Herts ladies crowned East Region champions

PUBLISHED: 11:36 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 22:10 26 October 2009

Herts champion Lucy Williams

Herts champion Lucy Williams

HERTS ladies made golfing history at Newmarket. A gallant group of 10 county players staged a dazzling display at a venue more renowned for its horse racing achievements to become the first champions of the newly-created East Region of English ladies gol

HERTS ladies made golfing history at Newmarket.

A gallant group of 10 county players staged a dazzling display at a venue more renowned for its horse racing achievements to become the first champions of the newly-created East Region of English ladies' golf.

Playing five matches against opposing counties to qualify for the finals of the English county championship, the Herts team won them all in fine style.

And with the talent, skill and determination displayed, they will go into the finals at Little Aston in Bristol in September full of confidence.

"They were all magnificent, playing against counties they had never met before," said Herts president Ann Green.

"It was tough competition over five days, with appalling weather on the Tuesday, but they responded superbly to give us one of the greatest achievements in our history."

Starting on the Monday, they beat Norfolk without losing a match.

Herts won the foursomes 3-0 and five of the six singles, the other being halved, to take the tie 81/2 matches to 1/2.

"It was just the start we needed," said team captain Jaki White.

"The team showed terrific spirit, they all pulled together and dug really deep when needed."

Herts beat Bedfordshire 6-3 on the Tuesday and they defeated Suffolk 7-2 the following day.

On the Thursday they beat Essex 51/2 to 31/2 and completed the week unbeaten with a 6-3 victory over the combined talents of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire on the Friday.

Their clean sweep left Essex runners-up, with Suffolk and Bedfordshire each winning twice.

Suffolk took third place with 21 games against 18, followed by Cambs & Hunts, who won one and halved one.

Herts and Essex were level after three days, each with three wins, and the meeting of the two unbeaten counties on the fourth day proved decisive.

It was the closest contest, with the foursomes shared 11/2 points each.

Lucy Williams and Charlie Field earned a half, while Alison Franklin and Harriet Key won 3&2 and Tina Jeary and Jackie Foster went down 3&2.

In singles, Herts county champion Williams went down 4&3.

But three Herts victories followed with Harriet Key winning 5&4, Alison Franklin by one hole, and Tina Jeary 3&2.

Charlie Field lost 3&2 and Mid Herts' Hannah Burke surged home 7&6 to make sure of a 4-2 singles win and overall 51/2 to 31/2 victory.

Alison had the toughest battle against Laura Cutler, back from university in America and a tournament winner.

The match was all square playing 16, where Alison's putt lipped out, to be one down.

They were then all square as she won 17 and at 18, a long par 4, she hit a magnificent approach to 5ft for a winning birdie.

With a format of three foursomes and six singles each day, every one of the squad was brought into the team during the week, maintaining the pressure on their opponents.

Harriet Key was top points scorer for Herts after playing every day and missing only one foursome on the Tuesday for an outstanding return of nine points from the nine matches she played.

Charlie Field also played nine matches, taking six points.

Former county champions Tina Jeary and Alison Franklin were each absent for one day's play due to personal commitments, with Alison claiming seven points from eight matches, and Tina four from five.

Current county champion Lucy Williams took 41/2 points from eight matches and Hannah Burke claimed 41/2 points from the five singles she played on her return from university success in Texas.

Jackie Foster won three points from four matches.

The two youngest players in the Herts squad, 17-year-old Old Fold Manor girl Steph McEvoy and county junior champion Lucy Glyn, 16, also played their part, each claiming four points.

They won their foursomes against Bedfordshire 6&4, while Steph won her singles 7&5.

There were some runaway victories as well as some close matches which ended Herts' way over the course of the week.

On the Monday against Norfolk, Tina Jeary and Jackie Foster got home in foursomes by one hole and the next day against Bedfordshire they won by the same margin.

In the singles against Norfolk, Hannah Burke and Alison Franklin each won by 5&4 and Lucy Glyn by 4&3.

Alison Franklin and Harriet Key won their foursome by one hole against Suffolk and Lucy Williams and Charlie Field by 3&2, while in singles Harriet won 8&6 and Hannah Burke 8&7.

In foursomes against Cambs & Hunts, Alison Franklin and Harriet Key won 4&3, and Lucy Williams and Charlie Field 5&4.

Harriet Key and Tina Jeary each won their singles 4&3, and Alison Franklin and Hannah Burke 2&1.

Drawn against a strong opponent in the singles against Suffolk, Lucinda Mileham failed to count.

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