Four counties seek national title

Dan Brown

Cornwall, Hampshire, Warwickshire and Yorkshire will meet this week in the final of the English Men’s County Championship.

Sandwell Park Golf Club in Staffordshire will host the championship for the first time from Friday to Sunday, 23 to 25 September.

It will challenge the players with its undulating parkland course, which is regarded as one of the finest in the West Midlands. It is particularly noted for the borrows and speed of the greens.

The four title contenders are all past winners. Yorkshire are the most successful county in the history of the competition, winning their 20th championship in 2007.

Their team this year includes English amateur champion Dan Brown (image © Leaderboard Photography); Will Whiteoak who was in England’s winning team at the Costa Ballena quadrangular tournament; and Ben Hutchinson, the 2016 winner of the Scrutton Jug for the best combined score in the Brabazon and Berkshire Trophies.

Cornwall are the most recent champions, having won for the first time in 2014, and their team includes five members of that side: Joe Cruse, Josh Greenaway, Rob MacGregor, Matt Richards and Conor Wilson.

Hampshire, which includes the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands, are also seeking their second win, having been champions in 1996. They will be led by the captain and county champion Martin Young, who is a former winner of the English mid-amateur championship.

Warwickshire are five-times winners, but took their last title in 1990. Their team this year includes former England international Matt Cryer and Max Martin, who was a boy international.

The order of play is:
Friday, September 23
Match 1: Hampshire v Cornwall
Match 2: Warwickshire v Yorkshire

Saturday, September 24
Match 1: Match 1 winners from day one v Match 2 losers from day one
Match 2: – Match 2 winners from day one v Match 1 losers from day one

Sunday September 25
Completion of the round robin.

The teams

Cornwall: David Kneebone (Captain), Joe Cruse (St Enodoc), Josh Greenaway (Bowood Park), Richard Jasper (Launceston), Rob MacGregor (Tehidy Park), Matt Richards (West Cornwall), Conor Wilson (Perranporth)

Hampshire, IoW and Channel Islands: Martin Young (Captain, Brokenhurst Manor)
Mark Burgess (Blackmoor), Ryan Harmer (Shanklin & Sandown), Billy McKenzie (Rowlands Castle), Tom Robson (Rowlands Castle), George Saunders (Meon Valley) Jordan Sundborg (Shanklin & Sandown).

Warwickshire: Stuart Bloxham (Captain), Matthew Cryer (Coventry), Tom Ibbertson (Coventry Hearsall), Gareth Jenkins (The Warwickshire), Max Martin (Ladbrook Park), Liam Phipps (Olton), Patrick Ruff (Sutton Coldfield), Ian Winstanley (Handsworth).

Yorkshire: Darryl Berry (Captain), Ben Brewster (Wheatley), Dan Brown (Masham), Bailey Gill (Lindrick), Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall), Kealan Lowe (Wheatley), Steve Robins (Hull), Will Whiteoak (Shipley).