First match of the Anglian League Season and Northamptonshire fielded a team mixed with experience and youth. Kai Raymond and Alex Francis making their debuts at this level.
The morning Foursomes started with a bang, but not a good bang! Our lead off pairing of Sam Gilkes and Andy Saunders were hit by 3 early birdies and found themselves 5 down after 5, They steadied their match after this but eventually took an early lunch after an 8 and 7 defeat.
Match 2 saw Kai Raymond and Jacob Williams, a young pairing from Peterborough Milton, take on an experienced pairing from Leicestershire.
Kai and Jacob played some steady rather than spectacular golf, and ran out winners 4 and 3 to level the match. 
Third out we had Richard Dalton and Alec Francis playing Murgatroid and Orton from Leics. This turned into a very close contest with our pairing pulling the match back to 1 down playing the last after a very long putt from Richard on the 17th green for birdie gave us a chance. However a drive out of bounds on 18 saw the last hole conceded for a 2 down loss.
In the final foursomes some good golf was played by both pairs. Ben Hawkins and Mark Bazeley could never quite get their noses in front, eventually losing 2 down with 1 to play. 
Morning Foursomes ended 1-3 to Leicestershire.

In the afternoon singles Andy was off first against Leics Captain Tom Roberts, a prodigious hitter of the golf ball. Andy was still hurting after the morning defeat and he was determined to perform in the singles. He dug in and played some very good golf and came away with a 2 and 1 win. 
Sam at 2 had the same mindset and was paired with Matt Wylie, another experienced Leics player. This turned into a really close affair with Sam holding his nerve to close out a 1 up win. At this stage the match was even at 3-3.
Next up we had Kai, Jacob and Alec filling the middle singles slots. Unfortunately they could not bring in any more points despite playing some good golf, losing 3 and 2, 3 and 2 and 2 and 1. All close games.
At number 6 was Richard Dalton who had a strange match against Will Watkins. Richard was ahead early and appeared in control only for his opponent to find form and a few birdies to turn the match on its head. Will was the 2 up late in the game. However, Richard never knows when he is beaten and stormed back and again holed a monster putt on 17 to close out a win by 2 and 1. Great display Richard, life in the old dog yet!
Next up was Mark Bazeley and he again had a really close match and found himself one down playing 18. He had to win 18 and was  about 238 out over water and with a tough lie with the ball sitting down. Lay up? Never, he went at it with a 3 wood and........ yes , found the usual watery grave in front of the 18th island green. So a 2 up win for Sam Orton.
In the final singles Ben Hawkins played Ross Murgatroyd and another very close match ensued. Ben fought hard but didnt get any breaks along the way and lost his match 2 and 1.
So, a disappointing start to the season with a loss against a strong Leicestershire Team. We look forward to welcoming Norfolk next month with the match played at Whittlebury Park Golf Club.

Matches Northamptonshire Result Points Leicestershire Result Points


Sam Gilkes

Andy Saunders

Tom Roberts

Oli Wilson

8&7 1

Kai Raymond

Jacob Williams

4&3 1

Matt Wylie

Will Watkins


Richard Dalton

Alec Francis

Ross Murgatrod

Sam Orton

2up 1

Ben Hawkins

Mark Bazeley

Joey Matharv

Josh Rudkin




1 Andy Saunders 2&1 1 Tom Roberts
2 Sam Gilkes 1up 1 Matt Wylie

3 Kai Raymond

Oli Wilson 3&2 1
4 Jacob Williams
Joey Matharv 3&2 1
5 Alec Francis

Josh Rudkin 2&1 1
6 Richard Dalton 2&1 1 Will Watkins

7 Mark Bazeley
Sam Orton 2up 1
8 Ben Hawkins

Ross Murgatrod 2&1 1