There was always going to be a new name on the Cranworth Trophy and Bramford made quite sure it was going to be theirs. They got off to the most positive start, winning all three of the morning foursomes quite emphatically.
Marianne Hall and Chris Gilgallen forged ahead and never gave Gerry Wheatley and Julie Edmead much chance to come back. They finished on thirteen for a 6/5 scoreline. The second match was the closest, with Haverhill’s Denise Walker and Sally Price taking Tracy Ward and Jan Beard to the sixteenth (3/2). Finally, Sue Thorpe and Val Oakes were seen marching purposely along eighteen, having polished off Sharon Matthews and Kirsty Irons by the comfortable margin of 4/3.
In for lunch, then it was the turn of the singles. Nowadays alternate players are allowed in the second round which is good for resting tired legs. Bramford brought in Lesley Long and Joyce Jay in place of Hall and Beard. Haverhill fielded Lynne Hart and Chris Grainger, resting Denise Walker and Sally Price. There was some sturdy driving off the first tee with only one or two going astray. With dark clouds gathering and rain falling in spurts a demanding afternoon lay in wait. Nevertheless the players went at it with a will.
Tracy Ward (Bramford), first out, led early on but Lynne Hart came back, went 1up at ten and hung on for a 1up victory.
Chris Gilgallen (Bramford) and Julie Edmead fought a tough battle. Although Gilgallen was 1up after four and 3up after ten, Edmead pulled it back and they finished with an honourable half. Likewise Joyce Jay and Kirsty Irons also earned a half point each. The best shot of the day at ten came from Jay. Using her driver, she put the ball to within eight feet pin high. Irons, seemingly an improving golfer, moved round the course in a commendably business-like manner.
Val Oakes (Bramford), playing Chris Grainger began steadily. All square after four, in a rare show of judgment from the field at the 138-yard tenth hole, her tee shot finished past the pin. Moving to three up at that point, she didn’t look back and won 3/2.
Lesley Long hit the smartest drive straight down the middle off the first tee while her Haverhill opponent struggled from the start. So hard to get going after a dodgy beginning and catching up seems an impossibility. 3down after four is tough but Sharon Matthews played a great approach to the short tenth to be rewarded with only a half when Long made four from a bunker. She put another point on the board for Bramford at fourteen.
Bramford’s Sue Thorpe was in no mood to be charitable. She stamped her authority on the match with Gerry Wheatley. Going 1up on the fourth green, she pressed on, reaching 6up at the turn. Wheatley got one back at ten but that was a bit of a swan song and she ran out of holes on fifteen.
As the last players walked in along eighteen, big black clouds darkened the sky above and a rainbow appeared. Symbolic? Well, maybe, but at any rate it’s fitting for a day on the golf course. If things haven’t gone your way today, there’ll be another one along soon which might be better! Well played, everyone.
Results (Bramford names first)
Foursomes: Marianne Hall & Chris Gilgallen bt Gerry Wheatley 6/5; Tracy Ward & Jan Beard bt Denis Walker & Sally Price 3/2; Sue Thorpe & Val Oakes bt Sharon Matthews & Kirsty Irons 4/3.
Singles: Ward lost to Lynne Hart 1up; Lesley Long bt Matthews 6/4; Thorpe bt Wheatley 5/3; Gilgallen halved with Edmead; Oakes bt Chris Grainger 3/2; Joyce Jay halved with Irons.