Gloucestershire and Yorkshire tightened their grip on the top of the leaderboard at Women’s County Finals today, when both teams notched up big wins at Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk.
They’ve both got a 100% record, winning all three of their matches so far. Today, defending champions Gloucestershire beat Buckinghamshire 8-1 while Yorkshire defeated the hosts Suffolk, 7.5-1.5.
Gloucestershire won all three of their foursomes and followed up with an impressive singles performance, with a mix of big wins and gritty finishes.
Ffion Tynan, Caley McGinty and Sam Round were all big winners, with Tynan, 14, pointing out: “I haven’t played further than the 15th since the foursomes on the first day.”
Alex Saunders (pictured top) and Alex Giles, meanwhile, had to stage comebacks to take their points. Saunders was four down after four, stopped the rot with a half on the fifth and then gradually clawed back the deficit until she was all square after 12. She won the 13th to get ahead and, with a series of good up-and-downs, went on to win 2/1.
Giles was two down with three holes to play – and not happy with her form. But she turned around her fortunes with a good tee shot to the par three 16th and won the hole with a par. She then followed up with two birdies to grab her point.
Yorkshire also dominated their match, despite losing one foursomes game and conceding a half in the singles.
In the foursomes, Suffolk champion Alice Barlow and team captain Vanessa Bell eagled the second and birdied the third, fourth and fifth to get to four up – and went on to win 4/2.
However, the northerners were in typically strong form in the other two games. Hannah Holden and Charlotte Heath won 4/3 while the anchor pair of Olivia Winning and Megan Lockett eased to a 6/5 win.
In the singles, played in a steadily strengthening wind, Yorkshire were all but invincible. Megan Lockett got ahead early on, was pulled back to all square after nine, but pushed on strongly on the back nine and posted the first point with her 3/2 win.
She was soon followed by Yorkshire girls’ champion Nicola Slater, whose 5/4 win will earn her the team’s prized chocolate award for the best score of the afternoon. Charlotte Heath provided the team’s winning point when she won 3/2 after a game which featured plenty of birdies from both players.
The wins kept on coming as Hannah Holden signed off with a birdie for her 4/2 success and Mia Eales-Smith won on the 17th. Finally, Olivia Winning maintained the unbeaten singles standard. She had trailed Suffolk’s Lottie Whyman but she pulled it back to all square with a birdie on 17 and they halved with pars on the last.
In the day’s other match, Hampshire recovered from earlier defeats by Yorkshire and Gloucestershire to score their first win, beating Nottinghamshire 6-3.
Their youngest player, Adrian Mylrea, 17, helped put them on course for the win when she had her first hole-in-one on the 184-yard 16th in the foursomes.
It meant that Mylrea and partner, Kerry Smith, were dormy 2up and they sealed their point on the 17th. Hampshire’s other two pairs, Kelly Travers and Sammi Keen and Aimee Paterson and Raffi Dyer, also won their games giving the team a 3-0 advantage at lunch-time.
Nottinghamshire fought back hard in the afternoon singles but they couldn’t catch Hampshire’s Georgie Mundy and Sammi Keen, who both won 6/5. Kerry Smith extended the scoreline when she held on to win on the last.
Team captain Kay Walshe remarked: “We had a tough start to the week and the team were all very keen to show what they could do. This morning they played very well as a team and this afternoon they were very keen to covert that into a win.”
Hampshire won this championship in 2014 but only three members of that team are playing at Felixstowe Ferry: Travers, Smith and Mundy. Meanwhile Mylrea and Keen are making their debut in first team golf.
Images copyright Leaderboard Photography