Royal’s command performance

ROYAL Jersey Golf Club 7s and A-team captain Ian Daly has a selection headache ahead of the Hampshire 7s semi finals and final weekend next month.

Daly’s team qualified for the final stages of the handicap knock-out competition on Sunday, with a 6-1 victory at Grouville against Hartley Wintney.

‘It was a great win and closer than the final scoreline suggests as several matches were decided on the last couple of holes,’ said Daly.

‘I’ve now got a real headache because I’ve got ten players who have shown good form to get us to this stage and I know I’m going to be off the Christmas card list of the players who will miss out.

‘I’ve got some tough decisions to make, but that’s the responsibility of the team captain and I’ve nothing but praise for those who have helped us get this far in the competition.

‘Sam Crenan got us off to a great start [on Sunday] with several birdies in his 4 and 3 win and Phil Evans followed that up with an excellent 6 and 5 success.

‘Unfortunately Peter Craggs was unable to win on his debut, but he was giving four shots away and he played steadily throughout to eventually be defeated on the 18th.

‘New Island caps Hugo Jacques and Sam Vautier [both conceding one shot] were solid in their wins and Paul Le Chevalier and Sam Jaakola both won one-up [conceding four and five shots respectively].

‘Paul birdied 15 to go one-up and also won the 16th. Although he was pegged back at the 17th, he managed to keep his nose in front to win overall, despite conceding a shot at the 18th.

‘Hartley Wintney play on a parkland course, so I was hoping for a strong wind and we got it.

‘And together with the green staff assisting with tough pin positions, it was a good team effort all round.’

Daly made three changes to Sunday’s quarter-final team from the last round, two because of family holidays, so he now has a tough call to make in selecting his line-up for finals weekend at Barton-on-Sea on Sunday 23 September.

The former Muratti football defender said: ‘I’ve now got a massive headache selecting the team for Barton-on-Sea and I know there will be some really disappointed players who will miss out.

‘There will be a travelling reserve and the seven who play will know they are starting well before, so that they can focus on their games in the build up.

‘When I played football sometimes you never found out that you were starting until an hour before a game; I never liked that which is why everyone will be told well ahead of going away.’

Daly, who will play a practice round at Barton-on-Sea later this month, added: ‘I’m told the course has a links feel to it so hopefully that will be great for our team.’

Royal Jersey 6, Hartley Wintney 1: (Royal golfers named first), Sam Crenan beat Ian Fitzpatrick (4 shots received) 4 and 3; Peter Craggs lost one-down to Kevin Pitcher (4); Phil Evans bt Ben Cornwell (3) 6 and 5; Hugo Jacques bt Nick Wilmot (1) 2 and 1; Sam Vautier bt Ian Callaway (1) 3 and 2; Paul Le Chevalier bt Mark Chandler (4) one-up; Sam Jaakola bt Nick Palmer (5) one-up.

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