England/Scotland: Veteran Ladies Jamboree

CHAMPIONS: The victorious South region team with captain Debbie Richards holding the trophy

Victorious South edge out battling North

Eng/Scot: Friday, August 6th

FORMAT: 3-day matchplay team event

The South region won the annual Veteran Ladies Jamboree by the tightest of margins yesterday after a nerve-wracking, winner-takes-all showdown with the North at Glenbervie.

Both teams went into the final round on the back of two victories but the South had the advantage of knowing a draw was enough to win the Miller Stirling Trophy for the first time since 2018 by dint of claiming more individual ties in beating Scotland and reigning champions The Midlands (11.5-11).

After taking the morning foursomes 2-1, the South struggled to muster the 2.5 points required to secure the title with Yorkshire’s Betty Sworowski, in particular, in inspired form.

It required a superb fightback from Sussex’s Katherine Russell, who was three down at the turn in her match with Yorkshire’s Karen Jobling, to secure the championship-clinching half point. The North won the final three singles to tie the match 4.5-4.5.

A relieved South captain Debbie Richards (Surrey) paid tribute to her team’s mental toughness.

“It’s an exhausting week, mentally rather than physically, and it really was a case of survival by the end,” said the Burhill player.

“This week it was all about small margins as the standard of golf is so good. It normally comes down to putting and this week was no different.

“The greens were so tricky. There were no straight putts. If you got the measure of the greens you probably won the match.”

The South certainly required mental toughness on the opening day as they lost all three foursomes matches against the Midlands.

They responded in brilliant fashion by taking 5.5 points out of six in the afternoon. Karen Sykes (Sussex) beat Staffordshire’s Sue Spencer 2&1 to start an excellent run. The Worthing player won her final five ties.

On day two Karen partnered Hertfordshire’s Jackie Foster in the top foursomes match and they set the tone with a 5&3 success as Scotland were beaten 6-3 while the North also lost all their morning foursomes against the Midlands and fought back brilliantly to set up the last-day showdown.

Final standings: 1, South 2.5pts (16); 2, North 2.5pts (15.5); 3, Midlands 1pt (12.5); 4, Scotland 0 (8.5).
Scores – Day 1: Scotland 3, North 6; South 5.5, Midlands 3.5
Day 2: Scotland 3, South 6; Midlands 4, North 5
Day 3: Scotland 2.5, Midlands 6.5; North 4.5, South 4.5
Squads – South
Gill Brown (Somerset)
Felicity Christine (Surrey)
Jackie Foster (Hertfordshire)
Amanda Mayne (Somerset)
Mary McLaren (Kent)
Debbie Richards (Surrey)
Katherine Russell (Sussex)
Karen Sykes (Sussex)
Caroline Berry (Cheshire)
Claire Brown (Northumberland)
Sharon Eales (Lancashire)
Brenda Ewbank (Cumbria) 
Barbara Jamieson (Cheshire) 
Karen Jobling (Yorkshire)
Sara Spencer (Cheshire) 
Betty Sworowski (Yorkshire)
Julie Brown (Staffordshire)
Julia Gaunt (Staffordshire)
Helen Lowe (Leics & Rut)
Sue Spencer (Staffordshire)
Jenny Deeley (Staffordshire)
Sophie Beardsall (Leics & Rut)
Sarah Cranton (Worcestershire)
Marcella Tuttle (Cambridgeshire)
Sheena Wood (Northern)
Linda Allan (Midland)
Aileen Baker (Midland)
Anne Hanson (East)
Lesley Lloyd (West)
Lorna McKinlay (Midland)
Caroline Steedman (East)
Liz Stewart (West)