TGC Win The Charlestown Trophy

Rabbits Captain Andy Wade and Charlestown team Captain Dez Crossley have guided TGC to victory and reclaimed the Charlestown Trophy. Outstanding performances from the 10 lads sealed a 6 1/2 to 3 1/2 points win overall. Having scored 2 valuable points away from home last week, the confidence going into the home leg was realised with a crushing 4 1/2 to a 1/2 point win.

After last weeks excellent performance away there was some team tweaking to do. “After watching the matches closely and studying Hebden in the first leg we got together and looked our team set up and where HBGC’s strengths and weaknesses were.”, said Rabbits Captain Andy. “We had to nullify any threat they had and not let them have easy chances to get points on the board”. “We’re going to WAR”, said Dez (many times). Geeing the troops up with a ton of inspirational Braveheart clips, Icelandic victory chants and individual pep talks the team captain kept the fires stoked throughout the week to face what would be a buoyant Mount Skip team. TGC were well prepared.

Dez Crossley & Andy Hutchinson head out. A steely performance saw this pair win two from two games

And so with the Rabbits Captain pacing the course and tactics in place it was down to The Showman and the team. And they did not disappoint. The in form Steve Hill – a 7&6 winner from the first leg – was paired with Ryan Gaffney. Blending experience and consistent golf with the explosive talent and skill of Ryan saw them take on a top team from Mount Skip. With a par from any given player on any given hole the lads were in the right match and kept up the pressure and were 2up by the 7th. Ryan parred the 9th for another win and set the tone for the back 9. By the 12th the body language of the HBGC lads said it all and the game was up. The match ended on the 15th with Steve and Ryan 4&3 victors; Ryan’s birdie to finish told of the pairs performance. “We’d planned that pair carefully and I was so pleased it came off,” said Andy.

Ryan Gaffney and Steve Hill with the trophy. Steve won both games with nine holes to spare. Ryan was the perfect foil, parring and birdieing all the way to the home leg win.

Steve and Ryan getting the first points on the board were closely followed by Steve Scholes and Craig Vest. In similar style to our first pair the blend of TGC experience and power was too much for their opponents who’d won well at Mount Skip. The in form Steve and Craig powered their way to 4up after 7, 5up by the 12th and finally ended a late rally from Hebden to finish on the 17th 3&2. “We really gelled together,” said Steve.

Craig Vest and Steve Scholes with the Charlestown Trophy. A 3&2 win was TGC second of the home leg.

The Rabbit Captain’s attention turned to Al Stobbs and David Marshall. After Al’s quick update of “I’ve just shanked two off the tee and Marshy’s over in the trees; we’re 1 down”, there was a little tension. “We knew they’d come through with course experience and playing regularly together and just playing their own game”, said Andy. And sure enough by the turn they were 1up and – the 17th aside for Marshy – playing some really steely stuff and just dug in when it mattered. Caught behind the group in front it was a half point called on a pretty much pitch black 17th. There’s every chance that we’d have seen them take the point on the last hole but the crucial win was taken by Mark Wallis & Alan Payne. After playing so well together in the first round they were picked together again and with consummate ease they never let Hebden in. In a flash they were 3up and were never in danger. At dusk on the 16th it was all over with a 4&2 win. “We took it to them all the way”, said Mark.

David Marshall has no trouble on the 9th. 1 down determination saw him and Al Stobbs take points from Hebden Bridge
The lads tee off up the 4th. Light was always going to effect play. With it getting to 7pm this time of year, this half point was well earned.
Al Stobbs takes a final putt at 7.20pm. More points for TGC that added to their 4 1/2 to 1/2 pt victory. If you listen carefully you can hear David Marshall in the background.

Arguably the player of the match – although Steve Hill’s contribution was immense – with two wins out of two and playing a captain performance was Dez Crossley. The Showman definitely put on a show and never really put a foot wrong (well, check his stance out..). Winning against their captain in round one was repeated in round two – not a mean feat in your first Charlestown Trophy. Going 2up and being pegged back – in both games – you would expect wobble when there’s a lot a stake but in the middle of it all, and before TGC crossed the line, Dez and Andy Hutchinson walked down from the dusky skyline of the 15th with a telling 5&4 win which made it 3-0 to TGC and pretty much all over. Andy’s 7ft putt ‘over the bobbly bit and straight in’, said Dez, ‘was a superb par to finish it off’. And soon after the whole match was.

Much praise goes to Hebden Bridge Golf Club. TGC experienced some great hospitality at Mount Skip and some fantastic golf brought them a deserved 3-2 half way lead. Even stronger than last year their top pairs were a real match and contributed to an enthralling competition.

Some final words from the Captain’s finished with Andy Wade saying, “Now Gordon, I believe you need to hand that back?”. It was time to celebrate a well won victory.

Dez Crossley & Andy Wade celebrate regaining the Charlestown Trophy for TGC.

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