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Story of what might have been as Norfolk Ladies bow out with another defeat

PUBLISHED: 20:38 20 September 2019 | UPDATED: 20:38 20 September 2019

Norfolk Ladies line up for a team picture during their County Finals programme at Delamere Forest in Cheshire. Back row, left to right, Tiffany Mills, Jo Herd, Chloe Gibbs, Abigail O'Riordan, Karen Young, Imogen Leeder, Eve Neild, Hope Neild. Front, immediate past captain Sammy Martin, captain Sue Heeles, county president Heather Keeble  Picture: NLCGA

Norfolk Ladies line up for a team picture during their County Finals programme at Delamere Forest in Cheshire. Back row, left to right, Tiffany Mills, Jo Herd, Chloe Gibbs, Abigail O'Riordan, Karen Young, Imogen Leeder, Eve Neild, Hope Neild. Front, immediate past captain Sammy Martin, captain Sue Heeles, county president Heather Keeble Picture: NLCGA

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Norfolk Ladies suffered another narrow defeat in their final match at County Finals Week at Delamere Forest on Friday.

Sue Heeles' team went down 5.5-3.5 to Surrey to end their campaign at the bottom of the table with just one win to show for their efforts.

It was a story of what might have been for Norfolk, who after being beaten 6-3 by eventual champions Gloucestershire on the opening day were involved in a series of tight encounters which could have gone either way.

The team were left with a tough task on Friday after taking just a half from the morning foursomes but showed typical grit after lunch to make a game of it in the singles.

"We tried so hard to get the point that would lift us up the table and give us the finishing position we deserved," said skipper Heeles.

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"This week we have played the top five counties in England and have not been embarrassed by any of them. Our final position does not reflect our standard of play. Having beaten Buckinghamshire we have narrowly lost to Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Surrey where the odd missed putt has cost us the game and has been the difference between winning and losing.

"I am so proud of my team. They tried so hard and they will take a lot away from the week. I am also grateful to the caddies and to the spectators, especially those from Ryston Park, who turned out in force."

Sisters Hope and Eve Neild prevented a whitewash in the foursomes after Tiffany Mills and Imogen Leeder (3&2) and Karen Young and Abigail O'Riordan (4&3) had both been beaten.

In the singles there were big wins for Hope Nield (5&4), Leeder (4&3) and Mills (5&4) but Jo Herd (5&4), Young (2&1) and Eve Neild (5&4) all tasted defeat.

Meanwhile Norfolk's Tracey Williamson finished a high respectable 11th in the R&A's Senior Women's Championship at Royal St David's. The Royal Cromer player added a 76 to earlier rounds of 77 and 78 for a six over par total, nine adrift of winner Lara Tennant from the United States.

Barnham Broom's Jo Ashmore, joint second on day one after opening with a 74, fired a second successive 83 to finish tied 32nd.

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