Last updated: 11/04/2017 at 17:10Tweet
Thornton Cup – Round 1
Wanstead G.C. v Frinton G.C.
Frinton were presented with a difficult away tie to previous Thornton Cup winners Wanstead Golf Club.
The Frinton squad arrived bright and early, lining up, resplendent in their new team jumpers to have a photo shoot on the Wanstead practice putting green. (Jumpers generously sponsored by MJH Computer Services and TLS Car Sales).
In his customary Churchillian team briefing, Frinton Captain, Vince McAuley thanked Frinton Club Captain – David Joshua and his wife Audrey for their support. Malcolm Withycombe was unwell and could not travel, but he sent the team his best wishes.
On the first tee, the players were presented with a beautiful sunny day, with a light southerly breeze. In the early going of the Foursomes, Frinton held their own – with only one or two holes in it at the halfway stage. Indeed, Frinton pairings of Irwin/Tanner and Hide/McAuley were all square with four holes to play. In the end, only James Hide and Mitch McAuley managed a victory (James Hide putted in from off the 18th green to help snatch a 1 up victory) – the score at lunch was Wanstead 4 Frinton 1. – Frinton scores: Peter Webster/Rob Trotman lost 2&1; Peter Irwin/Tig Tanner lost 2&1; Ed Glease/Reece Balls lost 3&1; James Hide/Mitch McAuley won 1 up; Simon O’Brien/Hamish Stubbs lost 3&2.
The Wanstead course looked beautiful, but a lack of rain meant that the greens, although true, were a bit slow to putt on and decidedly spiteful to pitch into – hence there was a premium on straight play and approaching the long narrow greens from the front.
John Nolan and all his colleagues at Wanstead gave Frinton a very warm welcome and the tasty lunch before the afternoon singles did not disappoint.
Frinton needed to win seven of the 10 afternoon singles to achieve victory and this was clearly a tall order. However, with Peter Irwin leading the team out at number 1, brisling with intent, not to disappoint, Peter ran out a comfortable 4 and 3 winners. After five holes, Frinton were in a strong position, with Wanstead Captain John Nolan remarking “I do not see where we are going to get the 4 points we need”.
As the afternoon progressed, the home team started to exert their local knowledge and the Frinton team started to flag. Most of the matches were very tight, indeed both Ed Glease and Rob Trotman battled manfully, only to lose 1 down on the last hole. Mitch McAuley managed the only other win for Frinton, finishing par, birdie, par, birdie to win 2 up – James Hide and Simon O’Brien recorded halves. Wanstead took the afternoon singles by 7 – 3.
Final score – Wanstead 11 – Frinton 4.
However – regrettably Wanstead G.C. fielded an unregistered player and with the Essex Golf Union tightening its stance on such matters, disqualified Wanstead and gave the tie to Frinton Golf Club.