The line-up for the final of the Men’s’ Winter league at Burghley Park was resolved at the weekend, with two tremendous tussles in the semi-finals.
Defending champions Alex Cole & Dave Millichip earned the opportunity to become one of the few pairs to retain their title with an impressive 2&1 win over James Vaughan & Sanjay Nithiyilingam. The match was close throughout, but once they had their noses in front Cole & Millichip resisted the Vaughan & Nithiyilingam fightback, closing out the match on the 17th green.
The other semi-final saw an inspired Peter Barnes & David Gibson turn on the style to steamroller David Jackson & Javan Argent 5&4. Barnes & Gibson played par golf most of the way, and fully deserved their emphatic win.
“They were clearly the best team on the day and it should be an epic final” said David Jackson. The final is scheduled for March 29, and seems likely to attract a sizeable gallery.
l Burghley Park Ladies travelled to Oundle on consecutive days last week, having drawn the Northamptonshire club in both of the Daily Mail knockout events.
Anne Fensom & Barbara Newall contested the Daily Mail Foursomes, but found themselves up against a strong pairing from the home club, on a course where local knowledge is a considerable advantage, and despite putting up a good fight went down 5&4.
l The Burghley Park team in the second Round of the Mail on Sunday team knockout event were more successful, delivering an impressive 3-2 win in singles match play against a determined home side. Kay Hircock led the way with a 2&1 win in the first match, followed up by a convincing 5&4 win for Ladies captain Gill Bedford.
Jo Bell, playing the course for the first time, found her opponent too strong, and Oundle got one back to raise their hopes. But Jan Devlin, playing 4th, secured the match win with a 3&2 victory over her opponent, to take Burghley through to the next round. Hannah Vaughan performed gallantly against an opponent to whom she was giving 6 shots, but was edged out on the last hole.
Team captain Carole Hollman was delighted with the result. “This is the first time we’ve got through to the third round for some years” she said, “and our preparations for this match went really well. Let’s hope we can have a good run this year.”
The team have a home match against local rivals Toft in the next round and, with both teams knowing each other so well, this should be a good spectacle.