Nottinghamshire and Somerset are both eyeing a place in the history books when they take part in this week’s Men’s County Finals at Huddersfield GC.
Neither county has ever won the prized trophy which has been the subject of fierce competition ever since the event was first staged at Formby in 1926.
By contrast, the other two finalists – Kent and Northumberland – have enjoyed past success although you need to delve deep into the records to discover their achievements.
Kent’s solitary victory came in 1978 when they claimed the prize at Frilford Heath.
Northumberland gave a new meaning to the phrase ‘Swinging Sixties’ when they ruled the roost in 1960, 1962, 1964 and 1965.
The winners of the northern qualifying section will enter this year’s event with their tails up after City of Newcastle Golf Club lifted the England Champion Club trophy last weekend.
The trio of Alex Dixon, Phil Ridden and Andrew Minnikin were victorious at Romford GC to book a place at the European Men’s Club trophy at Golf du Medoc on October 24-26 and form the core of the seven-man team for this tournament.
Should they carry forward last weekend’s form then Northumberland will surely be the team to beat.
The four counties will compete at the renowned Yorkshire venue over Friday, Saturday and Sunday having all won regional qualifiers to make the finals.
The format for the three days of round-robin competition is as follows;
AM – Three games of foursomes. PM – six games of singles.
Two match points per day will be awarded for a win and one point for a half. If counties are tied on match points at the end of the competition then the winners will be decided by the overall games points tally.
If counties are still tied then the head-to-head record will come into play and if they still can’t be separated then the title will be shared.
A year ago, record-breaking Yorkshire were the leaders of the pack at Aldeburgh Golf Club after a thrilling finale.
Having won two matches and drawn the other to share top spot with Gloucestershire, Yorkshire prevailed by half a point in terms of the overall game points.
Incredibly, it was the 22nd time Yorkshire had got their hands on the silverware.
THIS YEAR’S SQUADS
Kent: Joshua Bristow, Liam Burns, Mason Essam, Jensen Hull, Jacob Kelso, Ben Quinney, Tom Sherreard
Northumberland: Alex Dixon, Gary Donnison, Sean Heads, Matty Lamb, Andrew Minnikin, Phil Ridden, Mark Wharton
Nottinghamshire: Cole Betteridge, Jordan Boulton, Adam Dorricott, Martin Foulkes, Darren Kirton, Ross Overton, Mark Porter,
Somerset: Craig Adams, Thomas Burley, Sam Fernley, Thomas Plumb, Will Poole, Taylor Stote, Philip White
Photograph credit: Leaderboard