GOLF: County boys add Anglian title to their collection

Northants Under-18s face the camera
Northants Under-18s face the camera

Northamptonshire’s boys team added another title to the collection as they won the Anglian League Under-18s crown for the first time by beating Cambridgeshire 7-5 in the final at Brampton GC.

After their recent victory in the Midland Boys County Finals, Northants started strongly as they opened up a 3-1 lead following the morning foursomes.

Matt Myers and Tom Forster won 6&5, Callum Farr and Ben Jones triumphed 7&5, while Rhys Taylor and Steven Field came through their match on the 18th hole.

Despite an early win for Myers in the afternoon singles, the team need to withstand a spirited fightback from Cambs as they took the next two games with holes to spare.

Forster calmed the nerves with a 4&3 win, Luke Barney added another point, before Fergus Robinson sealed victory with a 3&2 success.

Scratch League

Division One

Northants County improved their chances of retaining their Scratch League title with a gritty 5½-2½ victory at Wellingborough.

Although Sam Waite and Adam Sherlock enjoy good early wins for Wellingborough, the away side kept themselves in the contest thanks to two comfortable victories from Michael Chambers and James Dunkley.

With all the remaining four games going the distance, it was County who held their nerve better as Paul Harris, Paul Godding and Matt Myers secured wins, while Sam Henfrey collected a half.

Division Two

Staverton Park blew the promotion race wide open with a surprise 5-3 away victory at Kingsthorpe, who went into the clash with three wins in their only three outings.

The hosts made a solid start as Gavin Hitchcock halved with Simon Brown, Jason Spence defeated Andrew Gibbins on the closing hole, while Jake Croxford romped to a 6&5 success.

Marcus Weatherburn and Leigh Foster replied with 4&2 wins for Staverton, before Russell Brown produced a brilliant comeback to snatch a half from Mark Bazeley.

Miles Mudge continued the momentum as he grabbed a 2&1 win, before Michael Franklin earned Staverton’s second away success since relegation last year by defeating Jack Brown down the 18th.

Division Three

Farthingstone leapfrogged above Kettering into first place in the table after securing a 5-3 home victory against the overnight leaders.

After Kettering opening up an early advantage by winning two of the first three games, the hosts pulled clear as they dominated the matches in the late middle order.

John Whittaker (4&3) levelled the overall score, Richard Marsh (6&5) put Farthingstone in front, before Bradley Wardell and Ian Donald wrapped up the home victory with a 3&2 win apiece.

Priors Hall, who have won both their games this season, will take centre stage over the coming weeks since six of the final eight matches in this division involve the Corby club.

Junior League

Group B

Peterborough Milton’s A team sealed their place in the last four as they made it three wins in three outings with a 3-1 victory at Priors Hall.

With no teams in the group having recorded an away success before this season, Aaron Wilkinson gave the visitors the perfect start with a 6&5 win in the opening tie.

Sam Ludlow added another point for Peterborough and although Sam Milligan came through for Priors Hall on the 18th hole, Nathan Long confirmed the Milton win with two holes to spare.

Group C

Oundle completed their campaign with a 3-1 loss at home to Northampton as Josh Limbert, Elliott Limbert (both 2&1) and Baylie Pyke (6&5) grabbed the away points. Will Connellan was successful for the hosts.

Northampton’s final match of the season a few days later against Peterborough Milton B ended in a thrilling draw as all four games reached the 17th hole at least.

Ben Hawkins and Elliott Limbert halved with away players Charlie Armitage and Jade Roberts respectively, while Josh Limbert (Northampton) and Michael Wood (Peterborough Milton) won.

Group D

Northampton’s young quartet of Ross Garlick, Daniel Cichuta, Ellis Whittles and Sophie Copson collected a 4-0 victory against Priors Hall in their last Group D game of the season.

Northants County still head the standings on points difference from Cherwell Edge.

Intermediate League

Northampton are the first club through to the semi-finals after making it four wins in four outings with a 5½-2½ victory against previously unbeaten Wellingborough at Kettering GC.

With the leading four teams in the group progressing into the last four, Northampton’s place was sealed thanks to wins from David Goldman, James Cox, Dean Roberts, Darren Matthews and Andy Limbert.

Overstone improved their qualification hopes with a 5-3 win against Cold Ashby as Andy Harrison, Phil Gardner, Jamie Newton, Jim Tricklebank and Billy Beard bagged the points.

Kingsthorpe currently occupy the fourth and final play-off spot after they defeated win-less Collingtree Park 5-3.

Whittlebury

Dennis Hackett lifted the Captain’s Trophy after finishing one point ahead of Ian Forman (42) in the latest 9 O’Clock Club competition.

A single point was also the margin of victory in two Midweek Stablefords as Nigel Troup (38) edged out Chris Monaghan in the Men’s comp and Anne Moffitt (34) beat Barbara Hignett in the Ladies Seniors event.

Northampton

Steve Martin kept the big numbers off his scorecard in the Grandfathers Putter as the high-handicapper secured first prize with a net 64. Robert Mabbutt and Peter Dunn were next with a 65 apiece.

Daventry

Adam Tarbox was the player to beat in both the gross and net categories of the fifth Summer Medal as the three-handicapper fired an excellent net round of 64.

High-handicapper Stephen Wyatt was next on 66, with Mel Lane clinching the second division with a net 68.

Cherwell Edge

Derek Finlay overcame a severe wobble towards the end of the front nine in the August Sunday Stableford as he went on to compile 
the winning score of 39 points.

Cold Ashby

Cathy Newman’s total of 22 points on the outward stretch was more than sufficient to clinch the Ladies Nine-hole August Stableford as she finished two ahead of Rose Dempsey.

Kingsthorpe

Neil Picton, Nick Fowkes, Gareth Withrington and Simon Allitt were successful in the Tim Giles Scramble after shooting a score of net 52.6.

The quartet of Paul Fountain, Dick Betts, Willie Hastead and club champion Guy Loveland finished 0.3 shots off the lead in second.

Faldo Series

Northants County’s Matthew Myers booked his place in next month’s Faldo Series Grand Final in Germany after being crowned England Midlands Champion by three shots at Trentham GC.

The 18-year-old, whose opening round of 69 was one of only two scores less than 70 in the event, added 71 and 72 on the last two days to reach the final at the A-ROSA Scharmützelsee resort on September 29th.

Myers, who finished in style with birdies on the closing two holes, said: “I’m incredibly excited to be going to the Grand Final in September. I’m sure it will be a great learning experience for me and I’ll be heading to Germany with the belief I can win.”

Stableford Cup

Kingsthorpe’s Gavin Hitchcock and Jason Spence received a pleasant surprise in the presentation ceremony for the Stableford Cup as they clinched the top prize at Kettering GC.

With four different pairings coming in with the leading mark of 79 points in the 36-hole event, the duo mistakenly thought they had missed out on countback.

However, a superb total of 21 points over the last nine holes edged them clear of runners-up Priors Hall’s Marc Asher and Paul Briggs, who still had plenty to celebrate after bagging a hole-in-one on the 12th hole.

In an event which involved 18 holes of Greensomes in the morning followed by an afternoon round of Betterball Stableford, two other pairs came in with 79 points.

The home combination of Rob Aarts and Jamie Ashcroft managed to seal third spot ahead of first round pacesetters Rab Wilson and Toby Clarke (Priors Hall).

Shires Junior Golf Tour

Two county girls relished the opportunity to have a round of golf with a couple of top Ladies European Tour pros Hannah Burke and Holly Aitchison at The Buckinghamshire GC.

Baylie Pyke (Overstone) and Natasha Ainsley-Thomas (Whittlebury Park) were invited to play 18 holes as part of a new agreement between the Shires Junior Golf Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

Burke, who won her maiden LET event in the Czech Republic just two weeks ago, says it was a pleasure to play alongside two of the best up-and-coming golfers in the county.

Aitchison, who qualified for the US Open this summer, offered a few words of advice to the pair, saying; “Natasha is 17 and hits it a similar distance to ourselves, so it’s just a case of her being able to fine tune a few bits, but that will come with time.

“Baylie only turned 11 years of age earlier in the week so she is obviously a lot younger. But watching her skip her way around a golf course was so much fun to see - it made it more enjoyable for both 
Hannah and myself. Thanks girls.”

Fellow county youngsters Rayner Edwards (Whittlebury) and Ellie Darnell (Wellingborough) enjoyed a similar experience earlier in the week with Mel Reid.

The LET pro, who will join Kettering’s Charley Hull in the European team to defend the Solheim Cup next month, held a Dads and Daughters Golf Masterclass at the same course.

Rayner Edwards said; “Mel taught me a good way to draw the ball which was good.” Whilst her dad Bertie looked on, “It was amazing to watch her draw a ball and just naturally hit it after one little tip. It was great!”

Ladies County

Local knowledge proved vital in the Ladies County Am-Am at Overstone Park as home quartet Mandy Roberts, Kath Burrows, Sandy Burgess and Sue Tickle triumphed with 82 points.

The Wellingborough side of Gill Snelson, Carol Gibbs, Marianne Price and Sue Potter were runners-up on 81, with Di Murkin leading her Northants County team to third place on 80.

Collingtree

Former club champion Kevin Parfitt saw a welcome return to form in the Stonhill Founders Trophy as he combined with his son Jenson, Paul Curtis and Craig Hartwright to shoot the leading score of 206.

The ‘young guns’ quartet of Aidan Rosling, Conor Rosling, Dan Messom and Andy Dennis finished one stroke off the pace.

Brampton Heath

Eleven year old Amelia Humphries showed her steel as she won the Iron Lady competition by nine from Helen Milner after posting 39 points.

It was the youngster’s second victory in just two 18-hole competitions at the club following her success in the Ladies Stableford last month.

Overstone Park

Decklyn Cooke saw his handicap cut for the fifth time in just 11 days after clinching two competition victories by a single point.

Cooke, who also won a club event last month, bagged a winning mark of 40 points in the August Midweek White Tee Stableford to nudge ahead of John Warrington and Chris Pickering, before carding 42 points in the Yellow Tee Stableford a few days later. Julie Dalton bagged the ladies prize with 43.

Delapre

Anne Wright completed a gross (74) and net (69) double in the Avon Medal Final as the ladies club champion held off the challenge of Yvonne Jolly.

Anthony Alborough beat Mohammed Khan on countback in the August Medal after both compiled the leading score of net 73.

Staverton

Duane Hayle and Samuel Peake compiled the joint-best individual score of 39 points in the August Stableford as they won the first and second divisions respectively. Miles Mudge, John Singleton and Roger Chamberlain all came in with 38 points.

Hellidon Lakes

Graham Newport was in devastating form in the Greenkeepers Cup as he smashed the best total of 46 points. Duncan Childs finished runner-up with 41.

The August Midweek Medal went to John Rathbone by a single stroke from Richard Corbett, thanks to a round of net 66.