GOLF: Northants youngsters claim victory at Cambridgeshire

Northants under-14’s boys team made a winning start to the season as they defeated Cambridgeshire 11-7 in a friendly at Peterborough Milton GC.

Following a loss and two halves in the opening three pairs ties, Northants went ahead with wins from Sam Underwood and Kai Raymond (one hole) and Harry Smith and Jack Peters (3&1), before Elliot Strickland and Jadon Pham bagged another point.

Max Faulkner took the opening singles game, Joseph Hyde and Adam O’Brien added further points, before the in-form quartet of Underwood, Raymond, Smith and Peters confirmed the team victory.

Northants Seniors KO

The quarter-final line-up for the new County Seniors KO Team event is almost complete after Northampton and Cherwell Edge made it into the next stage with 3½-1½ wins.

Wellingborough, Whittlebury, Overstone and Peterborough Milton are also through to the last eight.

The outstanding first round matches must be completed by May 31 as the clubs attempt to stay on track for Northamptonshire Finals Day on Sunday, October 1.

Scratch League

A collection of crushing individual wins helped Kettering defeat Whittlebury Park 5½-2½ at home in their opening Division Three fixture.

The tone was set from the start as Rob Stevenson (9&7), Neil White (7&5) and Stuart Bell (7&5) bagged the first win for the hosts, while Jamie Ashcroft took the last game with five holes to spare.

Reece Dodd confirmed the Kettering victory on the 18th hole, but the visitors prevented any further damage as they recorded a half and two wins in the remaining three games.

Handicap League

Group A

Northants County made a winning start to their Group A campaign as they won 7-3 at neighbours Brampton Heath.

Although all the games were close, it was the away side who held the advantage in four, including the opening two ties as John McPhee and Scott Jelley (two holes) and Quentin Wade and Ross Mason (two holes) gave County an early lead. Leighton Adams and Charlie Mains responded with a three-hole success, but it proved the only high for Brampton as their local rivals won the next two games before halving the last match.

Group C

Priors Hall produced a stunning fightback on their home course as they beat local rivals Kettering 10-5.

The opening match of the year looked set to be going Kettering’s way after a three-hole success in the opening tie was followed by a half and a couple of narrow one-hole wins.

But the Corby club had different ideas as Sean Aitchison and Robert Muir clinched the fifth match by four holes, before Tom O’Donnell and Matthew McLean completed the turnaround as they finished six holes up in the last game.

Hollingsworth Trophy

Group A

Oundle laid down the gauntlet to Northampton and Northants County to catch them at the top of Group A as they completed their campaign with a third successive 3-2 win.

Despite a 5-0 whitewash defeat at Northampton in their first game in early April, Oundle responded with three narrow team wins, the latest coming at home to Daventry.

They will make the semi-finals as long as Northampton don’t win at Staverton on May 27 or Northants County don’t beat the Harlestone club the following day.

Group B

Wellingborough kept alive their slim hopes of retaining the Hollingsworth Trophy as they ended their campaign with a 4-1 home victory against Farthingstone.

The hosts made a positive start as Tiger Adams and Richard Brown took the opening tie 3&1. Jon Harris and Glenn Harris doubled the lead on the 18th, Damian Magill and Gary Grimmitt were also successful down the last, before Dean Smith and Paul Hughes made it 4-0 with a 3&2 success.

With points difference perhaps deciding who tops the group if teams are level, Farthingstone improved their chances by clinching the last game with a 6&4 win for Stephen Bird and Peter Butterwick.

Silverstone moved level with Wellingborough after beating Whittlebury 3-2, Simon Orrey and Paul Sedgwick grabbing the winning point.

Ladies Cecil Leitch

Group 2

Staverton Park completed a double over Cold Ashby this season as they edged a gripping home contest by a single point.

Although Jackie Strangwood secured a 5&3 victory in the last tie, the decisive home points came in three tight matches early on as Ann Cox, Tracy Lane and Jane Hall were all successful on the 18th hole. Sally Lawrenson, Rose Dempsey and Gillian Gaskell picked up wins for Ashby.

Silverstone also 
enjoyed a 4-3 home victory as points from Alison 
Berry, Denise James, Julie Edwards and Christina 
Spink earned a battling win against leaders Northampton.

Group 1

Kettering made it three home wins out of three with a 5-2 victory against Peterborough Milton.

A 5&3 success for ladies captain Sally Bingham, a 3&2 win from Kathryn Stronach and a 2&1 victory from Eve Wilkins put the hosts in control, as the other four ties went the distance.

Karen Trevor got Milton on the scoreboard, but Charlotte Cameron took the 18th hole in her game to guarantee the team win for Kettering, before the last two points were shared.

Group 3

Oundle secured their first victory of the season in clinical fashion as they whitewashed Brampton Heath at home.

Pat Wilkinson, Karen Johnson and Liz Swan took the opening three games, while Carla Fogarty confirmed the team success as she edged out Jane Rowe down the last.

Big home wins for Veronica Lyon and Lyn Cater followed, before Ann Ireland completed a perfect day for Oundle as she shook her hands with her opponent on the 16th green.

Group 4

Daventry recorded their third consecutive home victory with a 5-2 success against Northants County.

With no team having secured an away win in this division so far this year, Daventry maintained their perfect record thanks to points from Jacquie Bailey, Sara Harper, Kerstin Banham, Lin Johnson and Carol Clifford.

European Tour

Top county pro Ryan Evans backed up his maiden success on the European Challenge Tour in Turkey last month by finishing 15th in the Portuguese Open on the main European Tour.

The Wellingborough golfer shot an opening round of 71, added a brilliant five-under-par 68 on the second day to move up the field, before shooting two scores of 71 over the weekend.

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