Alderley Edge vs Wychwood Park 18th June 2023
Skipper Ridgway tested the depth of his squad, and came up trumps once again, with a fine
6 to 1 home win against Wychwood Park and passage into the quarter finals.
A number of changes to personnel had been enforced due to Fathers Day, International
commitments “ I’m in Tenerife”’ and a Covid outbreak at 10.50am on Gravel Lane.
In came Piers Johnson, the only man capable or willing to partner ‘Angry Bob’ and Steve
Boyd was pulled off the 3rd tee to partner Matt Spiller. Other debutants were Ed Lawton,
Bobby Murphy and Christian Cartwright. Skipper Ridgway, vice Sean Hall, Rick Walker, Andy
Slater , Mike Davies, Greg Wilmot and Logan Stanyer completed a squad rich in youthful
exuberance and maturity. A mix which was to prove decisive.
Despite a number of players from Wychwood playing a courtesy round in the week, in the
end perhaps, the fast pacy conditions saw a number of shots in trouble off the tee and over
hit approach shots to unreceptive greens. Not that Alderley were using their home
advantage early doors.
Wychwood made early strides against Murphy and Davies with 3 birdies, were leading
against Bob and Piers and were making the most of their shots against Walker and Slater.
On the plus side, Stanyer kept giving the skipper foot putts and Lawton was aiming 200 yard
approach shots through metre wide gaps in trees, as both these pairs took leads they never
really lost. There wasn’t much in the other two ties, as at the 7th, it all was square for the
Spiller/Boyd and Willmot/ Cartwright partnerships. It was certainly all to play for at the turn.
At 4 down, Murphy and Davies then proceeded to win 5 in a row. One up, going up the 18th,
Murphy mis hit his drive apparently, a bemused Davies calmly chipped onto the green from
all of 80yds, pondering where a cleanly hit drive might have finished.
With a shot at the 15th, Cartwright found the angle to the dog leg just right, and the
Wychwood pairing didn’t, to go one up. A poor second into the bushes on the right past the
willows on the 16th ended that challenge for the day.
By this time the skipper was in the clubhouse, having finished on the 15th, and was joined by
Spiller and Boyd, who, completely under the radar, had won on the 16th. Boyd, who should
have been home an hour earlier, could not refuse a celebratory drink or two afterwards.
With three wins already in the clubhouse and the vice 4 up, it was looking good, although
any squared matches went to the visitors and the vice, minus a shot, had put Ed in the trees
by the 2nd fairway on the 12th. It was the last scare, this hole being halved as Ed launched
another bomb, pin high, albeit nearer the ladies tee on the 5th.
The closest match was had by Walker and Slater, nip and tuck all the way, with 2 shots to
give. Their course knowledge eventually gave them an edge, which proved decisive on the
14th dog leg. That was 6 wins in the clubhouse, a fantastic achievement, given the
competitive nature of the tie, even Anderson and Johnson, 3 down for most of the round,
took it to the 15th.
Got to say, skipper Ridgway got the pairings right, and some of the shots that the younger
players made i.e. Stanyer, Lawton, Johnson and Murphy to get their team back in play were
quite remarkable and ultimately made the difference.
Wychwood to their credit, stated they had enjoyed the course and the hospitality and wished
us good luck in the next round, which will be sometime in July. The general consensus
being, we would love another home tie, but will go anywhere.