Stenson Shield holders Aldeburgh face testing Newton Green clash in first round
Stenson Shield holders Aldeburgh face a testing first round match at Newton Green on Saturday, May 26 as they start the defence of their title.
Suffolk Golf Union have once again announced a draw that shows the path to the final.
Other first round ties are Bungay versus Fynn Valley, The Suffolk against Stowmarket and Rushmere at home to Southwold.
The second round has set up some intriguing ties. Woodbridge lost the final at the first hole of a play-off against Aldeburgh when Will Wright beat Nathan Overton on the par five opening hole at Bury St Edmunds. They will start favourites to make home advantage tell against Halesworth.
Rushmere will be happy with a second home draw but they might have preferred less powerful opponents than under-achievers Ipswich who must surely fulfil their potential before long.
Rookery Park, with Calvin Sherwood, Luke Thompson, Guy Mummery and Conal Downing as their main men, will look to repeat their 7-5 victory over Hintlesham in the quarter-final in July. Hintlesham are strong. The tie looks too close to call.
Felixstowe Ferry, winners in 2013 and 2015, are at home to Diss who can field county players James Biggs, Chris Bartrum and Josh Driver.
Bury St Edmunds, the Hambro holders, are away. They await the outcome of the tie between The Suffolk and Stowmarket. If it is The Suffolk it will be a repeat of the Hambro second round tie when Bury won by only four holes at Tut Hill.
A clash between Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds could be one of the ties of the round.
It would be unwise to underestimate the power of Haverhill. They only went down at Gorleston at the first play-off hole this year so should be confident about a visit to either Bungay or Fynn Valley.
Gorleston make the trip to Flempton, a team who look good on paper but have yet to deliver.
First round: (May 26): Newton Green v Aldeburgh (holders), Bungay v Fynn Valley, The Suffolk v Stowmarket, Rushmere v Southwold.
Second round (June 23): 1, Woodbridge v Halesworth; 2, Rushmere or Southwold v Ipswich; 3, Rookery Park v Hintlesham; 4, Bungay or Fynn Valley v Haverhill; 5, Newton Green or Aldeburgh v Thorpeness; 6, The Suffolk or Stowmarket v Bury St Edmunds; 7, Felixstowe Ferry v Diss; 8, Flempton v Gorleston.
Third round: (July 21): 4 v 7, 1 v 8, 6 v 5, 3 v 2.
Semi-finals: (August 11): 2 v 3, 4 v 1 (neutral venues).
The final will be on August 25 at Aldeburgh unless they are involved.