GOLF - LEAGUE & COUNTY NEWS: County boys reach national finals

The Northants boys team
The Northants boys team

Northants boys qualified for the England Golf County Team Championships final for the first time after winning the Midlands qualifier at Trentham GC in Staffordshire.

In an event which has been going since 1982, the team of Luke Barney, Callum Farr, Tom Forster, Ben Jones, Fergus Robinson and Charlie Salter recorded a score of 748 to finish three shots clear of the home county, with Lincolnshire (761) in third.

Farr, who compiled the best second round of two-under-par 70, finished third in the individual competition as he nudged out team-mate Jones on countback on 146. England international Billy Spooner (143) led the way.

Northants will now play three 36-hole matches against the successful counties from the regional events in the North, South West and South East in the final at King’s Lynn GC in Norfolk on August 25-27.

Hollingsworth Trophy

Group A

Northants County proved just too strong for Whittlebury Park in their Group A decider as they recorded a 4-1 home success in a match that was a lot closer than the final scoreline suggested.

The hosts reached the last four thanks to wins from Steve Barber and Jeff Winfield (3&2), Glenn Cottrell and Alan Linney (3&1) and Andrew Nicholson and Malcolm Watkins (3&1) and a narrow victory for Lee Ault and Antony Elderton.

Daventry avoided the wooden spoon in emphatic style as they completed a 
5-0 home thrashing of Stoke Albany, who prop up the standings.

Group B

Northampton had few problems booking their place in the semis after making it four wins out of four with a 4-1 home success against Brampton Heath.

Lewis White and Drew Russell (6&4) and David Goldman and Darren Gould (5&4) set the tone with convincing wins, before Lloyd Skidmore and Dean Roberts guaranteed the team success on the 18th hole.

Keith Heard and Brad Jarvis added another home win down the last as Northampton finished four points clear of Northants County, who were beaten 3-2 in their final match at Oundle.

Group C

Kingsthorpe will go into the semi-finals in confident touch after completing their campaign with a fourth win as they triumphed by a single point at Cold Ashby.

With a semi-final berth already confirmed, Kingsthorpe could afford to lose the 
opening two ties before coming good with wins in the other three games - the decisive point being delivered by 
Jake Croxford and Jason Spence.

Group D

Priors Hall have qualified for the last four on points difference from Wellingborough, who were denied a place in the semi-finals following a 3-2 loss at Collingtree.

Needing to secure a 
fourth victory in four outings to top the table, Wellingorough points from Sam Waite and Michael Garside (3&2) and Jon Harris and Chris Howes (4&3) weren’t quite enough.

In the other group match, Staverton are still waiting for their first win of the season as they went down 3-2 at Kettering, for whom Rob Aarts and Marcel Aarts impressed.

Junior League

Group A

There’s nothing to choose between the four teams in Group A after Collingtree drew 2-2 at home to Staverton, while Kettering grabbed a share of the spoils away to Peterborough Milton.

Liam McNeela (3&2) and Conor Rosling (4&3) took the opening two games for Collingtree, but Staverton earned a draw with a couple of good wins in the remaining ties.

It was the same story in the other match as Milton clinched the first couple of points, only for Kettering to reply thanks to victories for Ed Keech (5&3) and Ashleigh Critchley (6&4).

Group B

Wellingborough made the perfect start to the season as they recorded a 4-0 home win against Priors Hall.

Ellie Darnell and Becky MacLaren were both victorious on the 14th hole, Sam Digby collected a point with a couple of holes still to play, while Tom Preece (4&3) completed the whitewash.

Group C

Kingsthorpe remained unbeaten in their four individual ties at home to Northampton as they enjoyed a 3-1 success.

Jason McGuinness took the opening game 3&2, the next two ties were halved before Elijah Woodward wrapped up the Kingsthorpe victory by winning the last hole.

Handicap League

Group A

Collingtree are strolling towards the semi-finals after completing a brilliant 25-0 demolition of Silverstone on their own course.

After winning at Kingsthorpe the previous weekend, Collingtree were once again in top form on their travels as Chris Malton and Tom Philbin took the opening tie by seven holes.

The visitors recorded three narrow wins, before they ended Silverstone’s hopes with two thumping victories from Stuart Maddison and Josh Sampson (eight holes) and Mike Clarke and Jensen Parfitt (seven holes).

Group B

A great start and an excellent finish made all the difference for Farthingstone in their home match with Staverton as they bagged a 15-6 win. Tim Starmer and John Whittaker (four holes) and Jonathan Redley and Adam Smith (three holes) set Farthingstone on the way, before Robin Slough and Adrian Miller (six holes) wrapped up the home scoring in the last tie.

Group C

Wellingborough’s strong tail was crucial in their 12-6 success at Oundle as the reigning champions overturned a 6-1 deficit at the half way stage by taking the final three games.

Chris Herring and Loz Weekes (three holes), Ken Birmingham and Steven Hammond (four holes) moved Wellingborough ahead, before Carl Martin and Andrew Flatres (four holes) wrapped up the team’s third victory in three outings.

Peterborough Milton showed their determination away to Cold Ashby as they edged a thrilling contest by just a single point.

Although the hosts won the opening tie by one hole and clinched the final game by three, Milton just held the upper hand in the remaining matches.

Neil Smith and Bob Duthie clinched game two by a couple of holes, before the visitors snatched the plaudits with narrow wins in the next three ties.

Group D

Three good wins proved vital for Overstone in their home contest with Kettering as they came out on top 8-4.

Despite losing three matches by a narrow margin, the hosts grabbed the initiative thanks to wins from Dan Fowkes and Phil Gardner (four holes), Ray Fairburn and Nigel Phelan (two holes) and David Lawrence and Dave Watson (two holes).