Yorkshire strike first in title showdown

Swash and Schmidt

Yorkshire put one hand on the trophy when they beat BB&O in all three foursomes this morning in the title showdown at the English Boys’ County Championship. 

All three games were close but it was Yorkshire who found the finishing touch at Northamptonshire County Golf Club. 
 
Their clean sweep means BB&O – Berks, Bucks and Oxon – will have to win five of this afternoon’s six singles to pull off their dream of winning the title.
 
Yorkshire’s first blow was struck by Yorkshire’s Michael Hay and Charlie Daughtrey who won a top quality game against Connor Gough and Harrison Arnold by 1 hole. 
 
The narrow lead, of never more than a hole, was passed to and from between the opponents. Yorkshire went one up with a birdie on 16, BB&O got them back to all square on 17 with their own birdie. But Yorkshire won the 18th and the match when their opponents found trouble in the rough. 
 
In the second game, Yorkshire’s James Swash and Ben Schmidt  (pictured) got off to a quick start and were 3up after four holes. BB&O gradually pulled them back to all square after 11 but Yorkshire’s birdie three on 13 put them back in the lead and they extended it with a par on the short 15th. The next two holes were halved in par and the northerners won 2/1. 
 
Callum Macfie and George Heath sealed Yorkshire’s 3-0 scoreline when they beat their BB&O opponents 2/1 after a match which included six birdies. Yorkshire were 4up after 10 holes before losing the 11th and 13th to birdies. However BB&O were unable to make any further inroads and the remaining four holes were halved in par. 
 
In the play-off for third place, Somerset lead Staffordshire 2-1 after a hard fought morning with two of the three foursomes going to the 18th and the other finishing on the 17th. 
 
There was never more than one hole in the match involving Somerset’s Dylan Xanh and Jake Bovington. But they struck their crucial blow with a winning birdie on 14 which got them back to all square and a conceded birdie on the short 15th to go 1up. They held on to their slender advantage with pars on the remaining three holes. 
 
Huxley Howell and Louis Archer looked to be comfortably in control of their game when they were 4up at the turn but the Somerset pair were taken to the 18th to claim their point. Their Staffordshire opponents, Ollie Read and Tom Beasley, reduced the deficit to just one hole, helped by birdies on the 15th and 16th. However, the last two holes were halved in par and the South West pair won 1up. 
 
Staffordshire’s point was won by James Bailey and Alex Chapman, who had been trailing over the outward half. They eventually got ahead on the 14th and held on to win 2/1. 
 
Click here for full scores
 
Image copyright Leaderboard Photography