GOLF: Northants Ladies end up fifth thanks to strong finish
Northants took time to find their feet in County Ladies Week as they finished in fifth place with two wins and three defeats at Denham GC.
With the matches now being played over three days instead of five, Northants got off to a slow start as they lost 3-2 to host county Berkshire on the first morning, and 3½-1½ to eventual champions Buckinghamshire in the afternoon.
Although the team lost 3½-1½ to Oxfordshire the following morning, they got themselves on the scoreboard with a 3-2 victory over Warwickshire as Rosie Youngman and Claire Lindsay (2&1) and Charlotte Taylor and Hattie Bilson (3&2) set them on their way to victory.
The County produced their best singles performance on the final day as Mary MacLaren (4&3), Ellie Darnell (3&2) and Tasha Ainsley-Thomas (6&4) enjoyed big wins in a 3-2 success against Worcestershire & Herefordshire.
Women’s PGA Championship
Charley Hull recorded her third consecutive top 10 finish in a major as she grabbed a share of sixth prize in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes near Chicago.
The Kettering golfer opened with an excellent score of 68, added rounds of 75 and 72, before surging up the leaderboard after shooting seven birdies and an eagle in a thrilling five-under-par 67 on the final day.
NGL Junior League
Kettering B made it two wins out of two matches with a battling 2½-1½ away success against Collingtree Park.
Ed Keech got the ball rolling with a 4&3 victory in game one, while Chelsey Sharp took the last game by the scoreline 6&4.
Harvey Johnson responded with a 7&6 win for Collingtree, but Sam Underwood ensured the visitors took the team spoils as he halved the remaining match with Jody Parfitt.
Overstone Park got their season started with two strong performances as they won 3½-½ at Northants County B, before repeating the scoreline at home to Peterborough Milton B 24 hours later.
After being part of an excellent victory at County on the Saturday, Mark Stockdale gave the team the ideal opening against Milton as he collected a 5&4 success.
It was a lot closer in the other games as Cameron Reeves won on the 18th hole, Jadon Pham took the last three holes to clinch his tie, before Oliver Godwin added a half.
Wellingborough will need to win at Peterborough Milton C in their last match after securing a 2-2 draw at home to Northampton.
After home skipper Ellie Darnell took the opening tie, Charlotte Gilkes responded for the visitors with a 5&3 win, before Michael Hinds restored the home advantage on the 18th hole.
With Northampton having lost 3-1 at home to Milton in their opening fixture, they did well to avoid a repeat result as Harrison Taylor clinched the last point on the 17th.
County cruise to win over Park
Northants County had few problems in their home game with Overstone Park in Group A of the NGL Handicap League as they won the first four matches in a 14-2 victory.
Tim Faulkner and Andy Cox in game three and Julian Moss and Neil Stephenson in the next tie were particularly impressive as they both triumphed for the hosts by five holes.
Defending champions Collingtree Park maintained their superb start to the new season as they made it four victories in four matches with a 7-0 success at Cherwell Edge.
With little to choose between the two sides, the seven-time winners led by just three holes with two games on the course, before Mark Cotton and Alistair Biggin (two holes) and Mike Clarke and Tom Low (two holes) extended the advantage.
Unbeaten leaders Brampton Heath enjoyed the biggest victory in the Handicap League for four years with a 35-0 home thrashing of Daventry.
The hosts displayed their ruthless streak as they recorded a collection of comfortable wins – topped off by a 12-hole success for Gary McAllister and David Masters in the last tie.
Kettering condemned local rivals Priors Hall to a fifth successive defeat as they romped to an 18-3 home win.
A home victory was never in doubt once Sean Suddards and Mark Franklin took the opening game by nine holes. Farthingstone beat Kingsthorpe 14-0 on the same day.
NGL Intermediate League
Kettering made a brilliant start to their Intermediate campaign with a 6½-1½ victory over Overstone Park at Collingtree Park.
The experienced trio of Jim Campbell (8&6), Tony Ferns (7&6) and Marcel Aarts (5&3) laid the foundations, before further points from Joe Walton, Stuart Bell and Mark Hastie, plus a half from Luke Saywood, sealed the win.
The other fixture ended with honours even as Wellingborough battled back to secure a 4-4 draw against Kingsthorpe.
Mike Gilbrook and Andrew Grimmitt were successful for Wellingborough early on, but Kingsthorpe took games two, four, five and six, before Tim Veal and Gary Grimmitt levelled the score by grabbing the final two ties.
NGL Ladies Cecil Leitch
Staverton Park collected their fourth victory in five outings with a 4-3 win at Northampton to go top of the table. Ann Cox (5&4), Janet Lambdon (3&2), Sharon Jones (2&1) and Tracy Lane (6&4) bagged the away points.
Oundle battled back from losing the opening couple of ties on the 18th hole to record a 5-2 home victory against Rushden.
Pat Wilkinson, Karen Johnson, Liz Swan, Veronica Lyon and Linda McLeod secured the wins as the home side moved above Peterborough Milton into first place.
Elton Furze claimed the notable scalp of defending champions Whittlebury Park as they secured their first victory of the season with a 5-2 home success.
Barbara Stone was the star performer for the hosts as she romped to a 5&4 win.
County have no answer to Milton power
NGL Scratch League
Peterborough Milton recorded their first victory of the season at the fourth time of asking as they defeated Northants County 5-3 at home.
Although County won 7-1 at reigning champions Wellingborough in their opening match,
another away success rarely looked on the cards as Milton seized control with three wins and a half in the opening four games.
The visitors responded with points from Tom Bullough and Michael Farr, but Chris White sealed the home success by beating County Men’s champion Liam McNeela, before the last game was halved.
Kettering’s strong tail made all the difference in their away contest with Rushden as the team bagged their second victory of the year with a 4½-3½ success.
The hosts, who had lost their previous two matches, looked in control after picking up two wins and a half in the opening three games, but Kettering didn’t panic as Dave Harkess, Chris Ward, Jamie Ashcroft and Jordan Darnell secured wins.