The North: Women’s EG County qualifier

The Yorkshire team celebrate their Northern Counties victory at Alnmouth

Five in a row for clinical Yorkshire

THE NORTH: Tuesday July 6th

‘Clinical finishers’ Yorkshire won their fifth successive Northern Counties Women’s Championship in emphatic fashion at Alnmouth GC.

The always-strong White Rose squad had a perfect five-from-five record at the Northumberland venue and will now face Hertfordshire, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Lincolnshire and the South West champions at Denham GC in September (17-19) for the national title they last won in 2017.

Only once were the reigning champions behind after the morning foursomes – that was against Cheshire on day four – and on that occasion they responded by taking 5.5 points out of a possible six in the singles.

Going into the final round of matches only Lancashire could stop them but they responded with a 7.5-1.5 success over Durham to the delight of captain Maggie Katz (Wetherby).

“They were a really happy team,” said Maggie. “They worked together so well and when someone was rested for a match there were no issues.

“Even when we only needed three individual wins in the last match to guarantee the title there was no complacency. They wanted to beat all five counties. Someone from Northumberland described us as ‘very good clinical finishers’.”

Yorkshire were clinical from day one and critically won the Roses battle against a strong Lancashire side 6-3. Woodsome Hall’s Melissa Wood rounded things off in style in her tight contest with Emily Byrne (Formby Ladies). The West Yorkshire player, who was one up after 17, almost holed her second shot in winning the tie by 2 holes.

The next day it was Northumberland, who fought well and after the morning foursomes it was all square. Irish player Rachel Taylor (Hudderfield), making her singles debut, got off to the perfect start with a 5&4 victory over 13-year-old Charlotte Naughton (Ponteland) as Yorkshire ran out 6-3 winners.

The champions started the middle day knowing they were the only unbeaten team and introduced Amy Staveley (Ganton) for her debut and she responded by registering the biggest win of the week (7&5). There was also a very special moment for Hannah Holden (Huddersfield), who eagled the ninth after driving the 314-yard par four. That helped her see off Katie Sibley (Carlisle) by two holes. 

After beating Cheshire they proved too good for Durham on day five, sweeping the foursomes and then dominating the singles. Rudding Park’s Evie Cooke won her third successive match to maintain her 100% record

The full winning Yorkshire squad: Nicola Slater (Lindrick), Hannah Holden (Hudderfield), Lily Hirst (Woodsome Hall), Deb Henery (Hickleton), Rachel Taylor (Huddersfield), Mia Eales-Smith (Lindrick), Melissa Wood (Woodsome Hall), Evie Cooke (Rudding Park), Amy Staveley (Ganton), Beth Norton (The Oaks).

Final standings
1) Yorkshire F32, 5pts
2) Lancashire F23, 4pts
3) Cheshire F22.5, 2pts
4) Durham F21, 2pts
5) Northumberland F18.5, 1pt
6) Cumbria F18, 1pt

Results – Day 1 (Monday)
Lancashire 3, Yorkshire 6
Cumbria 4, Northumberland 5
Durham 2.5, Cheshire 6.5
Day 2 (Tuesday)
Cumbria 2, Durham 7
Northumberland 3, Yorkshire 6
Cheshire 4, Lancashire 5
Day 3 (Wednesday)
Northumberland 3.5, Cheshire 5.5
Lancashire 5, Durham 4
Cumbria 3, Yorkshire 6
Day 4 (Thursday)
Lancashire 5, Cumbria 4,
Yorkshire 6.5, Cheshire 2.5
Durham 6, Northumberland 3
Day 5 (Friday)
Durham 1.5, Yorkshire 7.5
Cheshire 4, Cumbria 5
Northumberland 4, Lancashire 5