Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Lincolnshire and Gloucestershire continued their winning ways at the finals of the English Counties’ Championship at Thorndon Park, Essex, where they each notched up their third successive win of the week. ]
Lincolnshire beat Lancashire 6-3 while Gloucestershire beat defending champions Hertfordshire 5½-3½. In the day’s other match Sussex claimed their first point of the week with an emphatic 8-1 win over Northamptonshire.
The results mean that Lincolnshire and Gloucestershire lead the table with 3 points apiece while Lancashire have 1½, Sussex 1, Hertfordshire ½ and Northamptonshire 0.
Tomorrow’s order of play is: Sussex v Lincolnshire, Lancashire v Gloucestershire, and Northamptonshire v Hertfordshire.
Today, Gloucestershire were very much on their mettle as they went out to meet defending champions Hertfordshire. Their opponents had halved yesterday, after looking on course to win, and were expected to come out on a mission to succeed.
“Every match is tough, so it was pleasing to get off to a good start,” said county captain Karen Rix as she reflected on Gloucestershire’s foursomes performance. They amassed 2½ points, with two comfortable wins and a fighting half from Jo Hodge and Alison Kelly, who were three down after 12 holes.
In the singles, Hertfordshire’s Lucy Williams – the English champion – won the top match with a superb sub-par display. But Gloucestershire’s internationals Hannah Barwood and Charlotte Ellis came in with big singles wins and the point was safe when 14-year-old Jemima Gregson got to dormey five up. She went on to win her match, despite a spirited birdie fightback from her opponent who won four holes in a row.
Gloucestershire are mixing their sporting effort with a sense of humour. Karen and the players all have dangly pink pig earrings – representing the Gloucestershire Old Spot.
Lincolnshire were well aware of the challenge posed by Lancashire in today’s match. County captain Julia Sales said: “We had a great win yesterday but we were very aware that a few hours later we would be facing Lancashire who won this title two years ago.
The girls just went out determined to give of their best. They all take individual responsibility for the team, they never hope some-one else will bring in the result.”
Lincolnshire were given a great boost in the foursomes when their last pair, Sophie Beardsall and Emilee Taylor, came back from four down after 10 holes to halve their match and give their team a 2-1 advantage at lunch. “That made a massive difference,” said Julia.
The team went on to take four of the six singles in a closely contested series in which four matches went to the 18th green. The fixture also produced the near-identical name pairing of Emilee Taylor (Lincolnshire) against Emily Taylor (Lancashire). On this occasion it was Emilee who came out on top.
Sussex put their first point on the board in considerable style when they beat Northamptonshire 8-1. It was compensation for the previous day when they lost a cliffhanger of a match and county captain Jane Covey put it down to a dose of TLC.
After their defeat they called up their physiotherapist – and the treatment picked the players up. “The girls knew they had to go out there and put the points on the board,” said Jane. “We didn’t rest anyone but just said let’s go out and win.”
They started as they meant to go on, with three wins in the foursomes and continued their form in the singles, dropping just one point. The successes included an impressive 7/6 win for 19-year-old Alice Barnes who is playing for the county for the first time.

Hertfordshire 3 ½ Gloucestershire 5½
Lucy Williams and Charlotte Field lost to Shelby Smart and Hannah Barwood 3 and 2
Nicola Callander and Alice Hewson lost to Jemima Gregson and  Lucy Padley 6 and 4
Harriet Key and Ella Ofstedahl halved with Jo Hodge and Alison Kelly
Williams bt Smart 3 and 2.
Key lost to Barwood 5 and 4.
Field bt Padley 4 and 3.
Hewson lost to Gregson 1 hole.
Ella Ofstedahl bt Bethan Popel 2 holes.
Jackie Foster lost to Charlotte Ellis 6 and 5.

Sussex 8 Northamptonshire 1
Alice Barnes and Stacey Rodger bt Hannah Mulliner and Rachel Smith 1 hole
Katherine Russell and Clarissa Bushell bt Roseann Youngman and Megan Liddington 1 hole.
Aileen Greenfield and Karen Sykes bt Jenny Baughan and Sarah Carter 1 hole
Rodger bt Youngman 1 hole.
Bushell bt Alexandra Banham 3 and 1.
Russell bt Mulliner 5 and 4.
Barnes bt Carter 7 and 6.
Heather Tidy lost to Smith 6 and 4.
Paula Carver bt Karin Poolton 5 and 4.

Lincolnshire 6 Lancashire 3
Helen Hewlett and Holly Clyburn beat Emily Taylor and  Nicola Rawlinson 3/1
Jess Wilcox and  Emma Tipping halved with Catherine Roberts and  Gill Nutter
Sophie Beardsall and Emilee Taylor halved with Nikki Foster and Sarah Cousins
Emilee Taylor bt Emily Taylor 3 and 2.
Hewlett lost to Foster 2 holes
Clyburn bt Roberts 1 hole
Beardsall bt Emma Harris 1 hole
Wilcox bt Nutter 4 and 3.
Tipping lost to Rawlinson 1 hole

Lyndsey Hewison
Press and  PR Officer