For the previous two/three weeks we have had really lovely weather. And Pearson Finals day on 15 June at Rochester and Cobham dawned bright and sunny. Perfect weather for golf.
Jackie and I were at Rochester & Cobham bright and early to get ready for the arrival of the four Kent finalists. Mid Kent, Redlibbets, Royal Blackheath and Shortlands. Redlibbets and Mid Kent were the newbies, their first time at finals day. Royal Blackheath last won the trophy in 1984. Rochester & Cobham staff were already there setting up for us. Mandy, the Lady Captain and club manager John arrived shortly after. The Lady Captain did a great job during the day. Acting as starter for the semis and finals. And, arranging the ball spotters. Many thanks to Mandy. A great job.
All the formalities were done. Team lists exchanged, handicaps checked, breakfasts eaten and it was time to start the semi-final at 8:30am. Kent Vice-Captain, Cheryl Power and Kent President, Elaine Tappin were there with their radios to act as referees for the day. The first semi-final was between Mid Kent and Royal Blackheath. After 9 holes, and the first matches through, Mid Kent were looking very strong with the first three matches going their way. However, Blackheath were hot on their heels with the next 4 matches going to them. The final in the afternoon slot was up for grabs. Match 1 and a good win for Mid Kent. Match 2 eventually went to Royal Blackheath. Match 3 Royal Blackheath on the 18th. Match 4 all square after 18. It was going to be very close. Match 5 & 6 solid games and wins to Royal Blackheath. Royal Blackheath were through.
The second semi-final was between Redlibbets and Shortlands. After 9 holes, Redlibbets were in a very strong position. Up in 6 matches and all square in the 7th. After 14 holes, there was 1 win to Redlibbets and they were still going strong. Shortlands managed to get 2 matches before Redlibbets secured their 4th and 5th win and a place in the finals against Royal Blackheath.
Lunches were eaten and it was not long before we were off again for the final. Blackheath winning the toss for honour on the 1st at 2pm. The afternoon went as well for Redlibbets as the morning had done. After 9 holes, they were up in six matches, down in one. Redlibbets maintained their pace. Despite Blackheath holding on and getting to all square in a couple of other matches. Match 1 was won by Redlibbets. Match 2 went to the 19th. Win to Redlibbets. Match 3, win to Redlibbets. Match 4 and a win for Blackheath. Matches 5 & 6 were wins to Redlibbets and the final match was called in. Well done and congratulations to Redlibbets in their first championship final.
Thank you to players, caddies, referees Cheryl and Elaine, the Lady Captain Mandy who acted as starter and ball spotters for making it a great day of golf. Thanks also to the spectators and supporters and to Rochester & Cobham GC for hosting the 2016-17 Kent finals.
Good golfing for the rest of the summer.
Kent Pearson Manager
Kent Deputy Pearson Manager