Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Essex on title trail again with win over Durham while Derbyshire and Wiltshire tie

Essex laid the foundations for their third English boys' county championship success when they beat Durham while Derbyshire and Wiltshire finished all square on the opening day at Sandiway Golf Club, Cheshire.
The South-east champions gave a hint of what was to come when they took all three morning foursomes.
They made further inroads when Braintree’s Todd Clements (image © Leaderboard Photography) romped to a 5 and 3 win over Aaron McManus, Clements being level par when the game finished on the 15th.
The top single saw Louis Lazarus gain an early lead only for Durham’s Chris Handy to hit back and go two up through seven holes. 
Although Lazarus gained a winning birdie at the eighth, the Essex lad still trailed with two to play. But he birdied the 17th to square the match and they halved the last for half a point each.
Durham gained their lone victory when Sam Donald beat Mitch Sarling despite losing the first three holes. 
Sarling covered those in one under but a Donald birdie at four started the comeback and the Durham lad went all square again with a birdie four at the seventh. Successive pars at eight and nine saw him 2up and another at 11 increased his advantage. 
Sarling battled back with a 12th hole birdie and a par at 14 but Donald stayed just clear to claim a one hole success.
However, Elliot Fullalove maintained Essex momentum in his game with Durham’s James Rogers.
The Essex teenager went out in 37 to be 4up and went further in front at the tenth. Rogers then produced a superb run of par-birdie-birdie to cut the lead to three while a further birdie at 15 reduced Fullalove’s advantage to 2up. But end came at 17 when Rogers conceded the hole and the game to see the Essex lad home 3 and 1.
This ensured Essex their overall victory but Bradley Bawden and Taylor Carter added to their coffers with victories over James Wilson and Jack Ainscough respectively.
Essex manager Brian Collins was delighted with his side’s success. “It was an excellent performance,” he said. “We probably achieved more than we thought we were capable of but we have prepared well for this week and I have a great backroom staff.
“All my players are of equal ability and this is a solid foundation for the rest of the tournament. Having said that Durham put up a great challenge and they have a good team in the making.”
The other match couldn’t have been much closer. The morning foursomes were shared as were the singles although at one stage it seemed that Derbyshire would edge it.
The Midlanders gained an early point when Will Davidson got the better of Charles Dunn 4 and 2 in the second single after reaching the turn two up. Although Dunn battled hard he fell further behind when Davidson birdied the short 11th while a par at the 12th saw him four up. Dunn pulled a hole back but Davidson got home with another par at 16.
The top single between Derby’s Will Painter and James Wiltshire proved a see-saw affair. Painter won four holes on the trot from the fourth to be four up, only one with a birdie, but he lost the following five with some erratic play while Wiltshire birdied the short 11th to square the contest. 
 However, Painter steadied the ship and both players covered the last seven holes in one under par to finish with a half.
Derby’s Josh Ashton was never in front against Jamie Amor after losing the first hole and at the turn was two down. But he battled back to be all square playing the last where he chipped in from in front of the 18th green for a winning birdie to snatch the point. That left Derbyshire needing one more win to achieve an overall victory but it eluded them.

Rhys Edwards pulled a point back for Wiltshire with a two-hole win over Josh Thorley and after Dom Patton secured a half in another tight tussle with Matt Bailey it seemed that Derby might still get home.
But Tom Law denied them by beating Josh Williams on the final green. Although Law won two of the first three holes, pars were good enough to see Williams back level and it was nip-and-tuck for most of the way, Law birdieing the 17th to get all square again.
At the last, Williams pulled his tee shot left and failed to get up-and-down while Law took two putts from around 20 feet for a par and a vital win that squared the whole affair.
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