Easton College’s Simon Stevens is Norfolk Schools’ boys champion for second year running
Easton College's Simon Stevens celebrated a notable double at Thetford yesterday after becoming the Norfolk Schools' boys champion for the second year running.
The 18-year-old two handicapper, a member at Dunston Hall, played to his handicap in testing chilly conditions to set a target of gross 75 that none of his rivals could better.
Stevens won by two shots from Luke Stannard (St Clements High School/ Middleton Hall) with William Cross (Easton College/ Dereham) one shot further back on 78.
A grand total of 72 youngsters – 57 boys and 15 girls – descended on Thetford for the 17th playing of the championships, with plenty to play for away from the main prize.
There were some familiar names at the top of the leaderboard in the handicap section, with Ashley Johnson of Springwood High School and King's Lynn taking the honours. The cousin of one of the county's top players Luke Johnson posted an excellent nett 62 off a 20 handicap to win by a massive 10 shots from Taylor Davis, brother of another leading Norfolk player Chase. Taylor, from Hewett School and Royal Norwich, recorded a nett 72 off 11 to finish just ahead of Jack Masding (Norwich School/ Royal Norwich) who also totalled 72 off a 21 handicap.
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The entry of 15 girls was a record, with Ormesby School's Charlotte Hatch, who plays at Bawburgh, leading the way with a gross 89. That was enough to edge out Alisha Margerum (Dereham Neatherd/ Dereham) by one shot. Nicola Dalzell (Fakenham High/ Barnham Broom) won the handicap event with a nett 70 off a handicap of 29.
The section for under-14s produced a home winner of sorts, with 23-handicapper James Greatbanks of Thetford Grammar School and Barnham Broom taking the honours with a nett 70 from Toby Briggs (Thorpe High School/ Mundesley), who recorded 71 off a handicap of 13. The novices event was won by Aylsham High's Jasmine Campbell who scored a nett 70 off a 33 handicap. There was also a team event, with the winners going forward to represent Norfolk at the National Championships at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire on Wednesday, July 11.
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Top of the class were Springwood High from King's Lynn, with the scores of handicap winner Johnson and Joe Goss (76) taking them through.
It was fitting that in Thetford's Centenary Year the Championships be held there as the Association was formed in 1995 by members of Thetford and all the trophies were presented by Thetford members. The course was in excellent condition.