Challenge gets off to sorry start

The Norfolk men's Anglian League challenge got off to a muted start when both teams were soundly beaten by their Suffolk opponents.

The first team, who began the day with a minute's silence in memory of Seve Ballesteros, were beaten 8�-3� at Thetford, while the second team lost 8-4 at Stowmarket.

However, there were positives. Barnham Broom's Matt Alden made his first-team debut and emerged as the top scorer, halving his foursomes and winning his singles.

Both teams also performed well in the foursomes, which augurs well for this weekend when Norfolk take part in the annual Eastern Counties' Foursomes at Seacroft.

During winter training and preparation, county captain Jon Baker-Odlin had put the emphasis on foursomes practice. The first teams shared the foursomes points and he said: 'My strategy seemed to be paying off and I was extremely satisfied and positive going into the afternoon singles.'


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Norfolk got off to a good start over the first nine holes but, as they turned for home, they began to lose holes and at one point all were down.

The only points scorers were Alden and Aaron Bullock (Caldecott Hall) who halved his game.

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Baker-Odlin said: 'We simply didn't hole enough putts thus not making enough birdies to compete in this match. We all need to go away and work harder, especially on our putting.'

The second team got off to an even better start, winning three of the four available points in the foursomes. In the singles, though, only Costessey Park's Steve Tidy was able to secure a point.

Second team captain Iain Yule said: 'At lunchtime everything was looking brilliant and, with six out of eight guys playing against people they had beaten in the morning, I thought it was perfect.

'But, we couldn't get any momentum going.'

However Yule was pleased to see the development of good foursomes partnerships and by the team spirit and effort.

The Norfolk team for the Eastern Counties Foursomes is: Matt Alden (Barnham Broom), Jon Baker-Odlin (Royal Norwich), Simon Clark (Great Yarmouth and Caister), Kris Coop (Royal Cromer), Ian Hardy (King's Lynn), George Morris (Eaton), Anton Neal (Hunstanton), Paul Reade (King's Lynn), Steve Tidy (Costessey Park), Chris White (Hunstanton), Iain Yule (King's Lynn).

• A number of key Norfolk players are taking part in this weekend's South East of England Links Championship at Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St George's.

They are: Matt Bacon (Costessey Park), Charlie Bright (Royal Cromer), Aaron Bullock (Caldecott Hall) Tom Clements (Royal Norwich), Luke Johnson (King's Lynn) and Jamie Smith (Eaton).

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