Skipper Iain Yule hopes first Anglian League victory can inspire Norfolk sextet at Hankley Common

Luke Johnson missed Norfolk's latest Anglian League match as he was on England duty. Picture: Matthew Usher. Luke Johnson missed Norfolk's latest Anglian League match as he was on England duty. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Friday, July 11, 2014
8:11 AM

A six-man Norfolk team heads to Hankley Common in high spirits this morning after breaking their duck in the 2014 Anglian League.

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Iain Yule’s troops thumped Northamptonshire 9-3 at Kettering on Sunday to record their first win of 2014 and move up to fourth in the table. Now Norfolk’s skipper hopes the morale-boosting victory can inspire Jack Yule, Kit Holmes, Matt Bacon, Tom Nudd, Nic Cains and Ben Rawsthorne to a top-five finish in Surrey.

The sextet will take on groups from 10 other counties in strokeplay competition over 36 holes. The outfit with the lowest score will win the event and go on to represent the south-east region in the national championships later this year.

The men from Nelson’s county go into the event in excellent mood after breezing past the first-team league’s basement boys at the weekend.

Jack Yule and Holmes (1 up), Nudd and Toby Briggs (3&2) and Simon Clark and Bacon (2&1) put their side into a 3-1 lead at lunch after an excellent morning display of foursomes golf from the visitors. Only second-team regular Dylan Green and Cains (4&2) suffered a defeat.

And that march to victory didn’t slow after the break as Norfolk powered to a 6-2 success in the singles to win by six and heap more misery on the hosts’ struggling start to the campaign.

Cains (1 up), Briggs (3&2), Nudd (2&1), Holmes (2 up) and Bacon (2&1) won while Jack Yule and Clark halved their matches. Green lost 3&2. But it was the glory of Cains and Briggs, sandwiched either side of Green’s defeat, which set Norfolk on their way and stemmed any thoughts of a fightback.

Skipper Yule said: “At 3-1 down I knew they would put their big guns out as they’d want to win the first three.

“It’s why I put Nic out as nothing fazes him and he keeps bombing the ball through. I put Dylan in as he could be successful, you never know, he could have caught them off their guard. And Tom Briggs just keeps getting under people’s skin.

“Once we’d got two victories out of three with the players we had to come I knew we were going to win. With a back five of Jack, Kit, Simon, Tom Nudd and Matt I knew we’d make at least three.”

Following a draw and a defeat the handsome triumph moves Norfolk into a good position ahead of the campaign’s remaining fixtures. Yet, Iain Yule admits he expected to succeed from the moment he arrived at Northants.

“It’s a massive win for us, but I thought we were going to,” he said.

“I expected us to beat Northants as soon as I saw their team. I only recognised four members. We were missing our number one, Luke Johnson, who was playing for England A, and they were missing their number one, Ryan Evans, who was playing for England A somewhere else. But overall we looked much the stronger side.

“We still had a job to do though. I gave Dylan a chance because of how well he played at the Norfolk Amateur at Hunstanton and at Caister.”

It was a less impressive weekend for the county’s second team as they kept up their winless start to the term by losing 6.5-5.5 at home to Northants seconds.They were a point down at lunch and drew the singles 4-4 to make it three Anglian League losses on the bounce in 2014. It leaves them pointless and rooted to the bottom of the table.

There was one huge positive though, and that came in the shape of Rawsthorne.The Weston Park player recorded a crushing 7&6 triumph which helped him land a place in Norfolk’s six-man team for their latest shot at glory this weekend.

Norfolk visit Suffolk on August 3 in their next League match while the seconds host their rivals the same day.

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