In the two semi-finals of the Stearn Trophy, the contests were generally close but everyone enjoyed the day. A quick reminder of the format tells us that three foursomes pairings for each team play a continuous 36-hole match. In this case both reached the end of the day with one individual match each and one each left out on the course to decide the overall outcomes.
Gorleston and Stowmarket were playing at Halesworth. The course looked good with an amazing number of newly planted trees doing their best to help the climate. Once the trees grow up the landscape will be unrecognisable from its original aspect.
In the first match out Stowmarket (Kim Davis and Linda Gilham) were two up at lunch and pushed on during the second round to be five up after seven. Gorleston (Anne Amos and Gail Chapman) fought back to one down but they lost fifteen and Stowmarket won the game at the short sixteenth for a 3/2 scoreline.
Match number two found Gorleston in the ascendancy at lunchtime and, in general terms, they maintained the pressure, reaching five up after nine. Stowmarket redressed the balance but were three down with three to go. Once again we were watching the short sixteenth where Gorleston made sure of the half they needed to put their point on the board.
Match number three was at least two holes behind at this point and Stowmarket were having much the better of it. At eight, they sank an enormous putt just to rub it in and moved to six up, but they found the hedge and ditch at nine allowing Gorleston a reprieve. It was short-lived however and Stowmarket eventually took the point on thirteen (6/5), claiming the overall victory for Stowmarket.
The other semi-final featured Haverhill and Aldeburgh playing at Newton Green. In this match also, the teams won one match point each, leaving the third and last point as the deciding factor. The first match went to Aldeburgh by 3/2 and, in the second, Haverhill took the point by the same margin. Consequently Haverhill’s Lyn Fish and Melissa Wasdall and Aldeburgh’s Jayne Hale and Silke Schelenz were contesting the third point and it was such a close battle that the allotted thirty-six holes could not separate them. Down the thirty-seventh hole they went. Here Haverhill kept things together to win the sudden death play-off. Very exciting and most satisfying for them, although it was obviously disappointing for the Aldeburgh pair. In consequence, the final will be between Stowmarket and Haverhill at a venue to be announced.
Haverhill v Aldeburgh (Haverhill names first):
Jackie Condon & Anne Read lost to Phillipa Collett & Susie Manson-Bahr 3/2; Lyn Fish & Melissa Wasdall bt Jayne Hale & Silke Schelenz 37th; Linda Alecander & Anna Fairhead bt Frances Danielsen & E. Hackman 3/2. Final Result: Haverhill 2, Aldeburgh 1.
Gorleston v Stowmarket (Gorleston names first):
Anne Amos & Gail Chapman lost to Kim Davis & Linda Gilham 3/2; Sue Smith & Pauline Phillips bt Bev Gray & Carolyn Heywood 3/2; Maureen Dark & Victoria Watson lost to Jo Finter & Wendy Wilderspin 6/5.
Final Result: Gorleston 1, Stowmarket 2.
From left to right: Wendy Cooper, Bev Gray (P), Joan Hunter (Capt), Carolyn Heyward (P), Wendy Wilderspin(P), Jenny Buckle, Jane Wincer, Jo Finter(P), Kim Davis(P), Elaine Anderson, Linda Gilham(P), Georgina Anderson