his under 16 experience to bear and finally saw off a stubborn resistance
from Kane Fernando with a 16th hole birdie. With a very strong Will Townsend showing why
he’s such a good prospect getting a strong win over Joshua Hardy, the early lead of 3-0 to the
home side was not a happy situation. Smiles started to return with a fine comeback win for
Jamie Dart over Worthing Captain Sam Hyde followed by an outstanding individual performance
from Harvey Evans in his match against Hayden Taylor. At that stage the state of play looked
promising for Sussex with all but one match on the course standing in their favour but a couple
of Worthing fight-backs ensured that the result of the match would go down to the final hole in
the final match. Billy Groom had a comfortable win for Worthing over Jacob Watson and then
Alfie Hutton balanced that with a fine win for Sussex over Deaglan Johnson. The youngsters in
the Sussex team were coming through with excellent wins for Ben Clarke and Zack Bacon over
Dan Sykes and Tom Dignan and then Jack Holmwood managed to hold off a charging Adam
Henty for the only half of the day. With the scores standing at 5.5 to each side and the last match
on the course all square after 16 holes the scene was set for an exciting and nervous finish.
Erik Anderberg in the only match to involve a girl was giving three shots to Megan Edwards
who showed her characteristic fighting spirit to level on the 16th before receiving her final shot
on the 17th hole. Erik was in no mood to be generous and after chipping in on the 17th for an
excellent birdie was again one up. A nervy half on the last hole secured the narrowest of wins
for Sussex with both teams and supporters watching the drama unfold.
All the players involved in the match are to be congratulated on a fine display of golf and sporting
behaviour with junior golf being the real winner. Individual performances from Will Townsend,
James Huggett and Billy Groom for Worthing, Jamie Dart, Ben Clarke, Harvey Evans, Zack Bacon
and Alfie Hutton for Sussex, were highlights and my man of the match for Sussex could be any of
those five. In the end for achieving the biggest win it has to be awarded to Harvey.
Many thanks to Worthing for an excellent afternoon
Under 14 Team Manager