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Memorable victory for seniors

PUBLISHED: 17:07 30 September 2010

Rookery Park GC's senior side

Rookery Park GC's senior side

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ROOKERY'S Seniors have gained a superb victory over Woodbridge in the final of the Parks Trophy, held at the Ipswich Purdis Heath course.

In the lead-up to the Parks final it was the team captain, Mike Rees, who became a casualty. He arrived in Ipswich several days before the team to officiate in a county match. However, he was taken ill and instead of visiting the golf course he ended up in hospital.

Not only did reserve, David Porter, have to step into the team, he found himself in the opening match. He partnered Chris Lay, who was also heavily involved in the Stenson incident.

The pair then learned that their opponents were unbeaten after playing together in Parks and Tolly teams for over five years.

Fortunately for Rookery their new combination gelled immediately. After Lay had chipped in for a birdie on the second hole, Porter sank a long putt from off the green to put them two up.

The score stayed that way until a final surge saw them win the last three holes to finish five-up.

Woodbridge hit back to gain a narrow victory in match two and followed up with a decisive win in the third. All depended on the final pairing of Ralph Flatt and Brian Jillings, who, although being five up, realised that the overall match was desperately close. On the 17th, with his partner out of the hole, Flatt left his third shot short on the long par five.

A pitch to within 3ft and a superb putt followed to gain a vital half. It was Jillings turn to shine on the final hole. Two excellent shots followed by two putts for a par saw the trophy head for Rookery Park. The final piece of good news was that Mike Rees had made a full recovery.

The last thoughts on a magnificent victory came from Chris Lay. In the space of a few weeks he had to represent Rookery in two important finals, both held at Purdis Heath.

In the first he lost the team bus, for the second he lost his team captain. If he has to represent Rookery in any future final his fervent wish is that the venue is nowhere near Ipswich.

In a recent competition, Gary Flatt stepped onto the 11th teebox in a howling head wind and hit a superb shot to just feet away from the pin.

With most people struggling to reach the green the nearest-the-pin prize looked to be his. That was until John Eade hit the shot of his life to leave his ball even closer. He was so surprised and delighted to snatch the prize that he has placed it in a glass case and put it on permanent display in his living room.

David Batley

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