Suffolk’s Stenson Shield top dogs Felixstowe and Newton Green staged a repeat of last year’s final in this year’s first round with an identical 7-5 repeat margin to the seasiders.
Last year, Felixstowe won on neutral ground at Hintlesham when Newton staged their first ever appearance in Suffolk’s top scratch team event for men.
The last thing the teams wanted was to be drawn out of the hat in the first round of this year’s contest, but Newton proved their capabilities again in the big league, despite the considerable disadvantage of an away draw.
In the morning foursomes, the teams went in two matches all at lunch, in a day dominated by strong winds and intermittent heavy rain.
First out in the afternoon singles for Newton were 15-year-old Connor Talbot and 17-year-old Max Hemson — both making their Stenson debuts — and, although they both tasted defeat, put up credible performances.
Despite wins for Ian Woodhead and Mark Duthie, and Ryan Talbot and Keith Hills halving their matches, two further defeats left Newton short in the singles.
Jed Seeley, aged 16, had earlier performed successfully in the foursomes, but was not available for the afternoon.
A week earlier, Newton had exited the first round of the 10-plus handicap Suffolk Tolly cup first round with a 16-hole defeat at St Clements
In the line-up for the second year was 12-year-old Ben Tatum and, with 13-year-old James Cooper making his debut, the club continued to blood its impressive emerging junior talent at adult level.
Stenson scores: Foursomes: Russell Oakey and Jed Seeley won 2&1, Connor Talbot and Ryan Talbot lost 4&2, Ian Woodhead and Greg Hills lost 5&3, Mark Duthie and Simon Bearman beat 2&1. Singles: Connor Talbot lost 3&2, Max Hemson lost 4&3, Ryan Talbot halved, Hills halved, Woodhead won 1up, Duthie won 1up, Bearman lost 4&3 to Harston, Oakey lost 4&3.