KirkwoodGolf: ENGLISH COUNTY FINALS: Lincs, Lancs and Gloucestershire first-day wins

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

ENGLISH COUNTY FINALS: Lincs, Lancs and Gloucestershire first-day wins

Lincolnshire defeated titleholders Hertfordshire 8-1 on the opening day of the finals of the English Counties’ Championship at Thorndon Park, Essex.
In the day’s other matches, played in very windy conditions, Lancashire beat Sussex 6½–2½ and Gloucestershire beat Northamptonshire 6-3. The six counties each represent one of the regions of the English Women’s Golf Association.
At last year’s County Finals, Hertfordshire swept to the title with five wins from five matches. Today, they were stopped in their tracks by Lincolnshire, whose county captain Julia Sales commented: “It’s a dream start to beat the defending champions, and to do it by 8-1 is the icing on the cake.
“Obviously I am absolutely delighted. I’ve got a great bunch of girls and there’s a great team spirit. It was a very sporting match, Hertfordshire were fantastically sporting.”
Lincolnshire – who are making their third consecutive appearance at County Finals – dropped their solitary point in the singles.
Lancashire, who won County Finals in 2009, scored a convincing 6½-2½ win over Sussex. They started well, with two wins in the foursomes, and followed up with four comfortable singles points, including big margin wins by Emily Taylor and Nikki Foster.
There was also a pleasing half point for Sarah Cousins who was playing her first-ever singles for Lancashire.
Team captain Joy Bury commented: “We have had a great first day, but this is a long week and a tough competition. I’m very pleased with the way my girls performed today, it was very, very windy and very difficult.”
Gloucestershire started the day well with two points from the foursomes, but county captain Karen Rix had some anxious moments at the start of the singles when most of her players seemed to trail over the opening holes.
The exception was Gloucestershire and South West champion Bethan Popel who swept off to a 6/4 win. Gradually her team-mates turned it round and claimed their points over the closing holes, with a notable winning second shot on the 17th from Hannah Barwood, whose ball finished within 2ft of the hole.
“It’s always a great relief to get the first day over and always good to get a win. I couldn’t have wished for a better start – although it was a bit nailbiting at times!” said Karen. “Lots of matches were very close, but equally there were a couple of big wins on both sides.”

Sussex 2½ Lancashire 6½
Paula Carver and Stacey Rodger lost to Emma Harris and Emily Taylor 3 and 2.
Katherine Russell and Clarissa Bushell lost to Gill Nutter and Catherine Roberts 3 and 2.
Aileen Greenfield and Karen Sykes bt Nikki Foster and Nicola Rawlinson 1 hole.

Rodger bt Harris 3 and 2.
Greenfield lost to Taylor 5 and 3.
Russell lost to Foster 6 and 5.
Alice Barnes lost to Nutter 4 and 2.
Sykes halved with Sarah Cousins
Carver lost to Rawlinson 4/3

Lincolnshire 8 Hertfordshire 1
Helen Hewlett and Holly Clyburn bt Lucy Williams and Charlie Field 2 and 1.
Jess Wilcox and Emma Tipping bt Harriet Key and Ella Ofstedahl 6 and 5.
Sophie Beardsall and Emilee Taylor beat Lucy Glyn and Lucy Goddard 2 holes.

Hewlett bt Williams 5 and 4.
Clyburn bt Field 3 and 1.
Taylor bt Alice Hewson 5 and 3.
Beardsall bt Nicola Callander 1 hole.
Wilcox bt Glyn 3 and 2.
Tipping lost to Key 1 hole.

Northamptonshire 3 Gloucestershire 6
Alexandra Banham and Hannah Mulliner lost to Charlotte Ellis and Hannah Barwood 5 and 4.
Roseann Youngman and Karin Poolton lost to Jo Hodge and Bethan Popel 3 and 2.
Rachel Smith and Megan Liddington bt Lucy Padley and Jemima Gregson 3 and 2.

Mulliner lost to Ellis 4 and 2.
Banham bt Hodge 4 and 2.
Smith bt Padley 7 and 6.
Liddington lost to Alison Kelly 2 holes.
Gemma Davies lost to Popel 6 and 4.
Youngman lost to Barwood 3 and 1.
Lyndsey Hewison
Press and PR Officer