Norfolk seconds claim thrilling Anglian League win while firsts lose again
It has been a tough season for Norfolk’s men’s teams in the Anglian League - but the seconds provided some welcome cheer on the final day of the campaign.
While the firsts were suffering a fifth straight defeat to finish bottom of their table, the seconds staged a superb fightback to win their match against Lincolnshire II 7-5 to secure a third placed finish.
The morning foursomes at Royal West Norfolk saw Lincolnshire take a 3-1 lead into lunch but the afternoon singles proved to be an altogether different affair.
Wins by Jake Keely, Aiden Tanner, Mitch Smith, Shaun Larkins and Darren Abbs and halves from Dylan Green and Matthew Strudwick saw the team run out 6-2 winners to secure a dramatic overall victory.
Over at Blankney it was a similar story as Norfolk’s first team went down 7½-4½.
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Michael Few’s side could easily have drawn the morning foursomes, but ended up losing 2½-1½ after top pair Giles Evans and Warren Bates had to settle for a half.
Josh Halliday and James Hazel won their match 2up, but Carl Green and Simon Clark (4&3) and Josh Weeds and Tom Carding (3&1) both lost their games to leave the visitors with work to do in the afternoon.
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They needed a fast start but didn’t get it as Lincolnshire won four of the first five singles games to secure a comfortable win.
Evans, who was first out, lost 2down while Green (4&3), Hazel (6&5) and Halliday (6&4) were all comprehensively beaten, while a 2up win from County Champion Bates proved to be no more than a consolation.
Norfolk were unbeaten in the final three matches, with Carding and Weeds getting halves and Clark winning 5&3, but the destination of the points had long since been decided by then.
Few’s men ended up picking up 22½ points from a possible 60 over the course of the season and finished two points adrift of Cambridgeshire, who finished with a similar record.
Northamptonshire took the title on points difference from Leicestershire and Rutland after beating Cambridgeshire 9-3 in their first fixture. Leicestershire & Rutland were the second team champions. Meanwhile Jack Yule was unable to build on an excellent second round in his latest Europro Tour event.
The King’s Lynn professional did well to make the cut in the Prem Group Irish Masters at the Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort after adding a four under par 68 to his opening 74.
But he struggled on the final day, with a 75 leaving him on one over for the tournament in a tie for 43rd position.
Standing in 48th place in the Order of Merit with £4,199 in prize money to his name tour rookie Yule has already guaranteed his place in the end of season Tour Championship at Desert Springs in Spain from October 24-26.
This year’s Norfolk PGA matchplay competition has now reached the semi-final stage. There is a new name in the last four, with Wensum Valley’s Haydn Selby-Green having impressed in his first appearance. He now meets Swaffham’s Nic Cains for a place in the final. The other semi-final will see two experienced campaigners going head to head, with Bawburgh’s Mark Spooner taking on Denver’s Jason Groat.