David Morgan - Tuesday, 29 May, 2007
His playing partner Cox actually bettered Cryer on the front nine but lost four shots to the 2004 Champion with an opening nine of 35 (+2).
It could have been much closer as Cox hit his approach to 2ft on the 8th hole in the morning, their last hole, whilst Matt was 20ft away. This green slopes heavily and at that point, Steve was -2 for the round and Matt -4. Instead Matt holed and Steve missed -
'I just thought that 65 was better than a 66', said Matt afterwards.
Matt had opened with a wedge to 8ft at the 9th, only to three putt
'I thought it was just one of those days', added Matt, 'This sort of competition (over 36 holes in one day) is a bit of a sprint, so I was looking to see how my game would go irrespective of what other people were doing.'
Players of the class of Rory Kirwan lost all chance of the title with a string of bogies and even doubles on the easier first nine holes, the same fate happening to Antony Gascoigne, and 2006 Runner-up Russell Heritage.
The Centenary Champion Ben Stafford left himself too much to do after his opening 73 whilst Andy Sullivan was ruing his opening bogey on the par five 1st and both Sullivan and playing partner Dale Marson could boast five birdies and five bogies apiece on their cards to match par and be five back.
Back from his final season playing golf for his US University, Jon Wetton opened with a 74 but had one of the few sub par rounds in the afternoon of a 69, a score which would give Jon 5th place.
The rain (thunderstorm) break affected players such as David Hayes, only level par when the storm came but unable to capitalise on the easy holes when play resumed. Nothing happened for Andy Sullivan when the restart came, Andy being -2 with the front nine to play. After swapping a bogey for his birdie on the first, Andy parred in and finished with a 68, the same score as Marson who rattled in putt after putt for an eagle and three birdies in those last few holes. That gave the pair of U21s the clubhouse lead on -2.
There was one other player who had a feint hope of challenging Cryer - Paul Harben (Copt Heath) who also opened with a 69. Paul was two under with seven to play when the resumption came. Six dropped shots followed to ruin his chances of a Top 3.
Young Michael McCormack put up a very good show for host's Moor Hall. He had three birdies and an eagle in his morning 69, and three more birdies in the afternoon, to go with a hatful of dropped shots in a 74. This gave Michael 6th place.
The other morning 69 from Liam Mallin (Coventry Hearsall) was followed by a 78 (in part due to a broken putter as you can see from the photo in the Gallery for this Championship where Liam is using his rescue wood) and Steve Cox tried to catch Matt over the first few holes of their afternoon round but came unstuck with a treble bogey at the 6th, ending up with a 77.
Matt opened up his second round with a birdie at the 1st, added two more at the 4th and the 7th and then when others were losing their concentration during the delay, kept control and parred in. His morning 65 equaled the low amateur score at Moor Hall.
'I was really pleased with my performance. My course management was good. The longest putt I holed was that on the 8th, I hit three of the par fives in two and I was close with lots of my approaches.'
This was a win overdue to someone of the class of Matt who as yet this season hasn't seen the rewards for his efforts and commitments which are dominated by his playing for EGU teams and being involved in all their squad commitments. There was one player at Moor hall before the Warwickshire Union Officials arrived at 7am to set-up for the day - it was Matt. he really wanted this Championship.
The team competition was dominated by Coventry, courtesy (notably) of Matt's superb scoring.
Top 3 placings in the team competition
Moor Hall 438
Maxstoke Park 447
The Amateur was held at Moor Hall as part of their 75th Anniversary celebrations. The course was prepared superbly and their Captain presented the prizes. After the Presentations, there was a special dinner at which the Union entertained some of the Moor Hall Committee. It was wonderful food to finish a day of superlatives, notably from a certain M Cryer (Coventry)
A number of pictures have been added to the Amateur Gallery - look in County Men | Championships | Amateur | Pictures