Newcomers Northamptonshire take the lead

Ben Jones

Northamptonshire marked their first appearance at the Boys’ County Championship final by taking the day one lead with a hard-fought 5-4 win over Hampshire at King’s Lynn Golf Club.

In the day’s other match, Wiltshire clawed their way back from 3-0 down at lunch to halve with Durham.

It was a day for fightbacks, with Northamptonshire overcoming a 2-1 deficit after the foursomes, by winning four of the six singles to claim the point.

Northamptonshire had managed to keep in touch in the foursomes when Callum Farr and Ben Jones (image © Leaderboard Photography), who trailed on the outward half, won their match on the 18th. “That was massively important,” said team manager Adam Myers.

In the afternoon, both boys went on to win their singles, as did Matthew Myers, leaving the way clear for Tom Forster to clinch the team’s overall win.

He was taken to the 18th by Jason Sundborg – who recently reached the quarter finals of the Boys’ Amateur Championship – but held his nerve to hole a 10-footer on the last and hang on to his one-up advantage. “I’m very proud of them all,” said Myers.

Wiltshire staged a remarkable comeback to snatch a halved match, after they lost all three morning foursomes.

“We just didn’t get going at all this morning and Durham played some really good golf,” said Wiltshire team manager Ian Welding. “But this afternoon was a completely different story.

“The boys came out determined to show they could play better and that they weren’t going to give the match away and they turned it round.”

The tension mounted as the afternoon unfolded and Wiltshire had to battle to the end, with Charlie Dunn winning the 18th to halve his game against Durham’s Jack Ainscough; and Dom Burgess parring the last to keep his one-up advantage over Will Marshall.

“It was very exciting and could have gone either way,” said Welding. “The boys did fantastically well to change it round and now they have so much more confidence and momentum.”

Durham, who were runners-up in last year’s championship, were disappointed to let their lead slip away. But team captain Ken Joel said: “It was a great game and both teams played well and in a very good spirit. It was a pleasure to watch and to be involved in.”

Tomorrow, Wiltshire will play Hampshire, while Northamptonshire take on Durham.

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