GOLF: Northampton's Lindsay is the county champion
Northampton's Claire Lindsay was crowned County Ladies champion for the first time after beating Ellie Darnell (Wellingborough) 2&1 in the final at Northants County GC.
The five-handicapper progressed to the showpiece match after outplaying Ashleigh Critchley in the quarter-finals, and defeating former champion Mary MacLaren (Wellingborough) on the 18th hole in the last four.
Darnell, who qualified from the strokeplay competition as the eighth seed, showed plenty of bottle in the knockout stages as she defeated two home club members, Hattie Billson and Karen Lobb.
With fellow teenager Billson making it through as the top seed with a 36-hole total of 165, Darnell edged a tight last eight contest on the first extra hole, before defeating former winner Lobb down the last.
In the Swannell Salver, which is contested by the players who finished ninth to 16th in the strokeplay standings, Northampton enjoyed another success over Wellingborough as Alison Irvine beat Carol Gibbs 4&3 in the final.
Sky TV Game Changers
Young local golfers Chelsey Sharp, Leah Ribano and Euan Cadle provided star performances on Sky TV kids show Game Changers last week as they formed part of a special feature on British Junior Golf Tour.
The trio, who were filmed whilst playing in the IMG World Championship qualifier at Park Hill GC before Easter, all provided links to camera for the five-minute package.
The popular programme, which was broadcast on Sky One and Sky Mix on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, included golfers of all ages and abilities talking about their experiences on British Junior Golf Tour.
Kettering’s Sharp, who celebrates her 12th birthday this week, Northampton’s Ribano, who qualified for the World Finals in San Diego, and Cadle (Staverton) explained why the non-profit making Tour is fun to play in.
The next British Junior Golf Tour event, at Cherwell Edge GC on Tuesday, May 30 is also the opening competition on the 2017 NGL Junior Order of Merit.
With the 18-hole players having the added incentive of trying to win a round of golf with Tour pro Gary Boyd, anyone interested in taking part is advised to visit www.juniorgolftour.co.uk.
NGL Junior League
Peterborough Milton have three teams entered into the NGL Junior League this summer as they look to match their 2016 achievement of getting all three sides into the semi-finals.
Kettering, Northampton and Northants County, who are hosting a SJGT event this weekend, and 2015 champions Collingtree Park have all put two sides into the competition. With four groups of four teams, compromising of four boys or girls, playing matches against the others, Wellingborough, Rushden, Staverton Park, Priors Hall and Kingsthorpe have also entered the League.
NGL Hollingsworth Trophy
The race to the semi-finals was thrown wide open by Oundle after they bagged a 3-2 victory at previously-unbeaten Northants County.
Oundle’s success was based on battling performances in the opening two games as Chris Hankins and Barry Watts took the first tie on the 18th, before Charles Underwood and Phillip Churchward did likewise in the next match.
Although the hosts responded with two good wins, it wasn’t quite enough as Chris Dix and Andrew Ireson secured the away triumph with an emphatic victory.
With all teams still in with a chance of qualifying, Daventry’s Chris Eveleigh and Dave Musker grabbed the decisive point on the 18th in their team’s home clash with Northampton as they won a tight contest by one point.
James Berry and Paul Moriarty (5&3) and Chris Poolton and Kevin Tarbox (3&1) bagged the other home points.
The search for a Group B away victory goes on after Stoke Albany beat Wellingborough 4-1.
The first and third ties saw comfortable home wins, but Peter Davis and Joe Shocklidge were taken the distance before securing a Stoke victory. Stephen Griffin and Graham Dean were successful for the home side, before Borough prevented a whitewash thanks to Nick Clansey and Chris Smith.
Brampton Heath gave themselves some hope of catching unbeaten leaders Peterborough Milton with a 4-1 home success against Priors Hall.
Although Paul Briggs and Steve Shiells (5&3) took the first point for the away side, Brampton took control with wins from Andrew Sewell and Gary McAllister (4&3) and Jack Brown and Elliott Metcalfe (3&2).
With both the last two games going the distance, the hosts wasted no time in making sure of the win as Simon Clarke and Mark Halliday took game four, before Alan Nicholl and Matt Smith did likewise in the final game.
Milton, who edged a tight home contest with Brampton at the start of the month, remain two points clear after defeating Overstone Park 4-1. All the damage was done early on as Peterborough took the opening three ties before reaching the 16th tee. Bob Duthie and Scott O’Connor added another point for the hosts, before Overstone’s Richard Dalton and Ryan Genner grabbed a consolation.
Kettering moved a step closer to qualifying for the semi-finals as they defeated Collingtree Park 4-1 in an extraordinary home match.
With the visitors in confident mood after a 3-2 victory over Rushden the previous week, Kettering looked set for a stiff test after Andy Castell and Ray Connolly took the opening tie 6&5.
But Marcel Aarts and Reece Dodd eased any home nerves with a 8&7 thumping in game two, before Kettering went on to complete a comprehensive victory thanks to three more big wins in the remaining ties.