Manchester Alliance Matchplay Finals

Phil Wins A Nail-Biter

DESPITE the recent heavy rain and a frost overnight Ashton-on-Mersey provided a course fitting for one the Manchester Alliance’s top competitions- the match-play championship and the assistant professional’s match-play trophy.

The morning semi-finals set the tone for a great and thrilling day of golf as in the main competition former European Tour star Phil Archer (Birchwood) came back from one down with two to play to beat Gatley’s Tom Bolton on the 19th.

This set up a match against Lymm’s Graham Cox, a previous winner of the competition, who was taken all the way by Ringway’s Ollie Pantoja before securing victory on the 18th.

John Dowd Presents Phil Archer With The Trophy


In the assistant pro’s competition the holder Adam Hodkinson (Chorlton) ended at one up against home star Olly Smith to set up a match against Hazel Grove’s Ben Thompson who won 4/2 against Andy Palmer (Chorley).

Hodkinson proved to be too strong in the final to win 4/2 to retain the trophy.

But it was nip and tuck all the way in the main final with the scores level after nine holes.

Phil Archer had three wins in four holes to take a two-hole lead going into the last four holes.


Graham Cox

John Dowd Presenting The Assistants Trophy To Adam Hodkinson


Phil Archer From The Bunker

Match Referee Doug Craig

Graham Cox On The Green

Then Cox notched a birdie and an eagle on the next two holes to level the match but a wayward tee shot on the 17th gave Archer a one-hole advantage going into the 18th.

His approach found an awkward lie in e greenside bunker with Cox safely on the green 12 feet from the pin.

Archer blasted out from the bunker to ten feet giving Cox a putt to halve the match but he just missed leaving a cool and grateful Archer the chance to win and he holed a nerveless put to claim the trophy for the first time.


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