Metcalf and Knowles are red-hot winners
LYNDON Metcalf (7) and Richard Knowles (11) set a red-hot pace to win the final Hull & District Golfing Association's Alliance prior to the 12-week mid-winter break
A shotgun start at Hessle saw the Ganstead Park pairing race off like a pair of greyhounds from their start tee on the ninth.
Despite finding a bunker with his drive, Knowles hit a good recovery shot followed by a pin-splitting third to the green on the par five and holed the putt for a birdie.
He did the same on holes 10 and 11, again hitting pin-point accurate irons for two more birdies.
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Thereafter they combined well, playing par golf and making good use of their stroke allowance covering their first 10 holes in seven under par.
Having been the supporting cast to Knowles in the early part of the round, school teacher Metcalf, making a rare Alliance appearance courtesy of the autumn half- term, came into his own on holes four, five and six.
In receipt of shots on all three holes, he posted nett birdies on the fourth and the sixth and on the fifth chipped in from the edge of the green for a nett eagle two for a four-under spurt over the three holes that smartened up their front nine.
A dropped shot on the par four seventh, when both players were in prime positions following their drives but inexplicably could only make a five, could have derailed their charge.
It deprived them of the outright win, consigning them to a nail-biting count-back on the back nine at 10-under-par with Hornsea's father and son pairing of Tony (11) and David (Scr) Close.
As it was, the hot start by Knowles saw them take the tankards and relegate the Closes to runner-up for the second consecutive event, having been similarly placed at Ganstead Park, again losing out on a count-back.
David Close had the consolation of taking the day's professional prize.
Knowles said: "I had a dream start with the gross birdies which, with it being a shotgun start, meant our back nine was always going to be strong in the event of a count-back and so it proved.
"We really fitted well as a pair. Lyndon's purple patch for the three holes from the fourth was a real clincher and enabled us to carry the dropped shot on the seventh."
A second Hornsea pair of Paul Lockwood (8) and Malcolm Train (9), took the final rostrum spot with a 64, two shots ahead of Cave Castle's Junior captain Callum Skinner (4) and Mike Cross (10).
The Closes' 62 enabled Hornsea to reduce the gap on Victor Hurdle leaders Cave Castle by four shots with Cave going into the winter recess with a six-shot cushion.
Ganstead Park, courtesy of Knowles and Metcalf's winning score, were the week's big movers jumping from seventh to third but are still 11 shots adrift of the leaders. With half the season gone it will require some tremendous golf from the chasing pack to prevent the Victor Hurdle becoming a two-horse race.
THE Hull & District season resumes in 2013 on January 24 at Withernsea Golf Club.
Leading Better Ball returns: 62 L. Metcalf (7) & R. Knowles (11) Ganstead Park, D. Close (Scr) & T. Close (12) Hornsea; 64 P. Lockwood (8) & M. Train (9) Hornsea; 66 C. Skinner (4) & M. Cross (10) Cave Castle; 67 M. Cram & B. Atkinson (15) Springhead Park, S. Robins (1) & B. Rozenbroek (4) Hull, T. Redmore (6) & J. Jones (12) Ganstead Park, S. Spaven (13) & L. Nelson (19) Cave Castle.
Victor Hurdle (After 5 events): 1. Cave Castle 310, 2. Hornsea 316, 3. Ganstead Park 321, 4= Hessle & Hull 323, 6. Hainsworth Park 325, 7. Springhead Park 329, 8. Beverley & East Riding 331, 9. Sutton Park 333, 10. Withernsea 334.