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Day 5 of the English County Championship Finals.  Yorkshire won the title and the Suffolk team finished with a flourish…


The last of five days of intense competition found Yorkshire at the top of the league, claiming the Championship Title with the last putt on the final green of their match against Gloucestershire, the defending champions.

It was a beautiful day at Felixstowe, bright and brisk with wall to wall sunshine and a cleansing breeze. Suffolk were playing Nottinghamshire and were desperate to win again and claim the third spot that they had set their hearts upon. Everything went according to plan in the foursomes.

The third match out featured Captain Vanessa Bell playing with Suffolk Champion Alice Barlow. How well they complemented each other!  Emma Anderson and Emma Howie had no chance as the home duo cruised to a 4/2 victory. The other two pairs had to work hard for their results. Vicki Inglis and Lottie Whyman came back from four down against Caron Harrison and Carol Wild to win by one hole. Along the way, Lottie sank a bunker shot at eight. Likewise Sharon Luckman and Fiona Edmond enjoyed a tight match against Kristina Lazarevich and Libby Kilbride, finishing 1up and making it a full house of three points from three for Suffolk.

The singles, with only two points needed though no one was allowed to voice that thought, proved to be a matter of feast or famine. Vanessa Bell, Abbie Symonds and Amanda Norman all bowed out early, leaving Alice Barlow, Lottie Whyman and Lils James to gets the requisite points.

Alice went 1up after two. On nine, she missed a birdie putt by a whisker. She remained steady at 2up on 10, made a par 4 at eleven for 3up and went to 4up at twelve. She then lost a hole and when Emily Cheshire made birdie 2 at the long par three sixteenth, Alice was dormie 2up. A half was all she needed at seventeen for a 2/1 victory.

Behind her, Lottie Whyman was 2down after three and there was not much movement in the score for a while. She was just 2up at eleven and through to fifteen. 184 yards separates the tee from the green at sixteen. Lottie put her tee shot near enough the hole to engender hope. Lauren Spray, a fine and confident player, was putting first from a little further off. She missed the hole while Lottie took careful aim and rolled her ball safely into it. Suffolk’s point at 3/2 took the team into the match winner’s enclosure.

Lils James hadn’t finished yet though. Her caddy for the day was Jo Woodward, former British stroke play winner and a member of Felixstowe who had returned to the fray for the Finals. Lils, having posted a 5/4 win on the board against Emma Anderson said ‘I couldn’t have done it without Jo’. But she had obviously enjoyed the experience, being 3up after six holes, working her way steadily round the course before being the recipient of a lucky bounce at fourteen and sinking the ensuing putt for the win. Her point put the icing on the cake for Suffolk.

Captain Vanessa Bell said she was absolutely thrilled with the team’s performance. ‘I never thought we could get here and, having got here, never thought we’d come third even though I dreamed we might. Then, after Tuesday’s win against Buckinghamshire, I decided we could make third place. And we have!’. President, Hermione Scrope said she was also ‘absolutely thrilled. it was a real team effort with everyone contributing. An excellent week!’

Results (Suffolk names first). 
Vicki Inglis & Lottie Whyman bt Caron Harrison & Carol Wild 1up;
Sharon Luckan & Fiona Edmond bt Kristina Lazarevich & Libby Kilbride 1up;
Vanessa Bell & Alice Barlow bt Emma Anderson & Emma Howie 4/2.
Barlow bt Emily Cheshire 2/1;
Whyman bt Spray 3/2;
Abbie Symonds lost to Rachel Houlton 6/4;
Amanda Norman lost to Kristin Lazarevich 8/7;
Lils James bt Anderson 5/4;
Bell lost to Kilbride 6/5.

Final Result: Suffolk 6, Nottinghamshire 3.

Other match results: Yorkshire 5, Gloucestershire 4; Hampshire 5.5, Buckinghamshire 3.5.

Julie Latimer-Jones


Day 4, English County Championship at Felixstowe:  A great result!   5.5 to 3.5 against Hampshire keeps Suffolk on track…


A terrific day’s golf left Suffolk two points ahead of Hampshire and still in third place in the league table that will decide the winners of the English County Golf Championship.  

The team, full of determination, made a clean sweep in the three foursomes matches, winning all the points. Vanessa Bell and Alice Barlow were 2up after fifteen holes and 1up after seventeen.  Needing just a half up eighteen, Alice hit a mammoth drive and Vanessa hit the green, leaving Alice a simpler putt than the Hampshire curly cross-green one, the result of a super second and nearer the hole than Suffolk. Hampshire went past the hole and Alice cosied her ball to the hole’s edge.  Hampshire conceded the putt. Suffolk 2up.  

Although all the games were close and hard fought, the foursomes result put Suffolk in the strongest possible position moving into the six afternoon singles. The outstanding match of the day came from Alice Barlow, pitted against the experienced and skilful Kerry Smith, England international and Curtis Cup golfer.  Alice is the epitome of a steady player and is, as her record shows, becoming hard to handle.  Her 3/2 victory put the first Suffolk point on the board, making a tally of four.   Just one to go for the match.  

As Suffolk were up in five of the six games at one point, hopes were high.  Hampshire, however, were not phazed.  Out first, as usual, Lottie Whyman played well and again found herself going up eighteen all square against Georgie Mundy.  On the green in two, as was her opponent, Lottie had a difficult downhill putt across the considerable slope. Almost inevitably, the ball slid past the hole to a fair distance and, unfortunately, she missed the one coming back.  Mundy holed out for a four and took the point by the one hole margin.

Amanda Norman’s match against Raffi Dyer swung back and forth, up and down, but Raffi finally won by 2/1   Vicki Inglis and Sammi Keen fought it out to the eighteenth where Vicki left herself with an uphill putt, looking much easier than her opponent’s small greenside, downhill putt/chip.  She played it beautifully, hitting the pin and pulling up about three feet below the hole.  Vicki made a good putt, past the hole and sank the return for a four.  Sammi made her four, too, and a halved match seemed fair.  Vanessa Bell, anchoring the team, went two down after three holes, but plugged away in her usual graceful fashion, beating Kelly Travers 2/1 and taking the overall match score to 5.5-3.5. 

As a consolation point for Hampshire, Aimee Paterson beat Abbie Symonds 4/3.  It was an exciting display of golf by all concerned, the outcome in doubt for most of the afternoon.

Yorkshire and Gloucestershire are still contesting the top spot and today they play each other.   It should be a ding dong battle.  Suffolk are playing Nottinghamshire.  Singles begin at 14.21.


Foursomes (Suffolk names first):
Sharon Luckman & Fiona Edmond bt Kelly Travers & Sammi Keen 2/1;
Vanessa Bell & Alice Barlow bt Kerry Smith & Adrian Mylrea 2up;
Vicki Inglis & Lottie Whyman bt Raffi Dyer & Aimee Paterson 3/2.

Whyman lost to Georgie Mundy 1 down;
Barlow bt Smith 3/2;
Amanda Norman lost to Dyer 2/1;
Abbie Symonds lost to Paterson 4/3;
Inglis halved with Keen;
Bell bt Travers 2/1.

Final Result: Suffolk 5.5, Hampshire 3.5.

In the other matches:  
Gloucestershire bt Nottinghamshire 5.5 - 3.5;  Buckinghamshire halved with Yorkshire;  Hampshire bt Nottinghamshire 6-3;  Gloucestershire bt Buckinghamshire 8-1.

Tomorrow: Suffolk v Nottinghamshire 9.18 & 14.21


Julie Latimer-Jones


Day 3 at the County Championship Finals:  Suffolk 1.5, Yorkshire 7.5 but not a disaster...




The cheery Suffolk team enjoying the experience of the English County Championship Finals.
Standing (left to right):  Lottie Whyman, Abbie Symonds, Amanda Norman, Vicki Inglis,
Vanessa Bell (Captain), Alice Barlow, Miss Hermione Scrope (President), Jo Woodward.  
Front Row:  Lils James, Fiona Edmond and
Ella (Vanessa's daughter, designated Team Mascot!)

Another impressive display from Yorkshire took the sting out of the Suffolk attack but failed to dent the team spirit. In fact, although they might have felt swept aside, our team took comfort in the fact that their result against the might of the North was better than Nottinghamshire and Hampshire had managed in the two previous days. 

Until this morning, Yorkshire had conceded only half a point from the eighteen on offer, so their loss of one-and-a-half points from the Suffolk match reflected the eagerness with which Suffolk met the challenge and the result maintained their third place in the overall standings. Their aim is to preserve that position to the end of proceedings on Friday, an ambition supported by Captain Vanessa Bell and Coach Kevin Lovelock.

Yorkshire, like Gloucestershire, excelled at the short game and they made Suffolk suffer in this department. The morning foursomes were a trial of character but here, Alice Barlow and Vanessa Bell played a blinder. They began par, eagle, birdie birdie birdie and continued tin great style, complementing each other’s game ‘beautifully’, to quote President Hermione Scrope.  The other two matches went to Yorkshire which left the singles team with all to play for.

As she has done before, Lottie Whyman set out to make the most of her game. Her caddie (Father!) kept score and said she was three under par after sixteen holes. Even Lottie herself confessed to playing the short ninth and long tenth ‘beautifully’. That was after she had eagled eight to get back to all square though it was an onlooker who supplied that little nugget. The birdies at nine and ten took her to 2up but eventually, the score having oscillated between one and two up for some time, she came to eighteen all square and a half in regulation four gave her and Olivia Winning half a match point each.

None of the matches were runaways for the Yorkshire team. Amanda Norman went to seventeen with the very young Mia Coles-Smith and was irritated with herself for letting a hole or two slip in mid-round. Likewise Abbie Symonds who hit the ball well and has made a resolution to banish the odd hiccup which scuppered her plans. Her highlight was a birdie win at the second.

Fiona Edmond commented on the consistently great putting from the opposition. On the day she saw only one miss from ten feet or less. That is some record!

Tomorrow Suffolk will take on Hampshire (9.118 & 14.21 starting times.) Lots of Suffolk support would be greatly appreciated.

Here, Felixstowe Golf Club deserves a special mention. The event has been arranged in super detail and no stone has been left unturned to make everything comfortable and easy for players and spectators alike.  A notable detail:  the largest pieces of delicious cake have been available, guaranteed to counteract any lack of warmth in the weather!

Foursomes (Suffolk names first):
Fiona Edmond & Lottie Whyman lost to Hannah Holden & Charlotte Heath 4/3;
Alice Barlow & Vanessa Bell bt Rochelle Morris & Melissa Wood 4/2;
Vicki Inglis & Sharon Luckman lost to Olivia Winning & Megan Lockett 6/5.
Singles: Barlow lost to Lockett 3/2;
Whyman halved with Winning;
Bell lost to Heath 3/2;
Symonds lost to Nicola Slater 5/4;
Norman lost to Mia Coles-Smith 2/1;
Inglis lost to Holden 4/2

Final Result: Suffolk 1.5, Yorkshire 7.5.

Julie Latimer-Jones


Suffolk's happy day!  They claimed a well-earned 5-4 victory against Buckinghamshire…


Suffolk found their feet today, making the considerable jump from County Match Week to the English County Championship Finals. It is not an easy task, perhaps made more difficult due to the pressure of playing in one’s own back yard and wanting very much to do well. They did do well.

The Foursomes went 2-1 in Buckinghamshire’s favour but the ‘1’ was an emphatic 4/3 victory by Abbie Symonds and Lils James over the third pair from Buckinghamshire, Goodacre & Gallagher.  Heartened by this success, the singles’ team went out in fine style.

Lottie Whyman who, by her own high standards had not putted well during the foursomes, spent some time on the putting green after lunch and turned the putter into a help instead of a hindrance. Within her 6/4 victory she made four birdies on the trot.  Jo Woodward began usefully, being the beneficiary of a win at the first hole when her opponent put first her drive and then her provisional ball out of bounds. Jo went on to get the upper hand but was then brought back to square after nine, eventually losing 3/2 to Deeya Agaarwal.

Alice Barlow could only be described as inspired. Poor Victoria Bryan was overwhelmed as Alice charged ahead, birdying all the par fives on the first eleven holes. She finished there for a 9/7 scoreline and was three under par in the process.  Lils James also began on a charge, winning the first three holes. She had reached 5up when Georgina Bowers found an answer, working her way back to win a 2-hole victory on eighteen. Hard luck for Lils but, nevertheless, she had a good day.

Abbie Symonds pulled out all the stops against Chloe Li. She hurried to five up on the thirteenth tee and hung on for the 5/4 win after fourteen. Bringing up the rear and with the match result at stake, Amanda Norman probably found herself not playing as well as she might have hoped, but she summoned up the determination that has always stood her in good stead over many years playing County golf. She was one up after twelve and still at that point after fourteen. She added another hole to the tally to put 2/1 on the board and clinch the win for the home team.

Great stuff all round and well done team. Captain Vanessa Bell must be very pleased with their achievement.  

Good luck tomorrow against Yorkshire. They are strong and Suffolk will have to repeat their heroics of today to get a satisfactory result.

Foursomes  (Suffolk names first):
Alice Barlow & Lottie Whyman lost to A Kozlowski & T Kirby 3/2;
Vanessa Bell & Vicki Inglis lost to V Bryan & T Kirby 7/5;
Lils James & Abbie Symonds bt D Goodacre & J Gallagher 4/3.
Whyman bt Daisy Kennedy 6/4;
Jo Woodward lost to Deeya Agaarwal 3/2;
Alice Barlow bt Bryan 9/7;
James lost to Georgina Bowers 2 dn;
Symonds bt Chloe Li 5/4;
Amanda Norman bt Susanne Mitterer 2/1.

Final Result: Suffolk 5, Buckinghamshire 4.

Other Results:  Gloucestershire 5.5, Hampshire 3.5.   Nottinghamshire 5, Buckinghamshire 4.

Julie Latimer-Jones