BASINGSTOKE’S bid to win the Royal Greenjackets title for just the second time in their history came up short when the Hampshire Inter-club Junior Finals were held at Hockley GC, last week.

Their only success in the competition’s 47-year history came in 2003 but they came up against a very strong Westridge team from the Isle of Wight in the morning semi-final.

But they had the satisfaction of taking third place, beating La Grande Mare in the afternoon play-off.

With two scores out of three counting in the stableford medal, the Wright brothers came very close to recording perfect par rounds.

Younger brother George, who is 15, and plays off a handicap of 18, was the top scorer with a total of 35 points, while 17-year-old William, who is a 20-handicapper, was just a point lower.

Roman Gardner, the oldest player in the team at 18, picked up 28 points playing off six, and needed a few more putts to drop to beat his handicap, and overtake  Westridge’s total which was boosted by an excellent 40 points by Harrison Lake.

Basingstoke’s total of 69 points was three less than Westridge, but comfortably beat the score of Royal Winchester (65) who beat Guernsey’s La Grand Mare in the other semi-final.

In the third/fourth place play-off Basingstoke comfortably beat the Channel Islands team by six points.

This time Gardner led the way and showed why he is a promising single-figure junior, top-scoring with 39 points.

George Wright came home with 35, leaving William’s score of 27 to be discarded.

Basingstoke’s 74-point total was six better than the Guernsey team’s.

Dad James Wright, who took over the club’s Greenjackets team earlier in the season, said: “It was just unfortunate we were drawn against the eventual winners in the semi-final, as our morning total was good enough to have beaten the two teams in the other semi.

“I would like to pay tribute to all the players who represented the club this season – our first since the move from our old Basingstoke home to our new course.

“Because of the planned works at the club, we opted to play all our fixtures away when that decision had to be made earlier this year. So to go away and win at North Hants, Corhampton and Alresford was no mean feat by the boys.

“Hopefully as the club grows in our new home, our junior section can also thrive and produce more good players to compete in the Greenjackets, and hopefully win it again.”

Lewis Ottely, who plays off three, Hampshire U16 player Ray Sanmathy, who is off five, and 32-handicapper Joseph Ellis played in the earlier rounds.

Westridge, who beat Royal Winchester in the final, will now represent Hampshire in the English Junior Champion club at Woodhall Spa, the home of England Golf, on August 11&12.

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