Golf: Pannal Juniors win Ilkley Centenary Team Championship

Pannal A Juniors, winners of the Ilkley Centenary Junior Team Championship (l to r) Olly White, Will Caldecott and Will Rushworth
Pannal A Juniors, winners of the Ilkley Centenary Junior Team Championship (l to r) Olly White, Will Caldecott and Will Rushworth

Rudding Park Golf Club recently hosted the 2012 Ilkley Centenary Junior Team Championship.

Reigning champions Pannal A scored 316, and held a comfortable lead for most of the day.

However, they were nearly caught by Ripon City A who finished only one shot behind.

Pannal’s Will Rushworth, who has represented the Harrogate Union, had the outstanding round of the day, 70 gross, to win the U18 Individual prize finishing four shots clear.

George Muscroft from Otley won the U16 age group with a 77, beating another member of the victorious Pannal team, Olly White, after a back six count back.

Result: 1. 316 Pannal A, 2. 317 Ripon City A, 3. 322 Otley A, 4. 330 Harrogate A.

It’s been a tough few days for the Harrogate Union Junior team during half term.

With the Ilkley Centenary trophy at Rudding Park, a home match against undefeated Sheffield and the Yorkshire Boys Championship on successive days, it was always going to be a test of stamina if the team could overcome the league leaders.

A breezy morning gave way to continuous rain making conditions at best difficult.

First up in the foursomes were big hitters, Max Winterburn and Jason Taylor, Jason smashing a 3 wood into the far distance just short of the green, however in a sign of things to come the Sheffield team matched the pair on the first, and with some very low handicaps pulled ahead and stayed ahead to win 5&3. Top pairing from Harrogate, Phil Tomkinson and Jack Backhouse, followed a similar fate and never got into their stride and also went down 5&3.

Harrogate captain Tom Dunne and regular partner James Rathbone faired slightly better and managed to last to the 17th green before succumbing, leaving Sheffield in a clear 6-0 lead.

At this point new Harrogate pairing of ever steady Dan White and young George Muscroft emerged to start a fight back with a convincing 8&7 win, swiftly followed by Bedale’s Jonny Rayner and Otley’s Adam Wade who truimphed 4&3.

With one match left on the course in the morning, youngsters Gareth Traynor and Glen Ient looked like they were going to draw the match level being one up with 2 to play, only to suffer a bad kick on the 17th and eventually to lose 1 down on the 18th.

With the rain still coming down it looked uphill for Harrogate, being 8-4 down.

Phil Tomkinson came out strong in the top match but fell away at the end to lose 4&3, Jack Backhouse also started strong and not being overawed by playing a Yorkshire Junior team member put the morning defeat behind him to win 4&3. This was quickly followed by Dan White who overcame a big handicap difference to win 2&1.

James Rathbone had a roller coaster match, down, all square, up, finally coming to the 17th 1 down, pulled it back to all square and just missed out on victory on the last hole to halve his match.

George Muscroft started well but twisted his arm and never recovered to lose out 4&2, whilst Jonny Rayner continued his fine run of form - lowering his handicap earlier in the week, winning in the morning foursomes and finishing the job in the afternoon with a fine victory 1up.

At this point Harrogate were just about holding their own but successive defeats for Tom Dunne, Gareth Traynor, Max Winterburn, Adam Wade and Glen Ient made the task impossible with only Jason Taylor taking a victory in the last 5 matches.

Overall score Sheffield 23 Harrogate 13. Despite the loss the Harrogate team have taken the more points off Sheffield this season than any other Union.

Photo Caption: Pannal A Juniors, winners of the Ilkley Centenary Junior Team Championship (l to r) Olly White, Will Caldecott and Will Rushworth.