GOLF: Townsend delivers for Northampton as they see off Collingtree
Ian Townsend's 3&1 success and four fine wins from Duncan Cornish, Andy Limbert, Darren Matthews and Ben Horgane helped Northampton defeat Collingtree Park 5-3 in the top-of-the-table Intermediate League clash at Wellingborough GC.
Kingsthorpe collected their first victory of the campaign as they edged a tight contest with Cold Ashby by a single point - Dan Blackmore securing the decisive win on the 18th hole in the final game against Dennis Mathers.
The most comprehensive win in the latest round of fixtures went to Kettering against Overstone as they triumphed 6½-1½, thanks to three narrow wins early on.
Brampton Heath confirmed their place in the semi-finals in clinical fashion as they recorded a 5-0 home whitewash of Oundle to top Group A.
David Gottsch and James Wiggins (3&2), Gary McAllister and Andrew Sewell (4&2), Mark Halliday and Hamdi Bulugma (4&3), Harry Brown and Brendan Kelly (3&2) bagged wins, before Jack Brown and Matt Smith completed a perfect day with victory down the last.
Kingsthorpe will be their opponents in the last four as Group B pacesetters Wellingborough meet Group C winners Rushden in the other semi.
Ladies Scratch League
Whittlebury Park bagged their second victory of the year with a 3-0 success against Overstone Park as Natasha Ainsley-Thomas, Christina Hancock and Kerry Sumner recorded convincing wins.
A comfortable victory from Neil Smith and Alex Salam in the first tie helped Peterborough Milton edge an otherwise tight Group A contest with Rushden at home by the scoreline 8-6.
With both sides recording three wins apiece, the six-hole success for Milton’s opening pair proved decisive as they maintained their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.
Rushden bounced back to form a few days later as they beat an under-strength Oundle outfit 28-0 at home.
Cold Ashby completed their fifth win in seven outings with a 19-1 home success against Northampton.
After one win apiece and a couple of halves in the opening four games, the hosts took complete control thanks to Derek Howarth and Thomas Howarth (seven holes) and Liam Askew and Stephen Bull (nine holes).
Wellingborough and Kettering are neck-and-neck at the top of the standings after recording contrasting wins.
While Wellingborough needed to fend off a strong fightback from home side Silverstone to secure a 10-5 win, Kettering had a surprisingly easy time at home to Priors Hall as they thrashed their local rivals 28-0.
Priors Hall maintained their perfect start in division two as a 5½-2½ home triumph against Staverton Park made it four wins out of four.
Although both teams collected two points early on, and the fifth game was halved, the Corby club made sure of victory, thanks to Ryan Jaffray (2&1) and Mikey Chambers (3&1), before Michael Farr beat Miles Mudge on the 18th.
NGL Champion of Champions
Lewis White has added his name to the list of players competing in the end-of-season Champion of Champions event after winning the Northampton title for the fourth successive year.
White, who has now his club crown six times, carded scores of 71 and 70 to finish four clear of the field.
County’s Evans delights in Open experience
Golf fans from across the county flocked up to Scotland last weekend to watch Northamptonshire’s Ryan Evans compete in the Open Championship at Royal Troon in Ayrshire.
The Wellingborough member didn’t disappoint them on his major Championships debut as he carded rounds of 71 and 75 to make the cut by one stroke.
Evans then shot 74 in the company of European Tour legend Colin Montgomerie, who was later complimentary of his playing partner during his stint on Sky TV, before adding 72 on the last day to finish 58th.
Ricoh Women’s British Open
Meghan MacLaren will be looking to book a place in the Ricoh Women’s British Open when she competes in Final Qualifying at John O’Gaunt GC on Monday, July 25th.
The Wellingborough member is one of four amateurs from the GB & Ireland Curtis Cup winning team taking part as they chase a spot in the year’s third ladies major, to be played at Woburn GC at the end of July.
MacLaren faces a stiff challenge as she takes on a strong international field, which includes Solheim Cup players Trish Johnson, Caroline Hedwall and Gwladys Nocera.
With just 15 spots up for grabs, John O’Gaunt club professional Lee Scarbrow believes all the players will need to be at her best if they want to join Kettering’s Charley Hull in the draw for the main event.
Scarbrow said: “Scoring won’t be very low. If they can get it under par at John O’Gaunt, they will be in the mix. I think par and maybe one over will be enough to qualify.”
Shires Junior Golf Tour
An opportunity to play golf with Olympics-bound Charley Hull is just one of a number of special prizes on offer during the Shires Junior Golf Tour event at Kettering GC on Monday.
With the top British golfer also donating a collection of signed memorabilia for the event at her home club, anyone aged between five and 21 years of age can take part.
For more details of how to get involved in the competition, which costs just £15 to play 18 holes or £10 to play nine, visit www.shiresjuniorgolftour.co.uk or contact tour director Paul Bull on [email protected]