August rolled in and sparked excitement about our forthcoming derby match against our neighbours Durham.
With my good friend John Kennedy in his first year as Durham skipper the banter had started earlier in the season. It's not quite Ryder Cup rivalry but the competition is fierce and always well contested.
Chris Paisley our new County Champion would lead the team out as No1 and after just winning the Rock pro tournament his achievements since his return for the States can only be described as inspirational. The match would be played over the Hexham course and it was as always in fantastic condition.
The team included 3 Hexham players Ben Taylor, Phil Waugh and Shaun Heads, Hexham had just won the Hadrian league so the plan was for the "Hexham Massive" to contribute heavily on the day. The morning foursomes showed some excellent exchanges, the Durham team were up for the game and in the 4th match they held a 1 hole advantage playing the downhill par 4 18th. The two Craig's, Penny & Wilkinson debated for a while on the tee and after Durham found the middle of the fairway, Craig Penny removed the headcover from the driver. Penny unleashed a bomb that pitched onto the green and rolled past the flag to 15 feet, After Durham made a par Wilko rolled the putt up to within an inch to gain a halved point. This left the morning foursomes 4.5 to 1.5 with 3 wins and 3 halves a morning and more importantly no defeats set us up nicely for the afternoon.
In the singles the top end plan worked, with the players displaying some awesome golf, this pretty much killing any hopes of a Durham comeback very early on. Chris Paisley halved, Si Lee won 3&2, Ben Taylor 4&3, Phil Waugh 2&1 and with Shaun Heads 1up on the 17th tee things looked good. When Ross Crowe won convincingly 6&5 all eyes turned to Headsey's match. Shaun was on his County Colours and what better chance to win than on your own course. After missing the 17th green to the left he played a fantastic chip shot to a couple of feet and the rolled in the putt to be 1up playing the last. This gave us the 9.5 points and the win, however all the attention centered around Shaun getting his colours, supported by the his team members that had finished he coolly played the last securing his win and his County Colours. Wilko, Craig and Mark Penny added more points to the total giving a wining score of 12.5 to 5.5, an excellent result, with every player contributing points With Shaun wining his colours gave the team a full set, with all 12 players with an average age of 20 all having their colours.
Good luck to the lads returning back to the States, Chrissy, Ross and best wishes to James Curry and Mark Penny who are going out for the first time.
Northumberland Golf would like to thank MGM Construction Ltd for supporting Team Northumberland