Saturday 6th August 2016
Captain Andy Baxter took charge of twenty-four keen and enthusiastic golfers, when they hosted Brocton Hall GC on Saturday. This was supposed to be the second leg of a double header against this well-respected club, but the early season away cancellation meant this was the one that counted for the Claret Jug, currently held by Brocton.
The Claret Jug is normally contested annually over two legs, originating back to the mid-eighties, when two esteemed members whose names are Frank Cutts and Brian Baker set it going.
Despite a few late cry-offs, Leek had assembled a solid number of players, including some newcomers to this fixture, but thanks must be extended to all who played, and for supporting the club in this way. This type of fixture is to be a regular feature throughout the year, home or away, and can be such a rewarding experience for all concerned.
The course was in superb condition, benefitting from the recent kinder weather, the greens especially being slick and fast.
A lot of the results were not decided until the final hole or two, and others were equally close, but Leek ended up winning 7½ to 4½, perhaps making most of the most of the home advantage.
There are too many names to mention, but ‘well done’ to Phill Davies & Mark Shea, Lincoln Boulton & Mick Barker, Ralph Harrison & Dave Gallimore, Tony Brindley & Mike Andrews, Nick Moss & Stuart Smith for coming out on top in their respective games. Well-fought halves were earned by Steve Longhorn & Craig Stanier. The captain Andy Baxter and professional Greg Rogula entertained Brocton captain Steve Bloxham and professional Nevil Bland, this game ending in a half. Leek’s pair were very much up against in this match as Nevil proceeded to birdie the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 10th and 16th holes! The captain parred the 3rd and 4th (for a half) and birdied the 6th (again for a half). Greg kept us in touch in the middle of the game, and even had a chance on the 18th to win the match with a three-foot uphill putt, which just missed! Giving away 15 shots to Brocton captain was a bit tough for Greg, but we battled it out in a great game for the half.
We win the trophy on the basis that there isn’t a second leg due to lack of diary opportunities, but look forward to 2017 when we revert back to normality.
What is undeniable is that the positives resulting from this kind of event seals friendships, allows old rivals to get together, and creates goodwill between two clubs from different parts of the county.
Thanks again for all who took part. Please keep supporting this event, one of the most prestigious of all our fixtures.