Derbyshire: Junior League

COUNTY CHAMPIONS – from left to right: Olivia Barker-Sabido, Lucia Maturi, Olivia Streets (Captain), Steve Myers (Manager), Gabby Auld, Eva Myers (Vice Captain).

Chesterfield’s all-girl team prove a big hit

DERBYS: Wednesday, October 6th

FORMAT: 8-Team Matchplay Knockout

History was made at Kedleston Park on Sunday where Chesterfield won the Derbyshire Junior League with an all-girl team.

It is believed that Olivia Barker-Sabido, Lucia Maturi, Olivia Streets, Gabby Auld and Eva Myers made up the first all-female squad to be entered into the season-long nett competition. Their handicaps range from five to 16.

And on Sunday they beat an all-male Breadsall I 3-1 in the final with Gabby draining a 12-footer at the last to secure the critical point.

The idea to enter separate girls and boys teams was the brainchild of the club’s junior supremo John Barker. 

He said: “We have a strong junior section within the club with some very capable girls who have progressed through our academy. The girls are all good friends and really enjoy playing together so I thought instead of mixing it up with entering an A team and a B team, this year we would have a boys and a girls team.”

Chesterfield started the event slowly and needed a last-hole win from Eva to squeeze through the quarter-finals (round one) against Burton GC. Playing home and away legs, the score finished 4-4 with the girls going through by virtue of having better winning margins (18-12).

In the semi-finals their progression was much smoother. They whitewashed Breadsall Priory II in the second leg to win 6-2 overall.

In the final both teams were met with wet and blustery conditions and at the halfway mark, the eventual champions were losing three of the four ties but the fighting spirit which has been key to their success came to the fore when it really mattered. 

Lucia led the way posting the first points on the board via a 3&2 victory while captain Olivia claimed a half to edge the girls closer to the finishing line. 

The drama then all played out on the 18th green with Gabby needing to win the hole to guarantee glory and she made no mistake to make it 2.5-1.5. The anchor match, involving Olivia, was halved

Team manager Steve Myers said: “They are just a great group of girls, so well motivated that my job has been very easy. I’m so proud of not only the way they have played but also how they have conducted themselves throughout the competition especially as they were a lot younger than the majority of the other teams. 

“The challenge of playing older, more experienced, golfers and ‘beating the boys’ just never daunted them at all. The average age of the team is only 14 but they coped with the pressure like experienced professionals. They have a fantastic team ethic, side before self all the time. They are great golfers but also great friends and it’s been a pleasure to watch them having so much fun.”

Results – round 1
• 1st leg: Breadsall I 4, Chevin/Chatsworth 0
2nd Leg: Chevin/Chatsworth 4, Breadsall I 0
Breadsall qualify 18-12 on holes won
• 1st leg: Chesterfield Girls 2, Burton 2
2nd Leg: Burton 2, Chesterfield Girls 2
Chesterfield qualify 14-10 on holes won
• 1st leg: Chesterfield Boys 0, Kedleston Park  4
2nd Leg: Kedleston Park 3.5, Chesterfield Boys 0.5
• 1st leg: Matlock 1, Breadsall II 3
2nd leg not played
Semi-finals
• 1st leg: Breadsall II 2, Chesterfield Girls 2
2nd leg: Chesterfield Girls 4, Breadsall II 0
• 1st leg: Kedleston Park 1.5, Breadsall I 2.5
2nd leg: Breadsall I 2.5, Kedleston Park 1.5
Final: Breadsall I 1, Chesterfield Girls 3

Plate Final: Chevin/Chatsworth 2, Chesterfield Boys 2*
* Chevin/Chatsworth won 8-4 on holes up.