GOLF - LEAGUE NEWS: Brown’s back on County duty

COUNTY RECALL - Jack Brown
COUNTY RECALL - Jack Brown

Former Northants champion Jack Brown returns to the county first team for the opening Anglian League away match against Suffolk at Woodbridge on Sunday.

With Ryan Evans, Kyson Lloyd and Simon Williams having turned pro in recent months and Fraser Carnihan, Lewis White, Paul Hodgkiss and Harry Woan unavailable for selection, team captain Jim Campbell has named an inexperienced line-up.

Brown is joined by teenagers Callum Farr, Ben Jones and Sam Henfrey, while Jamie Milligan is set to make his Anglian League first-team debut. Graham Bott, Michael Campbell and Tom Burgh complete the side.

Another ex-county champion Miles Mudge plays for the second team at Whittlebury Park as he lines up alongside Taylor Sargeant, Stuart Nicholas, Jon Harris, Alec Francis, Jason McGuiness, Michael Farr and Mikey Chambers.

NPGA

Paul Broadhurst (Northants County) was the standout performer in the penultimate Winter Series NPGA Pro-Am event as he fired a magnificent six-under-par 64 at Cherwell Edge.

The former Ryder Cup player finished four ahead of Nick Soto (Northampton), with Jon Handyside (Priors Hall) and Dan Wood (Brampton Heath) a further shot off the lead.

It was a close contest in the team event as Kingsthorpe pro Paul Armstrong’s side grabbed a countback victory from the teams led by Broadhurst and Shane Rose (Cold Ashby) on 127.

Shires Junior Golf Tour

A place in the Ian Poulter Invitational at Woburn this summer will be at stake in the fifth round of the Shires Junior Golf Tour at Kingsthorpe on Sunday.

The leading boy or girl under the age of 18, who has a handicap of 16 or less, 
will qualify to compete in a field of 100 juniors on the Marquess course on Monday, July 21.

The added incentive of meeting the Ryder Cup winner has helped boost the Kingsthorpe entry list, which will almost certainly break the Shires record of 82 players from the previous round at Brampton Heath.

Handicap League

Group A

Collingtree Park burst out of the blocks in their opening match of the season against Kingsthorpe as the hosts went on to claim a 12-4 victory.

Home duo Chris Malton and Paul Dimmock took the opening tie by half a dozen holes, while Harry Williams and Mark Spring won the first six holes on their way to a two hole success in the second game.

From then on, it was a fairly close contest with Collingtree picking up four more points and Mark Fowkes and Martin Bamford (two holes) and Brian Watkins and Barry Crowl (two holes) replying for the visitors.

Family pride was at stake in the first match of the season in Group A as Cherwell 
Edge recorded an excellent 11-4 victory at sister club Silverstone.

Graham Collett and Geoffrey Stone clinched the opening tie by three holes for the visitors, John Thompson and Luis Witherall doubled their lead by winning the next match. With game three being halved and Silverstone taking the fourth tie by four holes, the result remained in the balance with two matches on the course.

Cherwell proved just too strong in both those games as Santi Perez and Peter Sprey won by two holes, before Barry Hill and Stephen Malsher clinched a three-hole success in the last match.

Group B

Staverton Park produced a dominant away performance at Delapre Park as they started their campaign with a 24-2 victory.

Although the hosts took game two by a couple of holes, wins for Paul Hammond and Darren Barrett (six holes) and David Garrett and Dan Allum (one hole) gave the visitors the advantage at the half way stage.

Staverton then took complete control as Samuel Peake and Oliver Braker triumphed by nine holes, Greg Young and Karl Fisher (above) won by six, before Kyle Grant and Nick Shakespeare (two holes) wrapped up a comprehensive away success.

Group C

Wellingborough made the perfect start to the defence of their title as they completed a 14-0 home victory against Rushden.

Paul Redding and Steve Crawley beat Jack McGrath and Michael Stephens by three holes in the opening game, before home team skipper Glen Gulla and Lawrence Berryman doubled the lead.

Glenn Harris and Charlie Higgins extended the advantage by another hole as they edged a tight contest with the father-and-son combination of Shaun Gant and Callum Gant.

The visitors halved the fifth game, but Wellingborough were successful in the matches either side as Alonza Lorenzo and Chris Herring won by three holes and Carl Martin and Steven Hammond triumphed by four.

Oundle had contrasting results in their opening two matches as they defeated local rivals Peterborough Milton 15-5 at home, but then crashed to a 22-1 reverse at Cold Ashby.

The damage was done early on against Milton as Charlie Fowler and Graham Drage took the first game by five holes, while Peter McNally and Dave Reardon extended the home lead by four in the next tie.

Although the third match was halved, Oundle put the result beyond doubt when Charles Underwood and Peter Rice clinched the next game by six holes.

Tony Vardaro and Roy Chowings prevented a whitewash defeat by taking the fifth game by a single hole, before Peterborough’s Ryan Slater and Paul Pateman (four holes) completed the scoring.

It was a completely different story for Oundle three days later in their trip to Cold Ashby as the home side recorded four convincing wins in the first four games.

James Gibson and James Wallis (four holes), Gareth Dolman and Daniel Payne (six holes), David Durkin and Richard Martin (four holes) and Derek Bott and David Dolman (six holes) were in good touch for Ashby.

Guy Fowler and Mark Nicholson got Oundle on the scoreboard with a narrow win, but the home duo of Stephen Bull and Steven Walpole clinched the final match by a couple of holes.

Group D

Local rivals Priors Hall and Kettering were involved in a thrilling contest on Sunday as the two sides battled out a 8-8 draw on the Corby course.

Wins for Jerry Millar and Trevor Shiells (two holes) and Darren Buchan and Jim Collins (three holes) gave Priors the early advantage, but Kettering’s Alan Moreland and Richard Grove replied with a six hole victory.

Nick Toseland and Steve Shiells responded with a three hole success for the hosts, only for Richard Sharp and Jack Murray (two holes) to level up the scores with one match left on the course.

Although Kettering’s Colin Mitton and Bob Wood led going down the last, the two had to settle for a share of the spoils as home duo John McConnell and Matthew McLean won the 18th to snatch a half.