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Alliance Captain for 2017/2018 is amateur John Davies of Sale Golf Club who has been a long-time supporter of the Alliance both as a player and sponsor and it was an honour he was delighted to accept taking over from Swinton 1Park professional Dave Smith.
John has also had memberships at Chorlton, where he was Captain, Davyhulme Park and Boysnope Park and he is hoping not to beat the record number of postponed Alliance Winter competitions (eight) posted by his amateur predecessor Doug Craig of Davyhulme Park in 2016.
To date the Alliance has lost six winter competitions, five of them in 2018 due to the awful weather golf clubs have suffered over the past months.
John said: “It is a privilege and an honour to be President of such a fantastic golfing community that lives up to its motto of ‘Friendship through Golf’ in its weekly winter competitions and the unique Inter Club Knock Out summer competitions.
“The success of the Alliance is shown by the number of professionals who support the Alliance winter competitions, which include a match play  knock out and the order of merit.
“Phil Archer (Birchwood) who was a member of the GB and I PGA pro team who beat the USA in 2017 is a great example to his fellow pros and along with several other top local professionals is a great supporter of the Alliance.
“Members of Alliance clubs can enter the weekly competitions and find out more about the Alliance activities on the website www.mdga.org.uk.
“There is all to play for before the winter season concludes on President’s Day at Davyhulme Park on May 2.”

8 April 2018 -Ashton-on-Mersey Golf Club were again excellent host for the Alliance Match Play finals day for professionals and Assistant professionals as all of the players enjoyed some excellent greens after the recent weather traumas.
In the morning semi-finals Styal Golf Club assistant professional Alistair Waddell, the holder of the main professionals’ trophy, beat Ben Thompson (Hazel Grove) by 5/4 to make the assistant’s final to take on home player Olly Smith who accounted for Davyhulme Park assistant Mike Lane by one up.
In the main event there were two titanic semi-finals that saw Stand assistant pro Rob Batchelor come out on top to beat Chorley assistant pro Andy Palmer on the 22nd hole. The other semi went to the 20th hole before the 2016 champion Phil Archer (Poulton Park) accounted for Swinton Park Golf and Country Club professional Dave Smith.
Two more close finals followed this drama with Phil Archer regaining the professional trophy with a 2/1 win over Rob Batchelor.
It went to the wire of the 18th hole in the assistant’s final with Alistair Waddell beating Olly Smith by one hole.
Many thanks to Ian Singleton from IDS Golf for his sponsorship of the event.

 

 

21 March 2018 - There was a superb turnout of 28 teams who enjoyed the Four Man Team Stableford at Bolton Old Links on one of the highest courses in the region.
On a day that became increasingly chilly the players enjoyed the challenges of a fine course and as usual there was a close battle for the day’s prizes.
With Professional Order of Merit leader Craig Corrigan not in action it gave his rivals a chance to close the gap on his significant lead in the individual pro section which was led inIn the individual professional section Hart Common’s Steve Parry led the way with a fine haul of 40 points taking him home from Mark Hancock (Stand) 38 and Phil Archer (Birchwood) and Ryan O’Neil (Penwortham), both 37.
There was a tight contest for the top team prizes and Marple’s Gary Brown, Chris Marshall (New Mills), Richard Blackwell (Mottram Hall) and Gary Smith (Brookdale) posting 85 points to edge out the home team of Brian Carroll, Mick Wallace, Alan Schofield and Steve Jackson, who used their local knowledge to good effect, by a point.
The Old Links won a cpo from Phil Archer’s team of Dave Morris, Alan Mannion and Mark Pasquill.
Many thanks to Mark Gregory from M-Pire Golf for his sponsorship of the event

14 March 2018 - The Alliance players were relieved to resume their winter programme after the recent mass of cancellations at the splendid venue of Vale Royal Abbey in the scenic heart of Cheshire.
Despite more rainfall prior to the competition they were given a superbly presented course which brought a string of good scores from the full field.
Alliance regular Craig Corrigan certainly enjoyed the day as he led in the individual pro section with 39 points, two more than Mark Hancock (Stand) and Phil Archer (Birchwood) to increase his lead in the professional Order of Merit.
And he made it a double as he also won the pro am section, partnered by Chris Seabrook (Haigh Hall), with 43 points. This was one more than Alex Pritchard and Chris Cartwright (Poulton Park), Dave Green and Gary Beresford (Dukinfield) and Grant Hamerton (Pike Fold) and Vinny Doyle (Leigh).
The top score of the day came in the am am section from Norman Haslam (Stand) and Steve Grimley (Walmersley) with 44 points taking them clear of Mobi Rawthore and Neil Griffiths (Sale) 43 and Paul Traynor and Richard Margrave (Stamford) 41.

21 February 2018 -The  Alliance had a full field with plenty of smiles from the players as they were at last able to 2enjoy a sunny day on a well-prepared course at Stand Golf Club that lent itself to some hot scoring in the competition sponsored by Bob Kelly of Kildare Building Services.
It was close in the battle for the top individual pro slot with Stand assistant professional  Rob Batchelor using his local knowledge to good effect as he tied with Penwortham Golf Club’s Ryan O’Neill on 40 points, one more than Tim Maxwell (Knutsford) and Andy Palmer (Chorley).
It also needed a cpo on 45 points in the pro am section with Davyhulme Park father and son duo Chris and Mike Lane seeing off Andy Palmer and Keith Ashton (Bolton).
Next in on 44 were Ryan O’Neill and Steve Moores (Stamford )who won a cpo from Tim Maxwell and his Sale partner Mobi Rawthore.
Home duo Andre McCreedy and Gary Jacques were runaway winners in the am am section with 46 points leaving them well clear of Peter McManus (Chorlton) and Alliance secretary Ian Hales (Ringway), making a welcome return from his knee operation, 43 points one more than another home pairing of Denis Welsby and Simon Naylor.

31 January 2018 - Boysnope Park Golf Club hosted its first-ever Alliance competition and despite some atrocious weather, which closed many other courses in the area, it provided a good course and a very friendly welcome.
The enduring class of Craig Corrigan dominated the competition as he extended his lead over Phil Archer (Birchwood) in the professional Order of Merit with a fine double victory.
Craig posted 40 points in the individual pro section to lead in from Phil Archer 39 and Hazel Grove assistant pro Ben Thompson 36.
He then teamed up with regular partner Phil Cooney (Dean Wood) to top the pro am section with 43 points from Phil Archer and his Poulton Park partner Phil Locket 42 and Alan Crompton and Chris Seabrook (Haigh Hall) who won a cpo on 40 from Kieron Gaskell and Ben Stokes (Westhoughton).
Local knowledge paid off in the am am section as Boysnope Park Captain Adrian Hodges and his Davyhulme Park partner Andy Greig won a cpo on 41 points from Ian Farthing and Steve King (Malkins Bank) with John Aikenhead (Ashton-on-Mersey) and Mark Gauci (Chorlton) completing the prize list.

-22 November 2017 - With many courses in the local area closed and with horrible weather before the competition the Manchester Alliance officials and players were surprised and delighted as Mottram Hall provided them with an excellent and challenging course for another full Alliance field in their final competition before the mid-winter break.
Chorley assistant professional Andy Palmer, just a few days before his wedding, shot a fine one-under-par 37 points to win the individual professional section from Garnt Hamerton (Pike Fold) and Kieron Gaskell (Westhoughton), both 36.
The top assistant pro with 34 points was Jamie Howarth of Davenport.
Graham Cox from Lymm partnered Davenport’s Chris Bamford to victory in the pro-am with a fine haul of 42 points from Ben Stanier (Wilmslow) and Chris Turner (Tytherington) 41 and Grant Hamerton (Pike Fold) and Vinny Doyle (Leigh) who won a cpo on 40 points from Alistair Waddell (Styal) and in-form Gary Brown (Marple) and their amateur partners.
Top of the am am section were the formidable duo of Lee Warren (Northenden) and Jimmy O’Reilly (Swinton Park) with 42 points from Marcus Corfield (Swinton Park) and Dave Smith (Ellesmere) who won a cpo on 40 from John Kilner and Duncan Bullough (Ellesmere).
Many thanks to Lewis Nunn for Ground Level for his sponsorship of the event.

15 November 2017 - Warrington Golf Club deservedly has great pride in its course and it was enjoyed by another full Alliance field who enjoyed good underfoot conditions and excellent fairway and green surfaces.
Craig Corrigan posted an impressive 40 points to win the individual pro section by a point from Ollie Pantoja, (Ashton-on-Mersey) and Hazel Grove assistant pro Ben Thompson.The top assistant pro was Stand’s Rob Batchelor with 36 points.
Gary Brown (Marple) was a delighted winner of the pro am section as he partnered Richard Blackwell (Mottram Hall) to 44 points to win a cpo from Ben Thompson and his Hazel Grove partner Ian Walters. Third spot went to Chorley assistant pro Andy Palmer and his Bolton partner Keith Ashton who won a cpo on 43 points from Andrew Baguley, Phil Archer (Birchwood) and Alistair Waddell (Styal).
In the am-am section the familiar names of Marcus Corfield (Swinton Park) and Dave Smith (Ellesmere) led in with 42 points from Norman Haslam (Stand) and Charlie Rodgers (Pike Fold) 41 and Leigh’s duo of Vinny Doyle and Mark Pasquill getting third on a cpo with 40.
Many thanks to Anton Johnson from Johnsons Hairdressing for his sponsorship of the event.

8 November 2017 - Haydock Park Golf Club were great hosts as they provided some great greens for a full Alliance field. As with most courses Haydock had suffered with more heavy rain in the days prior to the competition but all players enjoyed the course and again produced a string of good scores.
Sponsor Dave Sweeney and his Dunscar Golf Club partner Bill Newsome set a hot pace as they posted 46 points in the am am section but were overtaken at the death by the previous week’s winners Paul Traynor and Richard Margrave (Stamford GC) on a cpo. Next in on 45 points were Haydock Captain Cliff Anderson and Lester Lowe.
Leading the way in the professional ranks was reigning Alliance Order of Merit champion Phil Archer (Birchwood GC) who tied with Craig Corrigan in the individual pro section. They both posted 40 points to finish two clear of Rob Batchelor (Stand), Tim Maxwell (Knutsford), Grant Hamerton (Pike Fold) and Colin Moroney.
Archer made it a double as he found a great amateur partner in Matt Harding (Dunham Forest) to cruise to top spot in the pro am section with 47 points. It left them four clear of Ben Thompson (Hazel Grove) and Paul Wilson (Wychwood Park) and in a battle between seven pairs on 42 points the cpo went in favour of Mark Pearson and Chris Harding (Prestwich GC).
Many thanks to Dave Sweeney from Bank Top Brewery for his sponsorship of the event.

18 October 2017 - The  Alliance Team of Four Stableford at Helsby Golf Club had a fantastic full field of 29 teams aenjoying a superbly prepared and challenging course as it made its Alliance Winter season debut.
Also making his debut was Ryan O’Neill, the assistant professional at Penwortham Golf Club, who recently joined the Alliance. Ryan was top man in  the individual pro section with 38 points ahead of Andrew Terry (Whitefield) making a welcome return from injury, 37 and home club assistant pro Anthony Dempsey 35.
Ryan made it a debut double as he led in the sponsors’ team of Steve ‘Majestic’ Moores (Stamford), Phil Aitken (Fairfield) and Martin Dwyer (Stamford) to a winning score of 85 points in the team section.
They beat Marcus Corfield (Swinton Park), Dave Hemingway (Chorley), Lee Warren (Northenden) and Dave Smith (Ellesmere) on a cpo with Saddleworth’s team of Andy Earlam, Neil Bamford, Dave Pullen and Dean Jagger in third spot with 82 points.
Many thanks to Steve Moores from Majestic Coffee for the sponsorship of the event.

 

11 October 2017 - Sale Golf Club survived some dreadful weather to allow a full Alliance Mixed Pairs field to play for the Hancock Trophy.
Taking top honours in the BB Stableford were pro am winners Andy Palmer, the assistant professional at Chorley Golf Club, and his Chorley partner Steph Patterson who posted an excellent score of 42 points on a testing day to take back the Hancock Trophy to their club.
They saw off a strong challenge by Westhoughton’s Kieron Gaskell and Lynn Phillips who won a cpo on 41 points from Ollie Whiteley and Michelle Pretty (Bramall Park).
The home pair of Mobi Rawthore and Fiona Flanagan also won a count-back on 39 points to top the am am section from Worsley’s Alan Hooper and Pat Jackson with another top Chorley duo of Denis and Sam Durnian next in with 38.
The competition was sponsored by Alliance Captain John Davies, a member at Sale Golf Club, who gave deserved thanks to all at Sale for providing a great course in difficult circumstances and a very friendly welcome to all of the players and Alliance officials.

 

 

4 October 2017 - Wigan Golf Club provided a challenging and scenic course for a full Alliance field which saw the return of several top stars to Alliance action.
Leading the way was Birchwood’s Phil Archer in his first Alliance event of the season.
Phil has been involved in some high profile golf in recent weeks and played a leading role in the GB and I PGA success over the USA.
Last season Phil won the Alliance’s Professional Order of Merit and he showed that he intends to retain the title as he topped the individual pro section with his 40-pointer taking him clear of Kieron Gaskell (Westhoughton) 38 and Dave Smith (Swinton Park) 37.
Phil made it a double as he partnered Leigh’s Mark Pasquill to top spot to 45 points in the pro am section ahead of Bramall Park’s Craig Daggitt and Ken Thomson 44 and Adam Hodkinson (Chorlton) and Richard Branton (Northenden) 43.
It was a family affair in the am am section as John Aikenhead (Ashton-on-Mersey) partnered David Aikenhead (Blackley) to top spot with a good haul of 43 points taking them ahead of Vinny Doyle (Leigh)  and Reece Cranfield (Wigan) who won a cpo on 41 points from the winning  pair’s playing colleagues Mark Gauci (Chorlton) and John Russell (Sale).
Many thanks to Derek Harvey from Marriott Worsley park for his generous sponsorship of the event.

1 October 2017 - Blackley Golf Club were excellent hosts for the City Glass Men’s Foursomes final between Houldsworth and Birchwood Golf Clubs.
The fine drainage of the Blackley course after heavy overnight rain on top of plenty of downpours on previous days plus sterling work done by Blackley voluntary helpers kept the greens clear and in good condition for the finalists to enjoy.
It is a great feat and distinction for the two clubs to reach the final from an original entry of 92 clubs with a long trek to finals day beginning in early Spring.
On the day Houldsworth always held the upper hand as they dominated throughout and maintained an early lead to sweep to their first-ever victory in the competition.
Paul Stelfox and Richard Hackney opened their account with a win on the 18th over Ian Clough and Peter McElkerny which was followed by further success from Peter Burgess and Paul Stafford by 3/1, Steve Henderson and Steve Harding 6/5 before victory was clinched on the 18th by Barry McConnell and Chris Fawley over Peter Abbott and Bob Kingswood.
John Dorsi and David Raynor put the icing on the Houldsworth cake with a 3/2 win over Colin Berry and Lee Pritchard.
Deserved consolation points for Birchwood came from Jerry Salmon and Steve Broome with a two up win over Steve Richardson and Steve McCann and a half between John Fitzsimons and Simon Wilkinson and Houldsworth’s Graham Bardsley and Dave Michaels giving Houldsworth victory by 5.5-1.5.
The trophies were presented to both teams by Alliance Vice President Ian Brooks who along with both teams thanked Blackley for their excellent hosting of the competition.

27 September 2017 - Most of the Alliance’s top professionals returned to action in a full field and leading the eindividual professional section was Ringway’s David Brunton with 38 points ahead of Anthony Millar (Ellesmere) 37 and Adam Hodkinson (Chorlton), Dave Green (Dukinfield) and Andy Palmer (Chorley) all 36 with Palmer picking up the top assistant pro prize.He also led his Bolton partner Keith Ashton to top spot in the pro-am section with 42 points taking them one clear of Martin Longshaw (Haigh Hall) and Daniel Moore (Haydock Park) who won a cpo from Knutsford’s Tim and Simon Maxwell.
It also needed a cpo on 43 points in the am am section to see Ashton-on-Mersey’s Steve McDermott and Paul King take top spot from home pair Mark Riley and Dan Crook with another Leigh duo Vinny Doyle and Dave Tonge getting  third spot on a four-way cpo with 41.


Many thanks to Dave Rowlands from JR Taxis for his generous sponsorship of the event.

 

24 September 2017 - The Archie Preston  Mixed Foursomes club knock out has been one of the Alliance’s most dpopular competitions since it began in 1991. Once more there was a big entry of 90 clubs battling to reach finals day at Sale Golf Club, who were the winners in 2016.
Sale provided a terrific course, superb weather and great hospitality for Tytherington and Shaw Hill Golf Clubs who responded by providing what was probably the most dramatic and exiting final in the past 25 years of the competition.
Shaw Hill, who have reached the semi-finals on three previous occasions, saw their final path begin in March at Davenport and further wins against Davyhulme Park, Turton, Pleasington, Haydock Park and Breightmet got them through to their first-ever final against previous winners Tytherington who were runners-up in 2016.
It was nip and tuck throughout an absorbing match with the lead changing hands and both teams played some great golf in excellent spirit.
Shaw Hill’s Captain Phil Jervis and Lady Captain Alison Davidson set the example for their team as they opened their account with a 2/1 win over Tytherington counterparts Carole Ryder and Greg Adams..
Tytherington then struck back with wins from Alex Weare and Caron Corden and Sam Burton and Sara Gilmore.
Shaw Hill drew level through Mark Pallett and Ruth Harrison and then took the lead with a 5/4 win for Simon and Lesley Penketh.
So it was down to the final two matches which both ended level on the 18th hole to set up a sudden death finish  and Tytherington drew level with a win on the 19th for Ian Mathers and Janet Ions.
So all eyes were on the final match which saw Hillary Powell pull of an amazing miracle chip shot  on the 19th to keep the scores level and then the dynamic Shaw Hill duo, with a stroke advantage on the 20th hole, played text book golf to secure the trophy for their ecstatic team and supporters including their President Bill who had supported them throughout the competition.Leigh Golf Club provided a course in stunning condition enjoyed by a full field despite steady rain in the final hour of play.

 

22 September 2017 - Manchester Golf Club were again great hosts as they staged the third final of the Alliance’s bSeniors Team Knock Out providing a great course, which had recently staged the England Open U14 Boys Championship.The competition has grown year on year since its inception in 2015 and there were 80 clubs taking part in this season’s competition which featured five pairs per side in the match-play format.
Two proud teams, making their first final appearance, came to represent Ashton-under-Lyne and Shaw Hill and making an early impact with a 6/5 win were Ashton’s Mo Akram and Alan Clegg over Graham Whittle and Rupert Davies.
Following this example were John Jenkinson and Tony Millar by 2/1 over Roger Bentley and Steve Parke and Martin Easthorpe and Noman Seabright by 3/2 over Terry Dewhurst and Dave Caunce to secure the trophy for Ashton. Shaw Hill’s John Holt and Alan Smith gained a consolation point with a 2/1 win over Roger Lomas and Jeff Hindle and the last match out was a draw between John Dawber and Peter Haq (Ashton) and Tony Aspinall and NigeL Deane (Shaw Hill)
Alliance President John Dowd congratulated both teams on reaching this stage and playing the final in a great spirit and also thanked Manchester Captain Graham Hollister for his club’s excellent staging of the final.

 

20 September 2017 - Didsbury Golf Club were hosts for the latest Alliance meeting which saw the Bert Thompson Trophy as the main feature of the competition. Bert was a legend in the Alliance being secretary for many years and his club Didsbury Golf Club agreed to host the competition each year in the memory of their former Captain.
The trophy was won in convincing style by Ashton-on-Mersey assistant pro Ollie Smith and his club amateur Steve McDermott as they racked up 44 points. Next in the pro am with 42 points were Styal duo Alistair Waddell and Charles Herbert, one more than Swinton Park’s Ben Chambers and Max Baxendale.
Waddell was the leading individual professional with 39 points from Ollie Smith 37 and Nick Holmes (Bury) 36.
The top am am pair were Ellesmere’s John Kilner and Tony O’Mara with 41 points taking them three clear of Swinton Park’s Marcus Corfield and Dave Smith who won a cpo from Alliance legend Denis Durnian from Chorley and his Blackley partner Keith Liddle.

 

16 September 2017 - The Dunham Forest Trophy finals day is one of the top highlights of the Alliance’s season with the lasta four teams, who have won through from an entry of nearly 100 clubs, enjoying a great day of golf at the traditional and magnificent venue of Dunham Forest Golf Club.


The morning semi-finals saw Manchester Golf Club, winners of the Dunham Forest Trophy in 2011 and 1996 take on Reddish Vale GC, enjoying their first finals day for 40 years. Manchester won three of the first four matches with Andy Allen, Andy Westwell and Aiden Hoosen with Vale replying through Vaughan Stott.With professional Paul Woodcock winning a walkover, due to Vale’s Andrew Myers suffering from injury, Manchester eased their way into the final with Ryan Jackson earning a consolation point for Vale.
It was much closer in the other game – a local derby between Bolton Old Links and Harwood- as wins for Michael Tunstall and James Whitworth for Links were matched by Steve Hunt and Joe Donnelly for Harwood. It was still locked at 3-3 as Anthony Stirling won one up for Harwood and Links professional Sean Owen levelled with a 3-2 success over Dale Affleck. The crucial win for Links came from Nick Jackson who beat Martin Durham on the 20th to give them high hopes of repeating their last win in the competition since 1975.


The final was nip and tuck for most of the day before Manchester put on a late surge to triumph by 4.5- 2.5 with wins from Andy Allen, Aiden Hoosten, Graeme Jackson and Roger Smithies with Keith Irwin halving his match with James Whitworth. Picking up the points for Links were Karl Bowker and Sean Owen.
All four teams can be very proud of reaching finals day in one of the biggest knock out competitions in the country and playing some superb golf with birdies and eagles coming at very regular intervals.