Lincolnshire comeback stuns Surrey on opening day of Women’s County Final

Lincolnshire battled back to secure a 5-4 victory against Surrey on the first day of the Women’s County Finals at Delamere Forest Golf Club, Cheshire.

Despite being 3-0 down going after the morning foursomes, Lincolnshire were able to secure their first point of the week after winning five out of six available points in the afternoon’s single matches. The stand-out performance came from Meg Illingworth who won 5&4 over Gabby Shacklady.

Lincolnshire’s India Clyburn, Billie-Jo Smith and Ellise Rymer all won by one whilst the game was secured by Helen McDougal on the 17th after beating Jessica Adams of Surrey by two.

Lincolnshire Team Captain, Helen Dawson, said the team proved what they could do: “They believe in themselves, they believe in each other and this afternoon they proved they can do it. You have to be confident, we all think we’re going to win, we all hope we’re going to win, we’ll all do our best to win.

She added: “[after the morning foursomes] I think we thought we had nothing to lose, just go for it and don’t play it too safe.”

Defending champions Gloucestershire also overcame a foursomes deficit to pick up an opening day victory. In conditions preferable to the storms at Royal North Devon GC last year, Gloucestershire were able to dominate the singles after a slow start in the morning’s play.

Although Ffion Tynan and Alex Saunders took the first foursomes 7&6, Norfolk fought back to take the remaining two foursomes points.

However, in the singles it was a different story as Gloucestershire almost swept the board. Apart from Abigail O’Riordan’s 1up victory over Jess Brown, Norfolk were unable to stop the defending champions, with each singles win at least 3&2 on the day.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire, who missed out on the last day in 2019, started off their campaign with a crushing 8-1 victory over Buckinghamshire to jump to the top of the early standings in Cheshire.

Buckinghamshire were competitive throughout the morning foursomes and it was only late on that Yorkshire secured a trio of tight 1 hole, 2 hole and 2&1 wins.

However, they couldn’t apply enough pressure in the singles to make any serious threat to the Yorkshire charge. Thalia Kirby’s 2 hole win over Lily Hurst was Bucks only highlight as Nicola Slater, Mia Eales-Smith, Beth Norton, Evie Cooke and Hannah Holden all picked up singles wins.

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