Staffordshire edge in front in Boys title chase

Quirk and Booker

Staffordshire have put themselves into pole position in the chase for the Boys County Championship after winning all three foursomes at Kedleston Park this morning. They now have 12 game points, one better than Yorkshire, who took a 2-1 lead over Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands.

With all four counties having one win to their credit from the previous two days, making a mark in the foursomes was vital and Staffordshire did just that.

Their boy international Robert Burlison and Cameron Long led the way but they were given a tough fight by Devon’s Jacob Tinsley and Robbie Thompson. The Midlanders won three of the first four holes, two with birdies but they were hauled back and it was anyone’s game with two to play.

But pars from Burlison and Cameron on 17 and 18 proved enough to seal a 2-hole victory.

Daniel Sutton and Gianmarco Petrozzi proved too good for Devon’s Danny Guy and James Thompson, who dropped too many shots and slipped to a 5&3 defeat, while the bottom game was a see-saw affair although Staffordshire generally held sway.

Their pairing of Peter Booker and Harrison Quirk (image © Leaderboard Photography) built a 3-up lead by the turn and increased it to four on the tenth. But Devon’s Harry Konig and Ollie Cowl won three of the next four holes to get to 1-down only for Staffordshire to win the 15th with a par.

At dormie two, both pairs found the trees on the long 17th but Cowl played a superb recovery to the green which enabled Devon to win the hole.

But they conceded the 18th after Cowl’s approach to the last flew through the green and they failed to get down in two more and conceded the home and the match by 2-holes.

Still smarting after the previous day’s defeat to Devon, Yorkshire were looking to repair the damage this morning and were given a solid start by Ben Brewster and Kealan Lowe in the top game who beat Hampshire’s Ryan Harmer and Josh Oddy 5&4.

Hampshire replied through Billy Watson and Tom Farrow-Smith who were locked in a tight tussle with Jonathan Thomson and Jack Kelley before the south east champions won the 13th with a birdie at the 16th with a par before closing out a 2&1 victory.

In the other game, Jordan Sundborg and Mason Banger built a 2-hole lead for Hampshire through five holes against Ben Hutchinson and Sam Wilkinson. But the Yorkshire pair was all square by the turn, went ahead with a par on the short 11th, increased it at 14 with a par and, despite losing the short 16th to a par, won the last for a 2-hole victory.