Players battle the elements at Women’s County Finals

Emily Slater

Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire lead the way after they each won their matches on the first day of Women’s County Finals at Wilmslow, Cheshire.

Yorkshire, who have been absent from County Finals for the past two years, made a successful return by defeating Kent 7-2. Gloucestershire beat Warwickshire 6-3, while Lincolnshire beat Hertfordshire 5-4.

Today’s matches were played in the most difficult conditions of heavy rain showers, strong gusting winds and even hail at times. But the players battled around the course and produced some quite remarkable golf.

Yorkshire county captain Carole Waights remarked: “Everyone played very well in the most awful conditions and they all deserve a good pat on the back.”

Yorkshire took control of their match after they won 2½ points from the morning foursomes . Kent’s young team – seven are aged between 14 and 18 – held on tight over the front nine of the singles, but the more experienced Yorkshire side pulled away over the inward half.

Carole added: “They have all been good matches and my team have been fantastic, I’m chuffed to bits to have such a nice start to the week.”

Gloucestershire were also on convincing form. They held the upper hand all day, winning two of the morning foursomes and, led by South West champion Bethan Popel secured four of the singles points.

“It was a really good result,” said county captain Jan Pickersgill. “There was some surprisingly good golf played in awful conditions and Bethan, in particular, was superb, she really showed her class out there.

“I was very pleased that even in the games we lost we kept pushing right to the end and kept fighting.”

Lincolnshire won a tight match against Hertfordshire. The two teams shared the morning foursomes and Lincolnshire finally came out on top when Emily Slater (Image top © Leaderboard Photography) produced a classy up-and-down on the last to win her singles game 1 up.

The other games were equally hard-fought, for example, Jess Wilcox managed to win on the 17th, despite her opponent chipping in twice. Meanwhile Helen Hewlett looked odds on for a win after getting to two up with two to play – only to lose both the 17th and 18th to birdies.

“It was a great day, a realty good match played in a great spirit,” said county captain Cindy Ireland. “Conditions weren’t easy and so they have all done very well.”

Results

Kent 2 Yorkshire 7
Foursomes
Emily Royer & Ainee O’Connor lost to Becca Wood & Emma Brown 3/1
Marnie Barber & Jerri Sewell lost to Charlotte Austwick & Holly Morgan 6/4
Tita McCart & Cloe Frankish halved with Ellie Goodall & Megan Lockett

Singles
Mollie Lawrence lost to Brown 3/2
Sewell beat Rochelle Morris 2 up
Royer halved with Austwick
O’Connor lost to Morgan 3/2
Fiona McCann lost to Kirsty Beckwith 3/1
McCart lost to Lockett 4/3

Gloucestershire 6 Warwickshire 3
Foursomes
Shelby Smart & Bethan Popel beat Abbey Gittings & Melissa Nicol 3/2
Sue Elliott & Alexandra Saunders lost to Claire Howells & Charlotte Dalton 5/4
Lucy Padley & Alison Kelly beat Katrina Gani & Rachel Rusted 2/1

Singles
Popel beat Gittings 4/3
Padley lost to Nicol 2/1
Jemima Gregson beat Dalton 3/2
Saunders lost to Howells 1 down
Kelly beat Rusted 3/2
Smart beat Gani 5/3

Lincolnshire 5  Hertfordshire 4
Foursomes
Helen Hewlett & Emilee Taylor lost to Alison Franklin & Lucy Goddard 2 down
India Clyburn & Emily Slater beat Steph McEvoy & Ella Ofstedahl 4/2
Jessica Wilcox & Emma Tipping halved with Charlie Field & Nicola Callander

Singles
Taylor beat Goddard 1up
Hewlett halved with Franklin
Wilcox beat Ofstedahl 2/1
Sophie Beardsall lost to Field 2/1
Slater beat McEvoy 1 up
Clyburn lost to Callander 5/4