Norfolk’s men start Anglian League season with narrow home defeat

Michael Few is looking forward to a new challenge with the Norfolk men's amateur team. Picture: BAWB

Michael Few is looking forward to a new challenge with the Norfolk men's amateur team. Picture: BAWBURGH GC - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's Anglian League campaign got off to a frustrating start at King's Lynn on Sunday when they lost a desperately tight match against Cambridgeshire.

In a game which could have gone either way, the hosts ended up being edged out 6.5-5.5 after three of the afternoon singles ended all square.

Former captain Iain Yule had a chance to level the scores on the 18th green but a 20 foot putt to win his match drifted just to left of the hole and the visitors could celebrate a hard-fought success.

It was the first match in charge for professional coach Michael Few, who has gone into the new campaign without of the services of last season's leading lights, with Jack Yule now in the paid ranks and Toby Briggs studying in the United States.

'It's always disappointing to lose but with so many close matches it could easily have been a different story,' he said. 'I think there is a good mix of youth and experience in the team and there were some good individual performances on day.

'It was good to get together for the weekend. Everyone was there for the practice round, which was very important, and I am getting to know the players now. It's all about helping them as individuals - and developing them as a team.'

The tone for the day was set in the morning, with the foursomes ending all square at 2-2. Norfolk's points came from Yule and Kale Heath (2&1) and the Great Yarmouth & Caister pairing of Simon Clark and Tom Carding (2up). Both wins were examples of a mixture youth and experience coming out on top, leaving the match delicately poised ahead of the eight afternoon singles.

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Young Heath went on to complete a highly promising debut by winning his match 6&4, while James Flescher weighed in with a 2&1 success, but sadly they were the only two home wins as the match drifted away from Few's side.

Warren Bates and Clark followed Yule's example by halving their matches - but Cambridgeshire's three wins after lunch proved enough to take the league points.

Norfolk have a quick chance to get the defeat out of their systems, with the annual Eastern Counties Foursomes at Seacroft in Lincolnshire being staged over two days at the weekend.

Jack Cullington's Anglian League campaign got off to a pleasing start - but it was not enough to prevent Norfolk Seconds from sliding to defeat.

The Bawburgh youngster was the only member of the team to win both his matches as Norfolk were beaten 7-5 by their Cambridgeshire counterparts at Gog Magog.

Cullington teamed up with Richard Lindley to win 6&5 in the morning foursomes and was then one of only two visiting players to win after lunch, the other being Richard Wilson.

Norfolk had gone into the singles all square following a 4&3 win for Dylan Green and Aiden Tanner but ended up losing the second half of the match 5-3, with halves from Lindley and Tanner securing their other point.

Norfolk seconds are next in action against Northamptonshire II at Eaton on June 3, the same day the two counties do battle at first team level at Wellingborough.

They then play Suffolk II at Caldecott Hall on July 1, when the first teams meet at Hintlesham.

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