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The annual challenge match between the three levels of the Performance Academy took place on 5th October at its usual location Peacehaven Golf Club and resulted in a very close contest with all three possible results on the cards as the last matches were finishing.

A bright and early start at 8.30 with four triangular foursomes matches played over 9 holes got the match underway and the lead in the competition changed hands as each group of three pairs finished making it exciting for the packed stands behind the 9th green! In the first matches out, Harry Bayley and Chris Stoneham (U18) proved a strong pairing taking 3 out of 4 points but a fighting performance from Arthur Drake and Josh Davis (U14) took a half in each of their matches leaving the Strachan twins arguing over who had played well enough to claim their solitary morning point. In the second match, Charlie Hilton and Will Townsend (U14) coolly defeated both their opponents and in their own match Joe White and James Huggett (U16) took the honours against Sam Jarvis and Tom Bailey (U18). In the last two matches the under 16s fought back hard with George Ounstead and George Mills getting a win against Rae Bicknell and Tom Welch (U14) and halving with Marcus Sewell and Charlie Strickland (U18) who also saw off the U14 pair; in the final match Jack Sutton and Lucas Durrant (U16) ensured a lead at the halfway stage by taking a win against Jake Stoneham and Joel Funnell(U14) and halving with Joe Morley and Tom Thurloway (U18) but Joel and Jake squeezed a win in their match against Tom and Joe. That left the score at a tight under 16s at 9, under 14s at 8 and under 18s at 7 points.

After a breakfast bacon roll, the singles matches over 18 holes got underway.

Again the matches all proved very close with many going to the last hole meaning that the result of the overall match was in doubt right until the end. In the match of the Captains, the spoils were shared showing the quirkiness which match-play can sometimes throw up. Harry Bayley (U18) beat Arthur Drake (U14) who beat James Huggett (U16) who in turn beat Harry. So after 1 completed match, no change in the points. The under 16s then went on a winning streak with Ally Strachan coming back strongly after his single point foursomes beating Chris Stoneham (U18) and Josh Davis (U14) with Chris prevailing against Josh on the last green. Callum Strachan (U16) also came back well beating Tom Welch (U14) and halving with Tom Bailey (U18) but Tom Welch won the battle of the Toms on the last where all three matches in this group finished. In the next group of matches Joe White (U16) was in imperious form and had easy wins over Sam Jarvis (U18) and Charlie Hilton (U14) but the two brothers Sam and Charlie fought hard to the last green and a half was a fair result in their match. Having beaten Sam in the foursomes, Charlie took home the family bragging rights for a while. After four matches in the afternoon, the under 16s looked to have the trophy in their grasp but a fighting finish from the under 14s and the under 18s made for an exciting last hour. In match 5, Marcus Sewell (U18) and George Mills (U16) had a real tussle with yet another match decided on the 18th green and a deserved half for each of them but neither could cope with the outstanding Will Townsend who again won both his matches for a perfect record on the day. In match 6, Tom Thurloway (U18) was 5 under par when both his matches finished “out in the country” and Jack Sutton (U16) came out on top in a tigerish scrap with Rae Bicknell. In the last two matches, the under 16s managed to make it a much closer result by managing to collect no points and strong finishes by Jake Stoneham (1 win and 1 half) and  Joel Funnell (2 wins) brought the under 14s into serious contention while Charlie Strickland (1 win and 1 half) and Joe Morley (1 win and a loss) did their best to catch up for the under 18s so despite Lucas Durrant and George Ounstead having a blank finish for the under 16s, the calculations showed that the under 16s had won by 1 point from the under 14s with the under 18s a further point behind.

Man of the match has to be Will Townsend with 8 points out of 8 for the under 14s; top scorers for the other two teams were Charlie Strickland with 6 for the under 18s and Joe White with 6 for the under 16s.

Final result – Under 16s 25 points, under 14s 24 points and under 18s 23 points.

Congratulations to all the boys for a great competition

Ian Jaggard (Manager of all the teams so a winner no matter what!)

Please click here for a full result sheet. 

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