Women’s County Finals – Day Two: Surrey favourites after teeing up Somerset decider

Surrey will face Somerset in a trophy decider on the final day of the 2021 Women’s County Finals.

Having clocked up wins against Hertfordshire and Yorkshire on day one at Denham Golf Club, Surrey made it four out of four with follow up victories today over Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

Somerset also enjoyed a super Saturday in the sunshine notching wins against Yorkshire and Buckinghamshire.

This came on the back of an opening day win against Hertfordshire and a defeat to Lincolnshire.

That tees up the thrilling prospect of a match between the top two counties on Sunday morning – although the odds are stacked heavily in favour of a Surrey triumph for the first time in 24 years.

In order for Somerset to win the finals they must not only beat Surrey, but also ensure their opponents win no more than half a point from the five games.

Scoring details – Saturday AM matches

Scoring details – Saturday PM matches

League table

Surrey captain Sue Wild insists her side are taking nothing for granted going into the final day’s play despite standing on the brink of glory.

She said: “We’re focused on getting the win and nothing else.

“We’ll be putting out a good team and trying to carry on from the last two days.

“They’ve been brilliant and also had a bit of fun along the way – and I’ve had a great team captain in Nicola Taylor.

“We’ve not won this event since 1997, but we have a squad who are motivated and keen to play.

“But it will be tight because Somerset will be trying to pip us and they are a very good team.”

Somerset team captain Gill Brown says her side has nothing to lose.

She added: “It’s a slim chance, but you never know. We will be going out there with a positive mindset.

“The emphasis will be to enjoy it – and see how it goes from there.”

It was far from plain sailing for Surrey in the morning session against Buckinghamshire.

It wasn’t until a final ‘golden hour’ of play in the morning session did things swing in Surrey’s favour.

Abbie Rowlands and Ellen Yates ground out a half in their foursomes match with Ciara Egan and Lulu Leetham while Hyun-Ji Kim and Olivia Horsford supplied a point winning their match against Grace Rigby-Walden and Rachel Mackinlay on the 17th.

At one stage that match looked like tipping in Buckinghamshire’s favour – especially when Rigby-Walden holed out for a three from an almost impossible position 50 yards short off the elevated 15th green (pictured above).

In the singles, Buckinghamshire’s Ella Butteriss got the better of Alex Phelps by a 3&2 margin.

However, Surrey took the honours when Ellie Monk turned around her match on the back nine to beat Olivia Lee 2&1 and Lottie Woad defeated Lily Robinson 5&4.

In Surrey’s afternoon match with Lincolnshire, the tone was set when the double act of Kim and Horsford claimed another point – this time by the impressive margin of 9&7 against the pairing of Helen McDougall and Courtney Martland.

Taylor and Monk delivered another foursomes point while Woad won the battle with her England colleague Ellise Rymer to take the first singles match of the afternoon session.

Alex Phelps’ singles win on the 18th against Tilly Garfoot ensured a 4-1 victory.

Billie Jo Smith claimed Lincolnshire’s sole point in the afternoon session.

Somerset’s day of double success started with a 3-2 win against Yorkshire – reigning England Girls’ champion Patience Rhodes (pictured above) winning her singles match and both foursomes games going the way of the team from the West Country.

In the afternoon, the 3-2 scoreline was repeated against Buckinghamshire. Rhodes and Harriet Lockley winning their singles and Jade Cope and Ellen Reakes securing a vital point from the foursomes.

Lincolnshire are third in the table thanks to securing their second victory of the series with a 3-2 morning victory over Hertfordshire.

For Yorkshire it proved to be a disappointing day – defeat to Somerset and Hertfordshire putting paid to their hopes of winning the title for the 13th time.

Along with Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, they have won one of the four games to date.

On Sunday, the title decider between Surrey and Somerset will tee off from the first tee at 8.30am.

In the other fixtures, Buckinghamshire take on Hertfordshire (10th tee, 8.30am) and Yorkshire face Lincolnshire starting on the 1st tee from 9.15am.

 

Photography: Leaderboard