Herts ladies win English Counties’ Championship for the first time
PUBLISHED: 12:40 19 September 2010 | UPDATED: 22:05 19 September 2010
HERTFORDSHIRE’S lady golfers are the new English county champions following a nail-biting victory over Yorkshire in a title decider.
"I thought it was going to be difficult after we lost the foursomes but they all wanted to win so much and they all just played their hearts out."
They won the title for the first time amid scenes of great jubilation when they beat closest rivals Yorkshire 5-4 on the last day of County Finals at Kedleston Park, Derbyshire.
The Hertfordshire team, including Brocket Hall’s international golfer Charlie Douglass, won all five of their matches during the championship supported by Virgin Atlantic.
As triumphant team captain Jackie Foster watched her celebrating players she commented: “They are just fantastic.”
Herts entered the fifth and final match of the tough week top of the leaderboard with a perfect playing record of four wins out of four.
English Counties’ Championship
1 Hertfordshire 5 points
2 Yorkshire 3.5pts
3 Lincolnshire 3pts
4 Sussex 2pts
5 Dorset 1pt
6 Northamptonshire 0.5.pt
However, their closing opponents in the round robin tournament, Yorkshire, could have snatched the overall title with victory in the last game.
After a tense afternoon’s play, Hertfordshire’s hopes of victory depended on the last match out on course.
Most of the team were on the 18th, where they’d watched Charlie Field secure a valuable half point, when the news came through that Brocket Hall star Charlie Douglass had won on the 16th.
They tore down the fairway, cheering and shrieking, as they made their way to meet the England international,
A quick team huddle was interrupted with cries of “How long have we waited for this!” and “Go Herts, go Herts!”
And, in a reference to the last two years, when they have been runners-up: “Third time lucky!”
Hertfordshire trailed 2-1 after the morning foursomes – and they were fortunate to even win that point.
Yorkshire had appeared to be in the driving seat when Emma Brown pitched up to within 2ft on the 18th, but Steph McEvoy chipped in to win the hole and the game.
Hertfordshire v Yorkshire Results
Hertfordshire 5 Yorkshire 4
(Hertfordshire names first)
Foursomes: Charlie Douglass & Steph McEvoy beat Emma Brown & Rebecca Wood 1 up
Alison Franklin & Harriet Key lost to Sophie Godley & Megan Garland 5/3
Lucy Williams & Charlie Field lost to Ellie Robinson & Claire Smith 2 down
Singles: Franklin lost to Sara Garbutt 4/3
Williams halved with Wood
McEvoy beat Brown 4/2
Field halved with Godley
Key beat Garland 3/1
Douglass beat Smith 4/2
From that time on Hertfordshire were unstoppable. They came out fighting in the singles and although they lost the top game they won three others and halved two.
Steph McEvoy was the first to put a singles point on the board, with a good win over Emma Brown.
Lucy Williams halved, as did Charlie Field, who came back from one down with two to play.
Harriet Key won on the 17th with a solid par and before long Charlie Douglass added her point after a low-scoring match peppered with birdies.
“I thought it was going to be difficult after we lost the foursomes but they all wanted to win so much and they all just played their hearts out,” said captain Jackie Foster.
“I am just so pleased for them and so pleased to be captain of the first Hertfordshire team to win County Finals.”
Yorkshire’s Liz Haw paid tribute to her players.
She said: “They have played their hearts out all week but they just couldn’t win on the last day. But it was 5-4, it wasn’t a disaster.
“I’m delighted with them all, they’re a great team, and they’ve got a great team spirit.”
Lincolnshire beat Northamptonshire 7-2 to take third place overall.
In Friday’s other match, Sussex beat Dorset 5-4 and finished fourth.
* The six teams contesting the championship each represented one of the regions of the English Women’s Golf Association: Hertfordshire from the East, Yorkshire from the North, Lincolnshire from Midlands North, Sussex from the South, Dorset from the South-West and Northamptonshire from Midlands South.
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