Swaffham Ladies come through tense final to finally lift Gillieson Cup

Delighted Swaffham players and officials pose for a picture at Thetford after their Gillieson Cup tr

Delighted Swaffham players and officials pose for a picture at Thetford after their Gillieson Cup triumph. Back row, left to right, Linda Holland (lady president), Ann Ewer, Jane York, Myra Lane, Cathy Shand, Lu Claridge (lady captain). Front: Sian Fenn-Green and Abigail O'Riordan. Picture: Club - Credit: Archant

Swaffham Ladies came through a thrilling foursomes finale to claim an historic Gillieson Cup win for their club at the weekend.

They won the decisive match at the 20th hole at Thetford to clinch a dramatic 2-1 win over Bawburgh and win Norfolk's top club knock-out competition for the very first time.

An exciting final all came down to the top encounter between Swaffham's Abigail O'Riordan and Jane York and Bawburgh's Jane Winsworth and Jo Barnard, with the second and third matches having already been completed with one win apiece.

Winsworth and Barnard, who received five strokes, were three down after 11 holes but won the 18th to take the final to extra time. With the tension mounting the 19th was halved in three ,but with their opponents finding trouble O'Riordan and York finally secured victory by taking the second extra hole with a par four.

'I don't know what it was like to play in but it was certainly nerve-wracking to watch it,' said Swaffham's Ladies' captain Lu Claridge. 'We have got a really good team and I am so proud of all them.

'It's has been a long wait and it has certainly made my year as captain that extra bit special.

'It also reflects well on the club – we are very proud of our course and I know a lot of visitors have also been impressed with what we have to offer.'

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While the top match ebbed and flowed, Swaffham saw out the second encounter at the 17th, with Sian Fenn-Green and Ann Ewer beating Jill Gooch and Christine Frazer, who received two strokes, 3&1.

They needed that just to get back on level terms, however, with the third match having already reached its conclusion. That turned out to be a one-sided affair, with Bawburgh's Phon Green and Mary Gamble beating Myra Lane and Kathy Shand 7&6.

Swaffham were playing in the final for the first time since 1976, when they finished runners-up – as they had done in 1960 and 1973. Bawburgh went into the final with a good recent record, having lifted the cup as recently as 2014 and finished runners-up in 2012.

Handicaps: Swaffham: O'Riordan 2, Fenn-Green 6, York 13, Ewer 14, Lane 14, Shand 16; Bawburgh - Winsworth 7, Gooch 10, Green 11, Frazer 14, Barnard 17, Gamble 19.

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