Saturday, September 26, 2015

English men's county title race is blown wide open by Lincolnshire and Somerset victories

The title race at the English Men’s County Championship was blown wide open today when both Lincolnshire and Somerset won their matches at Wychwood Park in Cheshire.
They join yesterday’s winners, Hampshire and Lancashire, on two points apiece – with one day’s play left in the round robin tournament.
The eventual outcome is likely to be decided on countback, so all four counties will be on a mission to win as many games as possible in tomorrow’s deciders.
Somerset and Lincolnshire will face each other in the top match, while Lancashire will play Hampshire.
“This is great for county golf,” said Lincolnshire captain Steve Brattan, whose team beat Hampshire 6-3 on a perfect autumn day. 
Somerset captain Justin Lane echoed him after his side defeated Lancashire 5-4: “This is great for the event, there’s nothing worse than having a dead rubber.”
Both teams came out determined to make an impact in the foursomes, having each lost all three games on the first day. Today, Somerset managed to win two, but Lincolnshire were still on the back foot after they only secured one point from the morning’s play.
Brattan remarked: “They fought in the foursomes but it went the wrong way at the wrong time.
"But their performance was outstanding in the singles and it’s all down to the ability of the players and their grit and determination.”
The Lincolnshire side started well, got ahead early and stayed there. England international Ashton Turner was taken to the last by Tom Robson but held on to his narrow advantage to win one up. Further down the order his team-mates were in control and the points steadily followed from boy international Billy Spooner, Adam Wainwright, Nick Watson and Sam Whittaker, who completed the scoreline when he defeated Hampshire’s anchorman Scott Gregory. Watson won both his matches today for Lincolnshire.
After yesterday, it’s a great feeling to be in this position and still going forward,” said Brattan, who added: “We have got to get the foursomes right tomorrow!”
Somerset, meanwhile, made a quick start with their two foursomes wins and their lead proved critical when the singles were shared three apiece.
“Yesterday I think the lads were a bit anxious, only one of them has played in this event before,” said Lane. “But they realised they are as good as the other counties and they performed beautifully today. They came out of the blocks very hot and just kept going.”
His players had to withstand some spectacular play from Lancashire. In the foursomes Sean Towndrow holed the second shot on the eighth for a winning eagle and in the afternoon Ian Kenwright holed his approach to the 15th for another eagle two.
However, Matt Turner kept his nerve to beat Kenwright on the last while Josh Hilleard and Will Poole (image © Leaderboard Photography) both won on the 17th. Hilleard and Poole both had a 100 per cent winning record today.
Today’s results prompted the teams and their supporters to assess a range of permutations and possibilities from tomorrow’s matches. 
At the moment, three teams – Lancashire, Lincolnshire and Hampshire – have all amassed 9½ game points, while Somerset have 7½.
Hampshire captain Steve Williams summed up: “All four counties can win and all we can do is our best and hope that’s good enough. We will try and pick up every point – but all four counties are saying the same!”

Click here for full scores 
Lyndsey Hewison
Press Officer
England Golf
07825 752 193



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