Manchester Golf Club win the prestigious Manchester & District Golf Association Dunham Forest Trophy
The semi-final draw:
Manchester Golf Club v Reddish Vale Golf Club
Bolton Old Links Golf Club v Harwood Golf Club
We had good news early on as the Reddish Vale Professional had to withdraw on the first tee through injury. This meant an early point on the board for MGC, but unfortunately it also meant a long wait for Hopwood’s Paul Woodcock to see if he would in fact get a game.
This match proved to be as difficult as was expected. Roger Smithies found himself 1 down at the turn despite being 4 under par against a young player whose short game was excellent.
The first match out saw Andy Allen in trouble being 2 down with 2 to play and looking like Vale would draw level after the concession by the Professional. Andy however managed to hole great putts at 17 and 18 to take the match down the 19th. Andy played the 19th hole perfectly and with the Vale player now struggling he ran out a worthy winner in the end to extend our lead.
Good wins by our top players Aiden Hoosen and Graham Jackson and suddenly our place in the final was assured.
Semi-final result was Manchester Golf Club win 5 ½ to 1 ½
After a lengthy break for some players due to the other Semi Final seeing several matches go into extra holes the scene was set for the grand finale.
Manchester Golf Club v Bolton Old Links Golf Club
Bolton have a strong team and they have also won this competition on several occasions.
Early signs were not good as we were quickly down in a number of matches. We do have however a number of very experienced players and they did not panic.
Conditions generally were good apart from one quite heavy shower which fortunately only lasted around 5 minutes.
The course is in great condition, despite the very well spell of late. The greens however are big and difficult to read.
The golf throughout the day was top class with birdies a plenty and all players performing to the best of their ability.
Another great win by Andy Allen by 2-1 got us off to a great start once again, but Bolton proved themselves to be even tougher than Reddish as they battled themselves.
Great performances in the final by Graham Jackson, Aiden Hoosen and Roger Smithies however proved good enough for the trophy to be on its way back to Hopwood.
One interesting point certainly for the spectators was the sight of the Bolton Pro playing all shots Cack Handed. He uses this style of play to great effect, hitting some excellent shots with the highlight being a great long iron into the par 5 11th hole followed by a great putt for an eagle against Paul’s birdie to win the hole.
Final Score Manchester Golf Club 4 ½ to Bolton Old Links Golf Club 2 ½
This competition has been running since 1965 with this being our 3rd victory. 90 clubs took part so to even get to the Finals day is quite some achievement. To win the competition is something really special as you see by looking at our winning teams faces after a long but very rewarding day.
The celebrations continued at Hopwood and no doubt there will be one or two sore heads today, but it was all worthwhile, certainly for all those present on the day.
Congratulations on a great performance to the whole team. Special mention must be made of the team Captain’s with a great job being made by Gary Maher for getting us to the finals day plus stand in Captain Ian Cunningham on a great job yesterday with Gary unfortunately having to miss the final due to holiday commitments.
Unavailable on the day but helping the team to reach the finals day – Gareth Clark and Joe Bannan
Manchester Golf Club – Captain’s Final Weekend Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th August 2017
Paul Boden 66 + 71 Nett 137
Christopher Holt 69 + 72 Nett 141
David Ratcliffe 72 + 70 Nett 142
Keith Irwin 70 + 72 Nett 142