Norfolk’s title hopes get a boost

Norfolk's ambition to win the Anglian League was given a huge boost when the county men's first team beat Lincolnshire 7�-4� at Royal Norwich.

After three matches Norfolk share second place in the table and have an excellent opportunity to take the title. Their remaining games are against the league leaders, Northamptonshire, andCambridgeshire, with whom they are currently tied.

County captain Jon Baker-Odlin said: 'This is a magnificent victory as Norfolk haven't beaten Lincolnshire for several years. The league title is now a realistic option.'

The match featured the first team debut of Kit Holmes of King's Lynn and he made the most of his selection with an emphatic singles win, scoring six under par for the 14 holes required to close out his opponent.

Norfolk took charge of the match in the morning foursomes, winning 2� points from the four available. In the singles Luke Johnson (King's Lynn) won on the 18th and his success was followed by that of Holmes and Matt Bacon (Costessey Park).

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It fell to Baker-Odlin (Sprowston Manor) to take the winning point with a grandstand finish on the last green. The captain had been up throughout the match, getting as far ahead as four up at one point. But his opponent was a tough fighter who clawed back the 14th, 16th and 17th for the two men to reach the 18th tee all square.

Both reached the green in two, but while the Lincolnshire player was about 15ft away, Baker-Odlin's wedge shot finished within 12 inches of the hole, giving him a tap-in birdie and Norfolk's crucial point.

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He was followed by Simon Clark (Gt Yarmouth & Caister) who made the scoreline more impressive with his win.

Meanwhile, the Norfolk second team halved their match, away at Boston West, giving them their first point of the season. They came tantalisingly close to a win as captain Iain Yule recounted: 'We just needed a half point from either of our last two games, but sadly it was not to be.'

But overall, he was encouraged by the team's progress: 'In our first game we won the foursomes and lost the singles, in the second it was other way round. Now, we're half and half – here's hoping we go the right way next time.'

Tomorrow, a six-man team from Norfolk tee up in their regional qualifier for the English counties' championship at Ashridge, Kent.

Team: Matt Alden (Eaton), Matt Bacon (Costessey Park), Aaron Bullock (Caldecott Hall), Tom Clements (Royal Norwich), Kit Holmes (King's Lynn) Jamie Smith (Eaton).

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