County teams head to Devon for title showdown


Lincolnshire will defend their title as England’s champion county at next week’s women’s County Finals at East Devon Golf Club, from September 17-21.

The team won the title for the first time last year and has again qualified for the finals as the regional champions for Midlands North.

They will be challenged in the title showdown by the winning teams from each of the other five England Golf regions: Buckinghamshire – Midlands South; Essex – East; Gloucestershire – South West; Lancashire – North; Surrey – South.

The championship is one of the highlights of the women’s calendar and is always keenly contested and intensely competitive. The players will be tested by a clifftop course with a number of tight driving holes and an abundance of heather and gorse.

Ladies’ captain Shirley Pressey commented: “The course is in wonderful condition. We have a new 13th hole and two new tees which have settled in well and it will be good to see them put to the test by some of the country’s best golfers.”

The club last hosted this event in 1990 and the members are supporting the tournament with enthusiasm: 90 have volunteered as spotters, 18 will be ball collectors on the practice ground and each team will be allocated a hostess.

Members and other spectators will be treated to top quality golf. The field includes two former Curtis Cup players, Hannah Barwood of Gloucestershire and Helen Hewlett of Lincolnshire, who was also a British champion. She also had a successful professional career and won on the LPGA Tour before returning to amateur ranks. The Lancashire side includes another former England international, Nikki Foster.

Two members of England’s winning team at the girls’ Home Internationals will be playing: Shelby Smart of Gloucestershire and Gabriella Cowley of Essex. The Essex team also includes English U15 champion Sophie Madden and English schools’ champion Dulcie Sverdloff.

Surrey’s Inci Mehmet represented England in this year’s European Young Masters and is the South region girls’ champion, while Buckinghamshire’s Charlotte West holds the Midlands South girls’ title.

The teams:

Buckinghamshire, captained by Sue Lee: Zoe Fitz-Costa, Julia Gallagher, Denise Goodacre, Steph Gough, Shamiso Hatchard, Gillian Kinnear, Alice Kozlowski, Clara Leathers, Susanna Mitterer, Luan Skeates, Carole Weir, Charlotte West.    

Essex, captained by Amanda Colgate-Herbert: Gabriella Cowley, Daisy Dyer, Ashleigh Greenham, Paige Kemp, Sam Lovell, Sophie Madden, Kelly Martin, Dulcie Sverdloff, Lizzie Taylor, Charlotte Thompson.

Gloucestershire, captained by Karen Rix: Hannah Barwood, Corrinne Durbar, Jemima Gregson, Jo Hodge, Alison Kelly, Lucy Padley, Bethan Popel, Alexandra Saunders, Shelby Smart, Victoria Wakeley-Jones.

Lancashire, captained by Val Moran: Gemma Batty, Nikki Foster, Bethany Garton, Eloise Healey, Sophie Lamb, Sophie Powell, Catherine Roberts, Elizabeth Stebbings
Hollie Vizard.

Lincolnshire, captained by Cindy Ireland: Lucy Atter, Sophie Beardsall, Helen Hewlett, Megan Illingworth, Cindy Ireland, Helen McDougall, Emily Slater, Emilee Taylor, Emma Tipping, Jess Wilcox, Michelle Willerton.
Surrey, captained by Ann Gems: Tana Churchill, Annabel Dimmock, Katie Fewster, Samantha Fuller, Lisa McGowan, Inci Mehmet, Louisa Tarn, Nicola Taylor.
Three foursomes each morning, followed by six singles each afternoon.

Order of play:
Monday 17 September
Surrey v Essex
Lincolnshire v Gloucestershire
Lancashire v Buckinghamshire

Tuesday 18 September
Lincolnshire v Lancashire
Essex v Gloucestershire
Buckinghamshire v Surrey

Wednesday 19 September
Gloucestershire v Buckinghamshire
Surrey v Lancashire
Lincolnshire v Essex

Thursday 20 September
Surrey v Lincolnshire
Essex v Buckinghamshire
Lancashire v Gloucestershire

Friday 21 September
Lancashire v Essex
Buckinghamshire v Lincolnshire
Gloucestershire v Surrey