Essex under 18s v The Rayleigh Club
At The Rayleigh Club, Hullbridge
 On Sunday 12 March 2017

On a cloudy day at Hullbridge a combined team of Essex under 18s and under 16s kicked off the 2017 season with a friendly contest against The Rayleigh Club’s Thorndon Cup aspirants.

At lunch after the seven morning nine hole foursomes matches there was  little between the two teams the points being shared 3½ - 3½ with four of the matches won by 1 up. 

The afternoon’s lead singles match paired Michael Gilbert with Jay Beisser, two of the county’s best players and was an evenly contested affair with never more than one hole separating the two players until the 18th hole.  As the afternoon progressed the Essex lads pressed home an advantage and once the final putt had been holed the singles scored 10½ – 3½ in favour of the County

Match of the day was undoubtedly between James Butler and veteran Ray Weidner at least 50 years his senior. It was not until the 17th hole when James holed an unlikely downhill putt from off the green that much to his relief he finally took the lead.

Callum Newton continued his record from last season and finished the day with 100% success as did Ben Humphrey and Harvey Payne for Essex and Steve Weidner for The Rayleigh Club, so well done to those guys.

Our grateful thanks go to Jamie Saitch and Dave Topley for their organisation and making the course available as well as The Rayleigh Club staff for keeping the players fed and watered.  A most enjoyable contest played in just the right spirit which we look forward to continuing in 2018.

Stephen Golding
County Manager


Essex under 18/16 v Hertfordshire under 18/16
for the Cheshunt Salver
Upminster Golf Club on 3 April 2017

Historically the early season contest between these two counties for the Cheshunt Salver have been closely fought affairs, but this year’s annual event at Upminster Golf Club proved to be a very one sided encounter.

Hertfordshire arrived with as strong a team as they have fielded for many years which included England Internationals Harry Goddard and Danny Daniels. By way of extreme contrast Essex had a number of leading absentees due to coaching commitments.

With the morning foursomes going very much in Hertfordshire’s favour the challenge of pulling back the deficit in the afternoon singles proved rather too much for the Essex boys.  Although Harry Robson managed to finish the day with a 100% success and Alex English went home undefeated, other heavy losses served to illustrate the gulf between the two sides on the day.

For the Essex team this was a “bad day at the office” and our players are very much better than the result suggests, but as always there were plenty of lessons learnt highlighting areas to work on before the next county match.

Our thanks go to Upminster GC for providing a course in excellent condition and food and sustenance for the teams and officials throughout the day.

Stephen Golding
Team Manager