Thursday, September 15, 2011


Lincolnshire have one hand on the trophy after they won their fourth successive match on a day of drama at the finals of the English Counties’ Championship at Thorndon Park, Essex.
They need just half a point from tomorrow’s match against Gloucestershire to win the title for the first time.
They became the hot favourites when they beat Sussex 5-4 today, while their main rivals for the title, Gloucestershire, were defeated 3-6 by Lancashire. In the day’s other match Hertfordshire beat Northamptonshire 5-4.
The results mean Lincolnshire have 4 points, Gloucestershire have 3, Lancashire 2½, Hertfordshire 1½, Sussex 1, and Northamptonshire 0. Tomorrow’s draw is: Northamptonshire v Lancashire, Gloucestershire v Lincolnshire and Hertfordshire v Sussex.
If Gloucestershire beat Lincolnshire tomorrow the result will be decided on games won. At the moment, Gloucestershire have 19½ to their credit while Lincolnshire have 28 – and there are nine available points each day.
Both Lincolnshire and Gloucestershire won their respective foursomes sessions today, taking two points out of three. But by the halfway stage the matches were extremely tight and much of the drama was eventually played out on the 18th green.
Sussex golfer Paula Carver claimed a huge scalp for her team when she defeated Lincolnshire’s Curtis Cup player Holly Clyburn 1 up. “I don’t care if I never play golf again,” she exclaimed in delight. “I can’t believe I did that!” Her short game was in first class order and she chipped in twice during the match.
But shortly afterwards, Lincolnshire’s Emilee Taylor halved her game to ensure that the overall match would be halved. Then Sophie Beardsall brought in the winning half-point, rolling in a tricky, downhill 10-footer which made its last turn into the hole – and triggered cheers from the team’s supporters.
“This is just so exciting,” said county captain Julia Sales. This is only Lincolnshire’s fifth appearance at County Finals in their history.
Gloucestershire were on the receiving end of a sizzling singles performance from their opponents. Lancashire’s Catherine Roberts had five birdies in her round and at one time was four up over Curtis Cup player Hannah Barwood. The Gloucestershire player fought back hard and was all square on the 18th tee, but the last hole went Lancashire’s way.
Lancashire’s Sarah Cousins eagled the 16th and birdied the 17th to pull Shelby Smart back to all square and then won the 18th for the match – the only time she was ahead in the game.
Girl international Emily Taylor played some super-accurate shots into the greens to win her game on the 15th, while Gill Nutter held on well to win her match on the last. Lancashire picked up another point when Jo Hodge retired unwell and conceded her game.
Gloucestershire’s Charlotte Ellis prevented a singles clean sweep when she defeated Nikki Foster 3/2.
Lancashire captain Joy Bury commented: “I am so proud of them all, it was a fantastic result after the foursomes.”
In the day’s other match Northamptonshire had the early advantage after winning the foursomes 2-1. But Hertfordshire responded with a strong singles performance and their winning point was scored by their 13-year-old county champion Ella Ofstedahl.
Sussex 4 Lincolnshire 5

Paula Carver and Alice Barnes lost to Helen Hewlett and Holly Clyburn 6 and 5
Katherine Russell and Clarissa Bushell lost to Jess Wilcox and Emma Tipping 3 and 2.
Aileen Greenfield and Karen Sykes bt Sophie Beardsall and Emilee Taylor 2 and 1.
Stacey Rodger lost to Hewlett 7 and 5.
Carver bt Clyburn 1 hole.
Bushell halved with Taylor
Russell halved with Beardsall
Greenfield lost to Wilcox 3 and 2.
Sykes bt Tipping 4 and 3.

Lancashire 6 Gloucestershire 3
Emily Taylor & Nicola Rawlinson lost to Jo Hodge and Bethan Popel 4 and 2.
Catherine Roberts and Gill Nutter bt Jemima Gregson andLucy Padley 5 and 3.
Nikki Foster and Sarah Cousins lost to Charlotte Ellis and Shelby Smart 4 and 2.
Roberts bt Hannah Barwood 1 jhole
Rawlinson bt Hodge (match conceded)
Cousins beat Smart 1 hole
Taylor bt Gregson 4 and 3.
Nutter bt Alison Kelly 1 hole.
Foster lost to Ellis 3 and 2.

Northamptonshire 4 Hertfordshire 5
Alexandra Banham and Karin Poolton bt Ella Ofstedahl and Harriet Key 3 and 2.
Sarah Carter and Jenny Baughan bt Lucy Glyn and Lucy Goddard 1 hole
Megan Liddington and Meghan MacLaren lost to Nicola Callander and Alice Hewson 3 and 2.
Rachel Smith bt Glyn 1 hole.
Baughan lost to Lucy Williams 3 and 2.
Roseann Youngman lost to Charlotte Field 6 and 5.
MacLaren bt Callander 4 and 3.
Carter lost to Ofstedahl 2 and 1.
Banham lost to Hewson 7 and 5

Lyndsey Hewison
Press and Marketing Officer.