The final four remaining pairs in the 2017 Jubilee Plate battled out the semi-finals and finals at Denbigh. There was some great golf played with John Leigh and Reg Peacock accompanying the matches in case of any issues of which there were thankfully none with all matches being played in a very friendly spirit.
The players and officials assembled bright and early in the morning consuming bacon baps whilst the draw for the semi-finals was made. Semi-final matches commenced at 9am.
The first semi saw the Wrexham pairing of Peter Bannister and Roland Jones pitted against Moss Valley’s defending champions Luke Parry and Les Waddell. Peter and Roland took an early lead but were soon pegged back and after 3’s on each of the last 3 hole on the front 9 the champions had established a 2 hole lead. Holes were swapped early in the back 9 but the Wrexham pairing missed a couple of opportunities to close the gap and the match finished when Luke & Les won the 16th to establish an uncatchable 3 hole lead.
The second semi involved Llangollen’s Lee Evans & Ben Swire against the Clays pairing of Jamie Green and Paul Stevenson. This was an extremely tight match with both pairings establishing then losing the lead and it was all square after 17. Jamie and Paul hit tree trouble on the 18th to leave Lee and Ben victorious.
Soup and sandwiches were enjoyed before the afternoon final and 3rd/4th play-off commenced with the final at 2 pm.
The final looked like it would be a very quick affair with Luke & Les playing the first 4 holes in a cumulative 3 under gross to take a 3 hole lead. However a great fight-back by Lee and Ben saw then establish parity when they won the 12th. However a disastrous 16th for the Wrexham pair saw the champions go dormie 2 up. Undeterred, strong play saw the Ben win the 17th virtue of his shot to take the match down the 18th which was halved. Luke and Les thus became the first pair to successfully defend their trophy in the 41 year history of the competition.
The third/fourth play-off was also very close with both sides holding the advantage at some time. The match was sealed when Jamie and Paul both hit trouble on the 17th which resulted in Wrexham’s Peter & Roland establishing a 2 hole lead to seal the match.
After an excellent dinner the Denbigh President Gwilym Williams briefly left the Denbigh Past Captains meal to welcome the players to Denbigh. DGU VC then thanked Denbigh for their hospitality and congratulated the 2016 champions on retaining their trophy (the first time this had ever been done in the competition) before presenting prize vouchers as follows
Fourth - £30 each - Jamie Green & Paul Stevenson (Clays)
Third - £45 each - Peter Bannister & Roland Jones (Wrexham)
Second - £70 each - Lee Evans & Ben Swire (Llangollen)
Champions - £100 each - Luke Parry & Les Waddell (Moss) who then thanked Denbigh GC, the organisers and their fellow competitors for making it such an enjoyable day.