Stoke cling on to Hambro Cup title

GOLF: Stoke-by-Nayland won the Hambro Cup for the third successive year, but they were made to fight all the way by Rushmere in the glorious sunshine at Stowmarket.


STOKE-BY-NAYLAND won the Hambro Cup for the third successive year, but they were made to fight all the way by Rushmere in the glorious sunshine at Stowmarket. At the end only one hole separated two talented sides.

The teams were level at lunch so everything depended on the players' stamina and concentration in the heat of the afternoon.

Stoke proved successful thanks to the domination of their top pair, Kieren Canham and Tim Dainty, after lunch. They ended six up against Will Wright and Ashley Durrant who at one stage reduced a seven-hole deficit to five.

In the second match Andrew Tokley and Nathan Howe, three up in the morning, were two down in the afternoon against Shaun Jennings and Michael Buck who received two shots.

James Wright and Andrew Robinson, giving two shots to Anthony Kirwan and Greg Hills, won by three in the afternoon after ending all square in the morning after Hills had chipped in at the last from off the green.

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In the final match Danny Barton and Kevin Eagle, who had won by three in the morning, ended level in the afternoon after fighting back from a three-hole deficit midway through their round against Jamie Moul and Ian Younger.

By the time Barton found the green at the 159-yard par three final hole Stoke were already home and dry so it hardly mattered that the left-handed Ian Younger put his tee shot out of bounds some 25 yards too long.

Stoke may look back on the 214-yard sixth hole as being a turning point. Three of their pairs won with a birdie while Kirwan and Hills managed to halve in five after Rushmere had been unable to take advantage of a Stoke chip that rebounded back off one of the pine trees.

In the top match, Dainty drove into the bunker just short of the green. Durrant's tee shot for Rushmere was between the pine trees giving a perfect view of the pin.

Will Wright's chip was good enough for a par for Rushmere but nowhere near as close as the bunker shot from Canham that left Dainty with a relatively simple putt to win the hole.

The following match was almost a carbon copy. The drive from Jennings was in the trees with Buck's chip looking good at first before rolling down the slope from the pin into fringe grass. Howe's bunker shot was even more accurate than Canham's for another Stoke birdie.

It needed a long putt from Kirwan to gain a half after he and Hills had met trouble with trees and a bunker. The hole looked there for the taking for Rushmere but James Wright's chip flew through the green. Robinson's chip back was less delicate than it might have been and a great chance was lost.

Stoke's fourth pair also ended with a birdie. Younger produced a massive drive through the green. Moul chipped back with precision and Rushmere's par proved worthless. Moul, runner-up in the Carris Trophy last week, played some excellent golf.

A slight breeze made conditions more pleasant for players and spectators during the afternoon as Rushmere, whose chances seemed to be fading, staged a brave recovery.

The final 20 minutes became quite tense but there were no late miracles for Rushmere who needed a sting in the tail in the final hole which was never forthcoming. Alex Giddens, Stoke's regular non-playing captain, arrived just before the end having been held up in Greece when unwell on holiday.


Hambro Cup final: Stoke-by-Nayland 1 Rushmere 0.

At Stowmarket. Stoke names first. Morning scores in brackets. Kieren Canham and Tim Dainty (level) 6 Will Wright and Ashley Durrant (level) 0.

Andrew Tokley and Nathan Howe (3) 1 Shaun Jennings and Michael Buck (0) 0.

Anthony Kirwan and Greg Hills (level) James Wright and Andrew Robinson (level) 3.

Jamie Moul and Ian Younger (0) 0 Danny Barton and Kevin Eagle (3) 3.

HAVERHILL won the Tolly Cobbold Cup, a larger and more imposing trophy than the Hambro Cup, by ten holes against Rushmere. This match was also played at Stowmarket.

Haverhill were five up at lunch with David Whiting having a hole-in-one in the 18th hole using a six iron. Haverhill captain Roger Campbell was especially pleased with the showing of his two juniors, Ryan Wingate and David Spittle. The match finished in the dry but with storm clouds threatening.

Haverhill 10 Rushmere 0.

At Stowmarket. Haverhill names first. Morning scores in brackets.

Eric Kiddle and Ryan Wingate (5) 4 Ray Smith and Dave Seggar (0) 0.

Graham Kennedy and David Spittle (0) 1 Paul Lewis and Mark Airey (1) 0.

John Kennedy and David Pipe (0) level Tom Howard and Geoff Brock (3) level.

Bob Spittle and David Whiting (4) 5 Buster Knock and Robbie Adams (0) 0.

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