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Garnett on Golf: Patrick Spaggs set for first big test as Suffolk boys’ under 18 boss

PUBLISHED: 12:01 30 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:03 30 May 2017

Back row (from left): Colin Firmin (SGU president), Liam Hansey, Will Garland, Jack Cuthbert, Jude Everitt, Patrick Spraggs (manager). Front: Guy Maynard, Louis Martin, George Fricker and Harry Dorber. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED

Back row (from left): Colin Firmin (SGU president), Liam Hansey, Will Garland, Jack Cuthbert, Jude Everitt, Patrick Spraggs (manager). Front: Guy Maynard, Louis Martin, George Fricker and Harry Dorber. Photograph: CONTRIBUTED

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Tony Garnett takes a look at the latest golf news from around the region in his weekly column.

Patrick Spraggs made his debut as Suffolk boys’ under 18 manager with a double setback in the triangular South East League matches against Norfolk and Bedfordshire at Bawburgh.

Suffolk lost both matches by five and a half matches to two and a half but have two more opportunities to hit back at Millbrook on July 16 and Flempton on August 20.

The next big test comes on July 13 when Woodbridge will be hosting the boys’ South East county qualifier when the top six boys from such powerful counties as Surrey, Kent, Hertfordshire will battle it out for a place in the semi-finals.

Spraggs is already preparing for this important event by having competitive practice rounds for players under consideration on the Woodbridge course. Habebul Islam has already proved his credentials by winning the gross prize in the Eastern Counties Cup.

Spraggs won his first battle as manager. He arrived with his players at Bawburgh to be told by hosts Norfolk that players would go out in handicap order.

There is no such rule and Spraggs insisted, quite rightly, that he would select the order of play for Suffolk.

South East Group will be coming to a decision as to whether handicap order should prevail in future years or whether team managers will have the freedom choose the order of play. Clarification is needed. It would be a pity to restrict team managers’ influence.

Bedfordshire’s coach broke down near Thetford. Their players completed the trip by taxi. The start was delayed.

Suffolk did not have much luck. Several putts corkscrewed out, George Fricker being the most unfortunate. Norfolk changed their order of play to put county first team player Warren Bates against Fricker. It was always close with Bates winning by one hole.

Liam Hansey won a point and a half, Jude Everitt Louis Martin and Guy Maynard, on his debut, had wins. It was never easy in strong winds.

Bawburgh has some interesting par-three holes but their 473-yard par-five 18th, with water just short of the green, is outstanding.

The Suffolk spirit was excellent and Harry Dorber of Aldeburgh, a Chelsea supporter, had an FA Cup final ticket but preferred to represented Suffolk for the first time.

Suffolk scores: (Norfolk match first, then Bedfordshire): Louis Martin (Haverhill) lost to Liam Cossey 3 and 2, beat Luke Charalambous 5 and 3; Jack Cuthbert (Thorpeness) lost to Kale Heath 2 and 1, lost to Matthew Green one down; Liam Hansey (Bungay) halved with Max Jacobs, beat Luke Barnham 3 and 1; William Garland (Ipswich) lost to Jack Cullington 4 and 2, lost to Elliot Smith 2 and 1; Harry Dorber (Aldeburgh) lost to Josh Emery 5 and 3, lost to Jamie Gibbons 4 and 2; Guy Maynard (Southwold) beat Finn Heywood 2 and 1, lost to Jack Manley 2 and 1; Jude Everitt (Flempton) beat Sonny Williams 5 and 3, lost to Joel Gosling 2 and 1; George Fricker (Ufford Park) lost to Warren Bates one down, halved with George Garnham.

Suffolk under-16 boys also play triangular matches. They are powerful at the top of their order but lacked strength in depth in their opening South East League triangular match with Norfolk and Essex at Barnham Broom.

George Fricker, Max Adams and Conal Downing won both their matches. Alfie Halil dropped half a point while team captain Oli Page beat Norfolk but lost narrowly to Essex.

Lower down the order it proved tough for less experienced Suffolk players.

Suffolk have two opportunities to turn the tables on Essex. The three counties meet again at Frinton on July 2 and at Diss on August 19.

Suffolk under-14 entertain Norfolk at Halesworth over nine holes of foursomes followed by 18 holes of singles. Suffolk: Josh Goulton, Ben Newman, Tyler Weaver, Joe Ford, Callum Hughes, Thomas Clark, Jarred Lansdale, Josh Altham, Harry Brinded and Theo Wild.

Match scores: Suffolk 5 Norfolk 3, Suffolk 3.5 Essex 4.5, Essex 6.5 Norfolk 1.5.

Suffolk scores (versus Norfolk first and Essex second):

George Fricker beat Keiran Myatt 4 and 3, beat James Butler 3 and 2. Max Adams beat Casey Patterson 4 and 3, beat James Styles 2 and 1. Alfie Halil beat Tom Piper 5 and 4, halved with Harvey Payne. Conal Downing beat Lewis Simmons 3 and 2, beat Matt O’Connor 2 and 1.

Oli Page beat Oli Underhill-Smith 5 and 4, lost to Harvey Sullivan 2 and 1. James Iron lost to Harry Goddard 3 and 2, lost to Charlie Dodds 6 and 5. Will Garland lost to Ewan Marshall one down, lost to Kieran Graveley 4 and 3. Jack Butcher lost to Ethan Richards 3 and 1, lost to James Holt 4 and 2.

Police are investigating a reported rape which took place in Ipswich last night.

Former BBC broadcaster Bill Turnbull sent a poignant message to women competing in Ipswich’s Race for Life this weekend: don’t leave it too late to get checked for cancer.

Efforts to raise awareness of diabetes and how to prevent it are being redoubled in Suffolk as the number of new diagnoses rises by 5% year on year.

Swarms of tiny black beetles have been appearing in gardens across Suffolk and Essex, seemingly attracted by the hot weather.

An elderly woman on a mobility scooter inadvertently drove onto the A14 this morning and had to be escorted off by police.

Two people have been arrested after a man was stabbed in Haverhill yesterday evening.

Hosting a barbeque or grabbing a cool pint in the local pub for the England game today? Check here to see how warm it will be where you are.

Scores of bikers took to the region’s roads today under the blazing sunshine to raise money to support unwell children.

More than 2,000 intrepid women and children braved a daring obstacle course in Suffolk to raise money for vital cancer research.

A 15-year-old boy has been stabbed to death in a large fight after a birthday party attended by up to 100 youths in east London.

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