Hampshire rout

Jersey's Harrison Carlyon in action for Channel Islands against Hampshire at Hayling Golf Club. He was defeated on the final hole as Hampshire won the fixture 11-1 Picture: ANDREW GRIFFIN/AMG

WITH the full arsenal of the county at their disposal Hampshire Golf claimed a resounding 11–1 victory over the Channel Islands on home soil.

Despite the evident gulf in class on the weekend between the two sides, Jersey’s Harrison Carlyon felt his team “deserved more” from the contest.

Following a tense 6.5–5.5 win at Royal Jersey last year, the mainlanders made light work of the local charges, comprised of four players from Jersey and four from Guernsey.

Held at Havant’s Hayling GC, there was hope that the rolling links would suit the visitors as something of a “home from home”, but Lawrence Cherry’s octet were ruthless from start to finish to wrap up their tenth success from 18 attempts in the annual fixture.

The lone notable performance from the Channel Islanders came courtesy of Sarnian Conor Mckenna, with the teenager storming to a 5&4 victory over Rob Wheeler in the singles to avoid a whitewash.

Jersey order of merit winner Carlyon said: “Hampshire were definitely stronger, but I do feel like we deserved more than just one point.

“A fair few of the singles matches went deep into the round, but maybe we just didn’t get the rub of the green at the right moments to turn them into points.

“But we have to look at the positives. It’s a brilliant opportunity for us to play against some of the strongest players in the county and learn what we can from them.

“Chances to get away and compete from the Channel Islands are limited for most of our top players, so the fixture is always one that we look forward to and a challenge we enjoy.

While Hampshire’s best have had ample opportunity to play competitive golf thus far in 2024, the season is yet to really get underway locally.

Carlyon continued: “We haven’t had much by way of comps so far this season, so there is bound to be some rust there.

“It is also about feeling some pressure over golf shots again. The winter break is long and getting used to those situations take some time entering the new year.

“Our players now have a clearer idea of what they need to work on in the coming weeks and I have no doubt it’ll help better prepare us for the challenges ahead.”

The math began with foursomes on the opening day, with three of the four matches reaching the 17th hole.

Two of Jersey’s Island Games squad in the shape of Josh Ozard and Alex Guelpa fell 3&2 to Will Green and Rob Wheeler in the opening match.

Sarnian duo Jeremy Nicolle and Tom Le Huray came closest of the home hopes, defeated on 18 to Martin Young and George Saunders, with the players able to hear the Pompey Chimes ringing out from Fratton Park, as the fans celebrated earning the League One title during the game against Wigan.

Matthew Parkman and Harrison Carlyon, the second Jersey pair fell next 3&1 to player/captain Cherry and James Freeman, while McKenna and Jamie Blondel were defeated by the same margin.

Hampshire required just 2.5 points from the singles to retain the trophy as Saunders quickly wrapped up a 4&3 win over Le Huray in the top match.

Guelpa would fall in the enx match to veteran Young, before teenager McKenna’s outstanding victory over Wheeler.

Former Hampshire champion Freeman showed class in the fourth match against Ozard for a 5&4 victory to put the result beyond doubt.

Cherry quickly followed Freeman into the clubhouse with a win by the same margin against Blondel, who was also part of the Guernsey team that won Gold at last year’s Island Games.

Two of the last three matches did at least make the final green.

Parkman lost on the last to Hodgetts, before Royal Guernsey’s Nicolle fell to Green for the host’s tenth point of the weekend.

That left former professional Archibald in a testy contest with Carlyon, holding on for a par at the last to win by one.

With Jersey’s Island Games gold winner Jo Hacker unable to play, the likelihood of Cherry calling for Hampshire reinforcements from over the Channel, looks slim, although the performance of McKenna – part of a very strong junior section at Royal Guernsey – will delight the county’s junior managers.

Hacker, who won the county championship at North Hants in 2021 is completing his golf scholarship at Jacksonville University – by taking advantage of a fifth year granted because of the pandemic in his sophomore year.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –