GOLF: Lavender, Matthews and Amos seal League success for Northampton B

Kingsthorpe claimed a thrilling win in the Intermediate League Final
Kingsthorpe claimed a thrilling win in the Intermediate League Final

Northampton B were crowned Junior League champions after defeating Peterborough Milton B in the final at Whittlebury Park.

Ben Lavender led from the front with a 5&4 win, before Jordan Matthews doubled the Northampton advantage with a 4&3 success in game two.

Katie Amos sealed the team victory by taking the next tie on the 16th hole, before Morgan Cresswell bagged a consolation point for Milton on the closing hole against Jade Potter.

Four Counties Junior Championship

NORTHANTS’ Girls team enjoyed another successful day in a fantastic season as they collected three of the 
four main trophies in the Four Counties Junior Championship at Spalding Golf Club.

Ellie Darnell (Wellingborough) won the under 18’s gross with a six-over-par round 
by one shot from Kettering’s Ashleigh Critchley, who collected the under-15’s gross prize.

Unsurprisingly, the duo also lifted the team Scratch Trophy, alongside Baylie Pyke (Overstone) as they beat sides from Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.

To cap a great day for the county on the Lincolnshire course, Chelsey Sharp (Kettering) picked up third prize in the net competition.

Intermediate League Final

Kingsthorpe defeated Northampton by a single point in a thrilling Intermediate League final at Whittlebury Park.

Early points from Harry Barrett (6&5) and Ian Townsend (2&1) were cancelled out by Northampton wins from James Brough and Ben Hawkins, while game five was halved.

Although Andy Limbert (4&3) gave Northampton the lead, Kingsthorpe replied by taking the next tie, before Mike Burnhope clinched the title by beating Lawrence Ryan on the 18th hole.

Midlands Seniors Autumn

Priors Hall’s Richard Lawton dropped just three strokes on the back nine as he secured a countback victory in the Midlands Seniors Autumn competition at Lingdale.

The 12-handicapper compiled a round of net 71 at the Leicestershire venue to edge home.

Fellow Northamptonshire golfers Ken Luckman (Brampton Heath), Ted Dunn (Peterborough Milton) and Grahame Castle (Northampton) also took part.

Ladies European Tour

Meghan MacLaren showed her pedigree as she finished sixth in the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open on the Ladies European Tour.

The Wellingborough pro fired scores of 69 and 68 to make the cut, before maintaining her challenge with five successive birdies in a third day total of 70.

MacLaren couldn’t find her birdie touch in a closing round of 71, but the runaway leader in the Ladies European Tour Access Series Order of Merit was delighted to emphasise her qualities to a wider audience.

European Challenge Tour

Leading county professional Ryan Evans will take the positives from the Kazakhstan Open as he took some small steps towards securing his card 
for the main European Tour next year with a 22nd place finish.

After an opening 72, 
Evans will be particularly pleased with his form on the second and third days as he posted brilliant scores of 67 and 65 to move into contention.

Although he dropped back with a final round 76, the Wellingborough golfer still lies fifth in the Road to Oman Order of Merit, as he aims to grab one of the 15 spots for the European Tour in 2018.

Fellow county pro Gary Boyd also made the cut in Kazakhstan but his 41st place means he remains well adrift in the Challenge Tour standings for the year.

Shires Junior

Mackenzie Warden (Overstone, pictured) was in winning form in the Shires Junior Golf Tour event at Abbey Hill as he carded 31 points over nine holes to take the Copper Division plaudits by three. Priors Hall’s Jack Meakin bagged the joint-third best tally of 27. Kettering’s Jordan Darnell and Gracie Murray both finished on the podium in the 18-hole competition.

The former shot 41 points to grab third in the Gold Division, while the latter finished in the same position in the Silver section on countback from Mark Stockdale (Overstone) with 43.

NGL Scratch League

Wellingborough will travel to Northants County next month for a title decider in division one after they both recorded impressive victories at home to Peterborough Milton and away to Overstone Park respectively.

A Wellingborough win rarely looked in doubt once Richard Brown and Dominic Holden bagged the first two games and Chris Howes secured another point on the 18th hole.

With points difference possibly being crucial, the leaders showed their ruthless streak as Tiger Adams, Ryan Connolly, Mark Davis, Jon Harris and Jamie Milligan completed the home whitewash.

Needing a win at Overstone to keep their championship hopes alive, County responded with a 5-3 victory, thanks to points from Harry Larkins, Paul Harris, Tony Lord and Tom Bullough, and halves from Liam McNeela and Callum Farr.

County will secure their fourth successive crown if they beat Borough, who last won the title in 1984, by three points at home on October 8.

In division two, Kingsthorpe have set their sights on completing a perfect winning season after sealing promotion with an eighth victory from as many matches in 2017.

The team didn’t have to hit a ball in their latest fixture after Staverton withdrew from their meeting, and they are targeting with victories in the final two matches at Cold Ashby and Brampton.