Chadd is prince of darkness as Gorleston win epic Mail on Sunday golf battle with Beccles
PUBLISHED: 15:21 23 March 2012
When James Chadd stood on the first tee on Saturday with Beccles’ Alan Ereira for the final match in Gorleston’s third round tie at home to Beccles in the Mail on Sunday Classic, little could they have imagined they were both about to set out on the longest match in the competition’s history finishing some 26 holes and nearly six hours later.
The tie started routinely enough as Josh Manser got Gorleston off to the perfect start by beating opponent Brian Lever 5&3.
Although David James could not overcome the nine shot handicap he had to concede to opponent Ben Cable and went down by one hole, all looked to be going well for Gorleston with news from out on the course that both Patrick Goffin and Danny Perring were holding comfortable leads.
Patrick duly obliged recording a 6&4 victory over Eddie Bowles. However Danny saw his three hole lead slip away in the final three holes and was only able to half his match which meant all eyes turned to the last match on the course between James Chadd and Alan Ereira.
The dogged and determined Ereira made full use of the eight shots awarded on handicap to record a one hole victory over the 18 holes to bring the match level at 2½ points each. Under the rules of the competition the final pair has to decide the outcome in a sudden-death play-off.
Having already suffered continuous rain throughout the match, the pair set off in ever increasing gloom at 4.25pm to see the match to its ultimate conclusion and both have to be commended for their resilience as they battled through a further eight holes before an exhausted Ereira made the final telling mistake of mis-hitting a lob shot out of bounds thereby handing the tie to Gorleston just before total darkness descended on the course at 6.10pm.
Overall the match was a true classic played in a very sporting atmosphere and both the players and spectators who braved the elements will no doubt remember the match for some time to come.
The Ladies have their opportunity to match the feat of the Men’s team and progress to the fourth round in the competition when they visit Aldeburgh tomorrow for what will be a very tough encounter against last year’s runners-up in this national competition. At the home course this weekend, the Men’s March Monthly Stableford begins a series of four competitive Sundays, as the Competitions Committee has rescheduled the postponed February Medal competition on April 1, to be followed by the Arthur Fell Cup on Easter Sunday with the April Medal the next week.