GOLF: Tricky start as Northampton aim to go one better in 2018

Jensen Parfitt had to settle for second behind Jack Johnson in the February Saturday Stableford at Collingtree
Jensen Parfitt had to settle for second behind Jack Johnson in the February Saturday Stableford at Collingtree

Northampton have been handed a tricky opening Hollingsworth Trophy Group D match at Northants County later this month as they look to go one better than their runners-up finish in 2017.

In the same group, Overstone Park host Kettering’s second team, while 2013 champions Staverton Park begin their campaign a week later.

Peterborough Milton could see some familiar faces when they begin their title defence after being drawn at home to local rivals Oundle in Group C.

With no team having retained the Trophy since Kingsthorpe won back-to-back crowns at the turn of the century, Milton also face matches against Whittlebury, Daventry and Kettering’s first team.

Cold Ashby’s bid for a first Hollingsworth Trophy starts with a tough away clash with Brampton Heath in Group A.

Farthingstone and Stoke Albany, who have also never won this competition, meet in the other opening tie, while two-time winners Collingtree play their first game one week later.

In Group B, Kingsthorpe play at home against Rushden, while 2016 champions Wellingborough meet Priors Hall. Silverstone will have to wait a few days before getting their campaign underway.

Collingtree Park

Jensen Parfitt couldn’t prevent in-form Jack Johnson from recording his second victory in the space of a fortnight in the February Saturday Stableford.

Although teenager Parfitt bagged an excellent tally of 46 points it was still one shy of Johnson’s total as he added to his February Sunday Stableford success earlier in the month. Shaun Popple was third on 45.

Overstone Park

A TOTAL of 46 points was a magnificent winning total for Andrew Cox and Kevin Bate in the Mixed Foursomes as they finished four clear of Gina Evans and Susan Evans. Jim Tricklebank and George Marston took third on 40.

Hellidon Lakes

Andy McKeown compiled the leading score of 42 points in the February Stableford to finish four ahead of fellow mid-handicapper Paul King and Karl White, who clinched the third division. Tony Inskip (36) secured the top category.

Stoke Albany

Steve Holmes never looked back after carding a gross birdie on the opening hole in the seventh round of the Winter Series as he went on to post the leading mark of 41 points.

Andrew King’s three consecutive brides in the middle of the back nine ensured he took the runners-up position on countback from Jamie Townsend (38).

Whittlebury

Andrew Stewart’s first appearance in a 9 O’Clock Club competition this year ended in victory as he lifted the Cowan Westgrath Trophy with a tally of 35 points.

David Osborne and Raymond Swann, who were also making their debuts in 2018 took second and third on 34 apiece.

Northampton

Consistency was the key to victory in the fifth round of the Winter Series Stableford as David Devine grabbed the plaudits with 38 points.

The 13-handicapper carded nothing worse than a bogey as he beat Danny Ribano by one point, with Roger Rideout in third on 36.

Farthingstone

John Whitaker was a model of consistency in the Winter Bash as he carded 15 pars and three bogeys on his way to a winning total of 42 points.

Robert Colby took second spot on countback from fellow high-handicappers Lawrence Smith and Duncan Bisatt after posting 39.