The Nottinghamshire U18 Boys squad won the 43rd Four Counties Championship at Wallasey GC Cheshire when they swept aside a strong Cheshire side on the final day to overhaul the lead of reigning Champions Lancashire. The team which consisted of: Jordan Boulton (Notts) Captain, Daniel O’Loughlin (Ruddington Grange), Jake Benson (Beeston Fields), Reece Samson (Worksop), Aaron Howitt (Trent Lock), Cole Betteridge (Sherwood Forest), Lewis Parker (Notts) and James Hollis (Wollaton Park), had played well over the two days of competition against competing teams from Lancashire, Shropshire & Herefordshire and Cheshire but it was a phenomenal mornings play on the last day when they beat Cheshire 5&2 that finally secured the title for them.
Nottinghamshire last won the Championship in 2009 when they triumphed at Caldy GC just a few miles along the coast. Evidently, the Cheshire coast is to Nottinghamshires liking. Wallasey GC presents a stern links challenge to all golfers and even the great Bobby Jones is commemorated here for winning the Open qualifier in the same year that he went on to win his historic grand slam. Conditions over the last two days were perfect and despite the lack of wind the rolling fairways and testing greens enabled Wallasey to live up to it’s reputation as one of the UK’s finest and most challenging courses.
Nottinghamshire started the first day with an opening match against reigning champions Lancashire. Despite matching Lancashire in every aspect of the game Nottinghamshire failed to press home their advantage and whilst seeming to be in a strong position to secure a victory Lancashire won the match 4.5 v 2.5 when Nottinghamshire sacrificed leads in two matches late on to squander the advantage.
To their credit, Nottinghamshire boys came out fighting in the afternoon match against Shropshire and Herefordshire and putting their disappointment behind them they battled strongly for a 5 v 2 victory. With Lancashire winning their afternoon match against Cheshire it seemed that the ‘Red Rose’ county was set fair for a repeat of the 2014 win.
But as they say ‘its never over until the fat lady sings’. Lancashire went into the final day with a one match lead and one point lead over Nottinghamshire. Lancashire’s destiny was to a large extent in their own hands with a game against twice defeated Shropshire and Herefordshire to come and Nottinghamshire with ground to make up.
AND MAKE IT UP THEY DID !!!. Nottinghamshire played out of their skins to crush Cheshire 5 v 2, whilst Shropshire and Herefordshire turned the previous day’s results on their head when they beat Lancashire 4.5 v 2.5. Nottinghamshire deservedly led the Championship with 12.5 points and a 1.5 point lead over nearest rivals Lancashire.
This had been a truly mammoth team effort from Nottinghamshire and President Roger Poole and Chairman of Junior Golf Stan Yeomans are rightly proud of Jack Prescott (Team Manager) and his squad of players. There were some great individual performances but this was very much a team effort and everyone should feel proud of their part in it.
Thanks to County Officials and parents who made the trip to Merseyside to support the boys but most of all
Well done lads, Nottinghamshire is proud of you and you should share in that pride. !!
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