Nerves of steel see French into finale
Malcolm French was taken all the way by a fighting Bath Approach KO Cup semi-final performance from Dennis Crombie, but still kept his triple hopes alive by winning on the last hole to reach the showpiece. French’s immaculate play on the front nine secured a two-hole lead at the turn. Two birdies on the back nine helped French retain his lead and, although Crombie halved the deficit with one hole to play, French halved the 18th for a great victory. A superb front nine holes by Alasdair Campbell helped him to a stupendous win over Division 1 championship chaser Brian Woodford, leaving Woodford with one more match to obtain the two points necessary to take the title. George Thurston improved his chances of remaining in the division with a hard-fought win over Sue Norris, who had already ensured her status. Malcolm French kept his title hopes alive with a comfortable win over Reg Morris, with no answer to French’s fine approach play. Favourite Nick Parker made certain of the Division 2 title by winning a close contest against veteran Dave Ferebee, who never gave up the fight. Parker was in outstanding form on the front nine, going four up after six holes, but Ferebee held on well to be three down at the turn. Ferebee held firm at the start of the back nine and reduced Parker’s lead to two with four to play, but Parker achieved a hard earned victory by winning the final two holes. Colin Gamlin kept in reach of taking the runner-up position with an eventually comfortable win over Dave Ferebee, whose brave comeback was to no avail come the 16th. Brian Allen continued his improved form to gain a fine win over the formidable John Vowles; his progress up the table was brought to a surprising halt. Tiger Lewis’s savage start led to a convincing victory over the obdurate Brian Lambern, who made life difficult for Tiger on the back nine. Graham Whatley couldn’t match his heroics of last week, but moved away from the table bottom by gaining a narrow win over Craig Jones. ■ LANSDOWN The Masters Trophy for single figure handicappers was decided on countback as Ken Madden edged out Paul Bowker and Tony Gough when all three players shot nett 70. On the same day the honours in the Frankcom Trophy went to Rich Crowley’s nett 65, which put him just one shot clear of Ian Carter, while third went to Paul Eccleston with 67 on countback from Malcolm Payne. The Mixed Open Greensomes was a close affair – Dave Whyte and Laura Leach played their round with Simon Harris and Trish Ritchie – the teams were level standing on the 18th tee and it took a 20-foot par putt from Leach to secure victory by one point as they came in with 45. In third place and just one point adrift were Kevin and Helen Gould. The Ladies Cup was won by Ritchie, putting her just one point ahead of Jo Francis-pope, while the latest ladies’ medal had a clear winner in Tegwen Hopkins, six shots clear of the field. Second went to Lesley Hart with nett 73, with Di Barwell third on 76. On the same day the nine-hole competition was won by Val Godwin (17) just one ahead of Pam Crain. Club captain John Butler won the past captains’ away day at Stinchcombe Hill on 37 with Ken Rawcliffe second with 34 points and captain elect, Mike Burt, third on 32. In a fantastic demonstration of his support for the club Joe Long, who is playing for England this week, took his place in the Texas Scramble at the weekend and, perhaps not surprisingly, his team of Chris Lewis, Rob Jenkins and Stuart Davies were the clear winners with a nett 51.7. Second went to Barry Frayling, Steve Maddison, Dom Graham and Rich Iles with a nett 56.6, which placed them just ahead of Martin Coggins playing with Garry Burrows, David Baker and Pete Darby. ■ BATH Jess Hays won the Under18 Championship at the South West Ladies’ and Girls Championships, held over 36 holes at Broadstone Golf Club in Dorset. She shot a combined gross score of 154 – 8-over combined – and also finished in a creditable sixth place for the overall championship. The Mixed Up Cup was initiated by Carol England, whose idea it was to have a mixed event with the playing partners drawn out of the hat to split up the regular pairings. Fast greens and fine weather produced excellent scores. 40 points from Charles Donovan and current lady captain Deborah Mcardle and 41 points from Alex Menezes and England herself were, however, not quite enough to take a prize. On 41 points with a better back nine, Barrie Luscombe and Rachel Aust claimed third, Russell Wakefield and Liz Bloor, courtesy of a very strong back nine (24 points) to support their score of 41 points, took second, but leading the way and winning the trophy were Stan Frith and Honor Jones with a splendid 42. In Bath Golf Club’s Ladies Section, 37 players competed in a medal competition for the Mcgregor Prize. The winner in Division 1 was Jo Joliffe, with a super score of nett 71, three under par. In second place was Maggie Tonge (74). Leading the way in Division 2 was Linda Mchugh’s 73, with Angela Trenchard taking second place on countback. Division 3 saw another countback separate winner Sue Mowat from second-placed Louise Williamson, with both players scoring 72.
■ RUGBY Stothert & Pitt make a tackle on Nailsea & Backwell, a preseason friendly they won comfortably 47-27. See page 51 for more local rugby reports and photos.