GOLF - COUNTY & LEAGUE NEWS: Collingtree cruise to Handicap League win

TOP PERFORMANCE - Mary MacLaren is the Ladies County Champion
TOP PERFORMANCE - Mary MacLaren is the Ladies County Champion

Collingtree Park made short work of the challenge from Cherwell Edge romping to a 27-2 victory to preserve their 100 per cent record in the Handicap League Group A.

The performance of the day came from Josh Sampson and Stuart Maddison (Collingtree) who won the fourth game by a stunning 12 holes.

Cherwell bounced back from their disappointing thrashing to beat Kingsthorpe comprehensively 24 hours later.

The home side got off to a steady start as they won the first three games to open up a 7-0 lead.

Adam Witherall and Robbie Turvey put in a fantastic winning performance (six holes), but that was bettered by Santi Perez and Matthew Brown, who destroyed their opponents in the fifth game by nine holes.

There was a slight consolation for Kingsthorpe as they won the final game by three holes.

Brampton Heath had few problems brushing aside Silverstone at home as they completed a 27-1 victory a few days earlier.

Although Matt Bishop and Charlie Crowe grabbed a narrow away success in the opening tie, the result rarely looked in doubt as Brampton recorded a series of convincing wins.

Barry Kelly and Paul Taylor (six holes) impressed in the third game, but the stars of the show were Michael Burrows and Gary McAllister as they finished 10 holes up in their game.

Group B

Hellidon Lakes put Farthingstone to the sword in their home match as they dominated from start to finish to emerge 29-0 winners.

Craig Cotterill and Paul Upfield set the tone with an eight hole success in the opening tie, while Len Edwards and Ashley Starbuck were even more impressive as they cantered to a nine hole victory.

Farthingstone went into the match in confident mood after becoming the third team in this section to record an away victory this season as they grabbed a battling 9-3 win at Daventry.

John Whittaker and Ian Bell (two holes) and Jonathan Redley and Adam Smith (two hole) got the visitors off to a solid start, only for Neil Carr and Lenny Newell to cut the deficit to just one. That was as close as Daventry managed to get however as Andrew Grigor and Anthony Marriott (three holes) restored Farthingstone’s lead, before the away side took the final two games by a single hole.

Group C

Rushden made the perfect response to last week’s home defeat to Cold Ashby by producing a comeback victory at Peterborough Milton.

The home side appeared in command early on as Andrew Wilkinson and Ian Smith won the opening tie by two holes, Bob Bellamy and Neil Smith secured a four hole victory in the next match, before the third game was halved.

Glyn Harry and Kane Attley’s five hole success for Rushden in game four turned the match on its head however as David Patrick and Stuart Carvell (two holes) then put the visitors in the lead for the first time.

It was left to Martin Eaton and Renny Wadsworth to wrap up an excellent 9-6 away win as they beat Ryan Slater and Paul Pateman by a couple of holes in the closing tie.

Group D

Northants County made it two wins in two outings this season as they came from behind to beat Kettering 10-4 on their own course.

The hosts looked in control early on as Mark Hastie and Marcel Aarts won by two holes, Richard Grove and Alan Moreland extended the advantage by one, before Graham Swinfen and Craig Abbott edged Kettering into a 4-0 lead. County pulled level with a four hole victory in the next game, before going on to secure all the plaudits with a couple of three hole wins in the final matches.

Overstone Park’s strong tail made the difference in their home contest with Priors Hall as they recorded a 10-1 home victory. The match looked evenly poised at the half way stage as the visitors won the opening tie by a single hole, bagged a half in the next before going down by one in the third game.

Matt Wake and Tom Nickleson gave Overstone the lead with a five hole success, the fifth tie was halved, before home duo Alan McNeil and Sean McGrae made sure of the win by clinching the last game by four.

Priors Hall’s search for their first victory came to nothing as they went down 16-6 at home to Northampton.

Although Paul Briggs and Michael Jaffray were in good form for the Corby club, Duncan Foster and Lee Van Hoof (five holes) were one of four Northampton pairings to secure wins as the away team collected their victory.

Hollingsworth Trophy

Group B

Northampton made it three wins out of three as they secured a convincing 4-1 triumph at home against Oundle.

Lewis White and Drew Russell (4&3), David Goldman and Darren Gould (6&5), Ross Skidmore and Lawrence Ryan (4&2) and Lloyd Skidmore and Dean Roberts (8&6) grabbed the points.

Northants County kept alive their chances of progressing into the last four as they emerged victorious away to Overstone by the scoreline 4-1.

Thomas Barlow and James Dunkley got County off to a flying start as they won 4&2, before Overstone replied with a narrow victory from Andrew Harrison and Richard Dalton.

The away side’s tail proved too strong however as they clinched the last three points, including an excellent 5&4 win for Paul Harris and Paul Stones.

MGU

Former Northants strokeplay champion Miles Mudge (Staverton) was the highest placed county player in the Midlands Closed Championship as he finished 12th with a score of 78 at The Nottinghamshire.

Northants Seniors

Northants Seniors team began the defence of their Anglian League and Midland League East titles in style with a double success against Cambridgeshire at Cold Ashby.

On a windy and difficult day for scoring, the county coped admirably in the afternoon singles as a 10-man side recorded a 9-6 win in the Anglian League.

With a dozen players competing in the Midland League East match, additional points from debutante Ian Smith and Howard May, who was returning from a season long injury in 2014, helped secure a 12-6 victory.

Ladies County Championship

Mary MacLaren won the Ladies County Championships for the first time after beating Wellingborough club-mate Gill Snelson 2&1 in the final on their home course.

After coming through 36 holes of strokeplay qualifying on Friday with the best score of 161, MacLaren defeated Northants County’s Lorraine Gilder in the 
quarters the following morning.

The Irish seniors international, who is the mother of top British amateur Meghan, reached her debut final in the event with a victory against Rachael Smith (Northants County) in the afternoon. Snelson booked her final spot after edging past team-mate Carol Gibbs on the fourth extra hole in a thrilling last eight game, before getting the better of Roseanne Youngman (Kingsthorpe) in the next round.

Youngman had earlier knocked out defending champion Karen Lobb (Northants County) on the 18th hole.

In the Swannell Salver, which is contested by the players who finish between ninth and 16th in qualifying, Gillian Curley (Northants County) beat Alison Irvine (Northampton) in the 
final.