The final of the Winter League at Burghley Park last weekend was always going to be good news for the Cole family, as each team contained a family member.
Alex Cole & Dave Millichip took on Alan Cole & Chris Townsend over 18 holes, in a match which brought together Alex and his uncle Alan Cole.
The front nine was pretty even, with Townsend & Cole taking the first, Millichip & Cole getting back to level on the 2nd, and the match ebbing and flowing as far as the turn, with neither side getting more than 1 ahead at any time.
However, Millichip and Cole cranked up the pressure on the 10th to go 2 up, and never looked back.
Their steady play over the next few holes saw them open a gap which Townsend & Cole were unable to close, and a solid par on the 15th saw Millichip & Cole take the title 4&3.
Alan Cole said: “The better team won on the day, as they kept playing steadily, and we just couldn’t get the putts to drop.”
“It was a difficult match” said Alex Cole, “and we were just glad that we were able to hang in there and take the chances when they came.”
Burghley’s A team took on Peterborough Milton in the annual pre-season Directors Cup, played off scratch, and held this year at Burghley.
Current Northants Scratch League Champions Milton turned out a strong side, and ran out 5-1 winners against a Burghley side which included three members who have just returned to the club – Greg Shelton, Andrew Frisby and Trevor Smith.
Two of the returnees secured halfs, Andrew Frisby & Dean Vaughan, and Richard Vaughan & Trevor Smith. Burghley’s other pairs – Greg Shelton & Doug Watterson, Joe Regis & Duncan Black, James Grant & Anton Wells, and Paul Evans & Mark Yarham – found the opposition just too strong for them.
Burghley’s B team travelled to Milton on the same day, and went down 1½ - 4½.
The first qualifying competitions of the season were held on Sunday, with 85 men and 18 ladies turning out for the March Stableford.
While the weather appeared benign, scoring proved difficult, with players having to adjust to playing the full length course again, and finding the greens quicker than they have been of late.
Only 11 men managed to score par or better, while only one of the ladies managed this.
In the men’s event, junior Jordan Mayman recorded the best score of the day, coming in with 40 points off his new handicap which had been cut in the annual review.
He was cut a further two shots and is now down to 16.
Another junior, Sanjay Nithiyilingam, shot 39 points and is now down to 5.1.
Division two, as usual, saw the tightest competition, which countback being needed to separate the top three scores, all on 36; Mike Beaumont took the honours there.
Results – (Division 1) – 1st Sanjay Nithiyilingam 39 points, 2nd Craig Cameron 36, 3rd Jake Brown 35 (c/b); (Div. 2) – 1st Mike Beaumont 36 (c/b), 2nd Gary Steadman 36 (c/b), 3rd George Tee 36; (Div. 3) – 1st Jordan Mayman 40, 2nd Peter Graham 38, 3rd Charlie Gardiner 37 (c/b).
Pippa Le Sage continued her recent good run of form in the ladies event, returning an excellent 40 points for a 5 shot victory over Gail Hunt on 35, with Mollie Plowright taking 3rd on 34.
Le Sage, playing off 34, was cut to 31.5 and looks likely to come down a lot further during the season.