Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Mason banger image copyright Leaderboard PhotographyYorkshire took a major step towards defending the Boys County Championship when they beat the much fancied Staffordshire 5½ - 3½ on the opening day at Kedleston Park in Derbyshire, while Hampshire, IoW & CI came from behind to pip Devon 5-4. 
“I’m proud of the boys,” said Yorkshire captain Gary Brown. “They battled hard, gave 100% and hopefully we can keep it going tomorrow. No disrespect to the other teams but I was told Staffordshire were the toughest side. Yet I would have taken any win so I’m pleased.”
Staffordshire skipper Mike Tunnicliffe knew where the battle was lost. “There were a lot of close games but the short game was the key,” he said. “We had a lot of chances but the Yorkshire lads got up-and-down more times than we did.”
After edging the morning foursomes 2-1, Yorkshire lost the top single when Robert Burlison came from 1-down with three to play to win on the final green. Boy international Burlison birdied the 16th to level then took long 17th with a par before a half on the last sealed his victory.
But Yorkshire replied with Kealan Lowe and Sam Wilkinson securing 2&1 wins over Cameron Long and Daniel Sutton respectively while Gianmarco Petrozzi kept the Midlanders in the hunt with a final green win over Jack Kelley.
Kelley raced 3-up after six holes but Petrozzi  battled back either side of the turn. He won five holes in six from the eighth to be 2-up after 13. The Staffordshire lad’s approach play was something to desire and although he lost the 16th to a par, halves on the closing two holes gave him the point.
Michael Dewsbury won the opening two holes for Staffordshire against Ben Hutchinson but the Yorkshire lad hit back to lead 2-up through 11 and again after 16 when Dewsbury three-putted. But Dewsbury won 17 with a birdie-four before Hutchinson fired his approach through the green and into sand at the last.  With Dewsbury having taken three to reach the putting surface, Hutchinson saw his escape from the bunker almost run off the front of the green and he took three more as Dewsbury’s bogey secured a half.
However, Yorkshire boy captain Ben Brewster was always ahead against Peter Booker and although this game also went the distance, it gave the Northerners another point with a 1-hole win. There was some consolation for Staffordshire as they lost 7-2 in the equivalent match last year.
Devon, in their third successive Boys County Finals, gained a 2-1 lead in the foursomes but it was a different story in the singles with the West Countrymen snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
It began badly for the south west champions when the experienced Jacob Tinsley went down to Ryan Harmer. Tinsley was 3-up through eight holes but he lost the ninth, tenth and 12th and despite going ahead again at 13, Harmer won the last three holes, two with pars before a birdie at the last secured a 2-up victory.
It was a similar story with the second game as Harry Konig built a 2-up lead on three occasions only to see Jordan Sundborg battle hard for a half.
With Billy Watson also adding to Hampshire’s tally by beating Danny Guy on the final green having been behind early on and Mason Banger (image © Leaderboard Photography) romping to a 4 and 3 win over James Thompson, the south east champions were on a roll.
They needed one more win but they had to wait as Ollie Cowl gave Devon something to smile about with a 2 and 1 victory over Josh Oddy.
In the bottom game, Tom Farrow-Smith was always ahead against Robbie Thompson, being 2-up with four to play. But credit Thompson, who covered those four holes in level par to Farrow-Smith’s three over to secure a half.
In tomorrow's matches, Yorkshire face Devon and Hampshire  take on Staffordshire.
For more information visit the championship website.



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