GOLF: Collingtree coast to Handicap League Final win

WINNERS - Collingtree Park won the Handicap League Final
WINNERS - Collingtree Park won the Handicap League Final

Collingtree Park secured a record sixth Handicap League crown by defeating reigning champions Wellingborough in the final at Priors Hall GC.

After edging a tight contest with previously-unbeaten Hellidon Lakes in the last four, Collingtree made a confident start as Conor Rosling and Chris Malton won the opening tie by four holes.

Tony Greenhill and Mark Spring extended their lead by one, before Collingtree streaked clear with a five hole victory for Steve Cole and Andrew Dennis and a four hole success for Stuart Maddison and Josh Sampson.

Although Wellingborough produced a superb fightback to beat Hellidon in the final 12 months ago, any hopes of a repeat were ended when Collingtree captain Samish Patel and Michael Knight took game five by two.

The last match was halved as Collingtree lifted the trophy for the first time since 2011.

England Golf County Team Championships

Northants’ under-18s team produced their best performance in the England Golf County Team Championships as they picked up the runners-up prize at Kings Lynn GC.

After qualifying for the national finals for the first time, Northants made a winning start against Hampshire as they fought back from a 2-1 deficit after the morning foursomes to record a narrow victory.

Ben Jones, Callum Farr and Matt Myers secured wins in the singles, before Tom Forster holed a 10 footer on the closing hole to seal the team victory.

It was a similar story on the second day against Durham as the team trailed 2-1 at lunch, with the only success coming from Jones and Farr, who bagged a hole-in-one on the fifth hole.

Despite narrow defeats for Charlie Salter and Fergus Robinson in the opening two singles ties, Northants powered to victory as Myers, Jones, Farr and Forster all recorded big wins.

Needing a draw in their final match against rivals Wiltshire to clinch the title, Northants found themselves behind at the break once again as they lost the opening game on the 17th, before grabbing two halves.

Despite a singles win for Jones and a battling half from Farr, the team couldn’t complete the comeback as Wiltshire won the 18th hole in both the last two matches to secure a 6-3 victory.

County Seniors

NORTHNTS Seniors displayed their prowess as the team thrashed Leicestershire 13½-4½ in their East Midlands League match at Peterborough Milton GC.

Despite trailing 3½-2½ after the morning greensomes, the host county showed their nerve in the afternoon fourballs session as they recorded five wins and a half in the six matches to keep alive the team’s hopes of finishing runners-up.

Scratch League

Division 1

Wellingborough confirmed their top flight status for another season by recording two victories over Brampton Heath in the space of three days over the Bank Holiday.

In the 5½-2½ away victory on Saturday, Adam Sherlock enjoyed the most convincing win for Wellingborough as his 6&4 success, in addition to points from Sam Waite and Roger Butler, put the visitors in control.

Needing one and a half points from the last three ties to secure the victory, Mark Davis picked up a half, Jon Harris won the 18th to beat Alec Francis, before Jamie Milligan added another away point against Ben Jones on the closing hole.

Wellingborough didn’t need to hit a ball in the return fixture as Brampton failed to field a team as they were consigned to relegation after just one season in the top division.

Division Two

Rushden were relegated after suffering their sixth consecutive defeat as they went down 7-1 at Staverton Park, who moved level on points with Cold Ashby and Overstone at the top of the table.

Although Rushden won the opening tie on the 18th hole, a first victory of the season never looked likely as Staverton controlled the rest of the match. Andrew Swain (9&7) was the most comfortable winner, while Russell Brown (7&6) and Miles Mudge (6&4) also impressed.

Division Three

Collingtree Park kept alive their chances of avoiding the drop as they beat Kettering 5-3 in their final home fixture.

Despite a heavy defeat in the first game, the hosts moved ahead with big wins from Tim Faulkner, Trevor Twelftree and Neil Abery, only for Kettering to reply by taking the next two points.

Collingtree, who travel to Priors Hall in their last away game, made sure of the victory thanks to wins from Aidan Rosling and Brendon Moss on the 17th hole.

Division Four

Daventry gained promotion into the third tier with a second successive 8-0 home victory as they defeated fellow title contenders Cherwell Edge.

In a match a lot closer than the final scoreline suggested, Daventry won five of the eight ties on the closing hole as Tom Orcherton, Dave Musker, Nathon Freezer, Chris Eveleigh and Adam Tarbox secured narrow wins to earn the team’s third victory in four outings.

Intermediate League

Four teams will battle it out for the remaining two semi-final places when they take part in the final round of fixtures on Saturday at Collingtree Park.

With Northampton and Wellingborough, who received a walkover win against Collingtree last weekend, having already qualified, Kettering, Overstone, Cold Ashby and Kingsthorpe can all join them in the last four.

Overstone, who crashed to a 6½-1½ defeat against Northampton on Sunday at Kingsthorpe, will qualify if they avoid defeat against Kettering. After drawing with Cold Ashby in their last match, Kettering need a big win to definitely progress, although a draw may be enough to overtake fourth placed Kingsthorpe, who face unbeaten Northampton.

Ashby remain the outsiders but if they manage to grab a convincing victory against Wellingborough they could still set up a last four clash with Northampton.

Ladies Cecil Leitch

Defending champions Whittlebury Park beat Northants County 5-2 in the last four to book a final meeting with Elton Furze, 
who edged out Wellingborough by a single point in their semi at Collingtree Park GC.

Whittlebury’s success was built around a strong middle order as Beverley Price, Sylvia Smith, Tracey Heavey, Carol Kane and Jill Aldous secured the vital points.

Elton Furze needed to win the last two matches on the 18th hole against Wellingborough, who looked set for victory after Jackie Banks, Mollie Graham and Pat Wilson collected points.

Shires Junior Golf Tour

Corey Neville (Brampton Heath) and Thomas Freeman (Kingsthorpe) formed part of the winning team in the 2015 Thomas-Gasking Trophy on Shires Junior Golf Tour at Nailcote Hall GC in Warwickshire.

The duo combined with Jordan Darnell (Kettering) and Frazer Jones (Forest Hill) to shoot an excellent total of 137 points.

With each team including one golfer from each of the four divisions, second place went to the quartet of Matthew Goode, Ben Lavender, Fabien Clark and Thomas Bates on 120.

With golfers from Northants, Leicestershire and Bedfordshire, up to 21 years of age, allowed to play on Shires Junior Golf Tour, the next comp takes place on Sunday, September 13 at Pavenham Park.

European Tour

County professional Gary Boyd recorded his best result on the European Tour for three years as he finished 13th in the Czech Masters.

Fresh from his fourth spot in the Rolex Trophy on the Challenge Tour, Boyd carded scores of 69, 72, 69 and 69 to pick up just over 15,000 euros.

In a good event for Northamptonshire golfers, Wellingborough’s Ryan Evans made the cut on the main tour for the fifth time in five attempts with scores of 73 and 68.

Although Evans dropped back into a share of 59th spot with scores of 71 and 76 over the weekend, he will still take plenty from the week.

Cold Ashby

Gerry McInerney enjoyed the challenge of competing with a lighter bag as he won the Cold Ashby Seniors Three Club Competition with a tally of 40 points.

The 14-handciapper birdied the 18th hole to finish five points clear of Joe Whitney, Dale Robertson and Derek Bland.

Paul Ansell and Jeremy Ansell were successful in the Father and Son Tournament as their score of 36 points nudged them one clear of two sets of siblings.

Collingtree

Stuart Jones needed countback to get the better of Capper Rose in the Seniors TAACO Trophy after both men carded 39 points.

In the Seniors Windingbrook Trophy, a tally of 40 points lifted Bob Ainsworth three clear of Andrew Mills.

Kingsthorpe

Seven members had an anxious wait to find out if they had won tickets to watch the Travis Perkins Seniors Masters at Woburn this week after they all tied for top spot in the August Seniors Stableford.

With two season passes going to the best player, Barry Stringer (35 points) secured a countback victory.

In the Ladies August Stableford, a tally of 39 points from Maddy Henderson clinched first place by one from Judy Abraham.

Brampton Heath

Mark Halliday was the only player to reach the 40-point mark in the seventh Order of Merit event of the season as the 11-handicapper clinched the Clements Wholesale Cup. Runner-up Lee Bellham was one of six players to finish a single point off the pace.

Michael Gardner won the Seniors August Medal as a score of net 66 gave him a three shot cushion from Robert Frost and Leo May in the sixth round of the Golfer of the Year.

Hellidon Lakes

Andy McKeown lifted the Ken Hanley Cup after beating the course by three holes in the bogey competition. The 15-handicapper finished one ahead of Kevin Lovell, Andrew Thornton and Craig Cotterill.

Seven net birdies in the opening dozen holes sent Thomas Haydon on the way to victory in the August Midweek Stableford as he finished two points clear of Trevor Key (40).

Northampton

Jeffrey Buck was successful in the seventh round of the Summer Series Stableford as he beat David George and Brian Twiselton on countback with 39 points.

Josephine Plank and Susan Potter came out on top in the Ladies Oakenfull Cup as their tally of 45 points lifted them three ahead of Diane Heard and Alison Irvine.

Whittlebury

Ken Hignett, Barbara Hignett and Maureen Harmon raced to victory in the Reg Hodgkins Memorial Grand Prix Cup as the trio carded 81 points.

On a day when Barrie Vearncombe bagged a hole-in-one on the seventh, the team runners-up spot went to Maurice Edgerley, Steven McEneaney and Christian Williams (80).

Overstone Park

Countback was needed in the August Midweek Yellow Tee Stableford after three players carded the leading score of 41 points. Richard Matthews gained the verdict from John Bryant and Matt Wake.

Scoring proved more difficult in the August Seniors Medal as Stephen Byrom carded a net 73 to beat Tony Clewett by a single stroke.

Daventry

Adam Tarbox mixed some brilliant golf with some solid play in the fifth round of the Summer Medal as the three-handicapper carded more birdies (seven) than pars (six) in a winning net 64.

Stephen Wyatt finished two shots behind, with Mel Lane in third on 68.

Delapre

Fifty one points was an excellent winning tally in the Gary Heavey Pairs competition as Nobby Clarke and Jamie Cordiner grabbed the plaudits.

Alan Picketts and Brian Seal (47) finished second on countback from Alan Jones and Philip Twiselton.

Staverton

Pars on the first five holes went a long way to clinching the first prize for Daniel Brown in the 22nd round of the Tuesday Night Stableford as he finished one ahead of top division leader Matt Walker.

Farthingstone

A solid back nine helped Michael Albone win the latest Weekend Bash as the 20-handicapper’s score of 41 points kept him ahead of Peter Turner (39) and Alan Bosher (37).