Royal Norwich Ladies celebrating Scratch League success
- Credit: Archant
It has been a year of change at Royal Norwich – but that hasn't stopped one of their teams from doing the club proud in a top county competition.
With the relocation to the Weston Park site looming large, and the progress towards a less gender-based approach within the club, there has been plenty going on behind the scenes for members to get their heads around.
A modified course at Hellesdon, with two new holes having been added to allow for the housing development on the site to get under way, has also provided a fresh challenge – but all of this hasn't stopped the club's leading ladies from claiming a thrilling success in the Norfolk LCGA Scratch League.
The battle for the Division One title could hardly have been tighter, but after a long, hard campaign Royal Norwich edged past City neighbours Eaton on shot difference to get their hands on the silverware.
'I am really proud of the team,' said non-playing captain Jacky Pett. 'Everyone has had a lot on their minds what with everything that has been going on so to have won the Scratch League title is a big boost for everyone.
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'It's a good way to go into the new year, which will be the club's 125th anniversary.
'It was especially pleasing to see young players like Jasmine Campbell, Chloe Gibbs and Hope Neild, who all learnt the game here, playing such a key role. They were the stalwarts of the team along with Jo Herd, while Sammy Martin and Angela Loveday both played one game apiece.'
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Royal Norwich fielded three players for each fixture, home and away, against Eaton, Hunstanton and Dunston Hall - and as it turned out 15-year-old Hope's wins against Eaton proved crucial.
The season didn't start well, with a loss at Dunston Hall followed by a home draw against Hunstanton, but a superb win at Hunstanton by Jo, Jasmine and Sammy, put the team back on track.
By the end of the summer Eaton and Royal Norwich were tied on nine points after two wins and three draws and were also equal on matches won. Only by taking it to the number of holes won could the rivals be separated and Hope's 5&4 win against her Eaton opponent tipped the balance in her side's favour.