Hampshire see off Channel Islands ahead of Dorset opener
Hampshire completed their pre-season preparations with a comprehensive 9.5-2.5 victory over the Channel Islands at Brokenhurst Manor at the weekend.
Last year’s beaten South East League finalists start their 2019 campaign with a home match against Dorset at the same New Forest venue on May 12.
So captain Colin Roope was keen to see how the county’s leading amateurs shaped up, having lost narrowly to the Hampshire PGA club professionals earlier in April at Arlesford.
And despite the tricky conditions caused by Storm Hannah, he was pleased with what he saw.
‘The conditions were the same for both teams but we quickly found ourselves down in two of the four foursomes, including Martin Young and Darren Wright in the top game,' said Roope.
‘So I was pleased they came back strongly from three down in less than six holes.
‘We didn’t make any excuses, we accepted things and battled hard to get back in the game and came out on top 3-1 in the foursomes.'
On day one. the Stoneham pair of Alex Talbot and Ryan Moody picked up a point – matched by Hayling’s Toby Burden and Sam Parsons, from Blackmoor.
Conditions eased for Sunday’s singles and Rowlands Castle’s Billy McKenzie got Hampshire off to a good start by beating Danny Blondel (from Royal Guernsey) 2&1.
Wright then took care of La Moye’s Jason Stokes – a regular for Hampshire in recent years – by the same score.
Brokenhurst’s Young said he had never seen the wind as strong playing in more than three decades at his home club.
And with Talbot having racked up a 5&4 win over veteran Nigel Vaudin, Young was left facing former pro Jeremy Phillips in match three.
The Royal Jersey man held out to share the spoils on the 18th, giving Young the honour of the half that sealed victory.
Burden beat Tom Le Huray and Moody was too strong for Jersey junior Jo Hacker, leaving Parsons to beat Jersey’s Matthew Parkman in the bottom match.
Roope added: ‘I was very pleased with my team’s attitude.
‘I said we had to treat the Channel Islands game as our first competitive game of the season – not as a friendly.
‘Their best players are members at Royal Guernsey and Royal Jersey, two tough seaside courses, so the conditions pretty much negated our home advantage.’
The biggest headache for Roope in the aftermath of the game are two injuries suffered.
Roope’s troubled shoulder is set to see the Blackmoor member on the sidelines for the forthcoming match against Dorset.
Meanwhile, last year’s Hampshire Colts manager, Tom Robson, is also a doubt after having an abscess removed from his armpit.
- ANDREW GRIFFIN