Northern County Match Week 2021

The North Region Competition was held at Alnmouth Golf Club (Foxton Hall) in Northumberland from 28th June until 2nd July.

Daily News and Results

The Northumberland website can be accessed at

Day Five Report

What a day!!!
Yorkshire are Northern County Champions after a quite remarkable final two days play.
I have run out of superlatives to describe this Yorkshire team.
They have epitomised everything that is good about golf.
Sportsmanship, commitment, self-belief, passion and a drive to excel and deliver for their team-mates.
The final days play mattered to this team just as much as the first.
Hannah Holden and Rachel Taylor led the team out this morning at 8.45am taking on Durham duo Shannon O’Dwyer and Faye Wheatley.
Nicola Slater and Lily Hirst teed off in second spot and charged at the opposition from the off. The first point of the session was swiftly on the score board with a 6 & 4 win.
Holden and Taylor followed with a 2 & 1 win.
A hat trick was delivered from the morning session when Debs Henery and Melissa Woods secured a 2 & 1 win over Brittany Hill and Amy Sutherland.
Game over, the morning session delivered the result for Yorkshire, and they retained their title as the Northern County Champions.
Yorkshire went out just as determined for the final session of the week.
Rachel Taylor led the team. It’s great to report that this was a double celebration day for the family as mum Carol became the Irish Senior Women’s Close Champion on the same day her daughter was part of the winning Yorkshire team.
After a close match, with Taylor down for most of the match, she managed to get herself right back into it and finished all square.
Mia Eales Smith obviously wanted to go out with a flourish in front of Grandad Phil and she deserved the accolade for shot of the day with a majestic drive onto the par 3 17th to 2’. A birdie followed and that this gave Smith 1 up.
She obviously likes a crowd as the spectators round the 18th green were treated to another birdie from her to seal the fate of Faye Wheatley, 2 up to Eales-Smith.
Evie Cooke playing her third match of the week had another comprehensive win 3 & 2 over Kitana Hilling. A great week for Cooke who was unbeaten.
Debs Henery looked in determined mood as she played Ella Crang.
She delivered a stunning win 5 & 4 with her proud parents watching on.
Beth Norton and Melissa Woods were the last two Yorkshire competitors on the course.
Norton had a tough match against Shannon O’Dwyer, and she dug deep to recover a two down position with a birdie on 12, and a win on 13 to get back to all square. She played doggedly and took the match to the 18th after a great put on 17 for a par. The match finished 1 down and the only highlight for the Durham team.
Woods quietly went about her business with the minimum of fuss and finished a superb day for Yorkshire with a 3 & 2 win over Stacie Morton.

Congratulations Team Yorkshire.

Day Four Report

Another day, another match.
After a ribbing from the Yorkshire team today’s report will not start with the weather!!!
Yorkshire faced Cheshire today and the team knew this was a crunch match (not that they all aren’t) but both Counties were performing well.

The morning foursomes matches found the Yorkshire team under significant pressure from Cheshire. The only highlight for Yorkshire in the session was the win by Nicola Slater and Lily Hirst 2 & 1 which got the first points on the scoreboard. After that it all went Cheshire’s way with a 3 & 2 win over Huddersfield duo Holden and Taylor and a 4 & 2 win over Woods and Henery. It was Cheshire who had the smiles on their faces over the lunch break.

Coach Lysa Jones and Captain Maggie Katz did a great job in raising the team’s spirits and the Yorkshire team went out all guns blazing in the afternoon singles matches. It was also very uplifting to see a much stronger Yorkshire contingent of supporters, and this undoubtedly helped to lift the team.

Mia Eales Smith and Evie Cooke were fastest of the mark taking significant early leads. Smith had her grandad in support, and she was quite inspiring in her play.
The match finished on the 13th to get the first afternoon points on the score board with a 6 & 5 win, the biggest winning margin of the day for the Yorkshire team.
Following hot on her heels was Evie Cooke in her second singles match of the week. She looked fresh and was clearly on a mission to perform. After some stunning play watched from a distance by her dad, she cruised to a 5 & 4 win. The Yorkshire team had some spring in their step and the supporters were visible at key moments.

Rachel Taylor playing in her first county match week was next to get into the winner’s enclosure with a 3 & 1 win. At this stage it all seemed to be going Yorkshire’s way. The final three matches on the course proved to be nail biters. Nicola Slater looked to be cruising to a comfortable win but a missed put on the par 3 17th meant she went to the 18th 1 up against Becky McGeehan. Both girls hit solid drives, Slater then hit a great shot which looked all over the flag but sadly kicked over the back of the green. Mc Geehan hit a solid shot into the heart of the green. Slater played a steady chip to within 5’ of the hole but McGeehan just stole the hole with a 15’ putt straight into the hole. A valuable half for both teams.

The final two matches also went to the wire.
Hannah Holden got herself back into the match and was 1 up going down 18.
She drove into the bunker but rescued the situation with a glorious shot into the heart of the green followed by a stunning 25; putt to with inches for an excellent four.
The match was won 1 up.

The final match was Lily Hirst against Cheshire’s Emily Mc Burnley which was all square coming down the 18th.
Both girls hit strong straight drives. McBurney first to play on the second shot immediately put Hirst under pressure with a second into the middle of the green.
Hirst who commented as she left the 17th green that she actually had not played the 18th all week somehow managed to calm her nerves and adrenaline and played a majestic shot to within 7’ of the flag. As Hirst departs for University in America in August it seemed somehow fitting that she should have a large Yorkshire gallery to see her hole the put and take victory 1up.

Today’s performance was a testament to the team’s self belief and the support they give each other. They knew they had a mountain to climb after the disappointment of the morning session and boy did, they climb it.
Yorkshire should be proud of this team.

Day Three Report

What a day!!!
It was damp and overcast this morning and everyone was well wrapped up for the day’s proceedings against Cumbria.
The morning foursomes saw Nicola Slater partnered with fellow Lindrick team-mate Mia Eales Smith. It was a tough match, and they went down 3 & 1.
Strong performances from regular pairing Melissa Woods and Debs Henery saw them bounce back from yesterday’s loss with a stunning and well executed 6 & 4 win.
In the final pairing Evie Cooke played her first match paired with Lily Hirst. The partnership proved fruitful with a good 3 & 1 win.

The Yorkshire team went into lunch happy.
There was not much respite in the weather but at least umbrellas were not needed.
The afternoon singles matches got underway with the sun trying to peep through.
Melissa Woods led the Yorkshire team out. She struggled to find her form of the morning and lost 4 & 3.
Second out was Amy Staveley in her first ever match for the 1st team.
What a debut performance.
No hint of nerves and a steely determination to perform saw her win her match by the 13th hole, a 7 & 5 win and the biggest winning margin of the week.
Nicola Slater had an impressive win against Hannah Smith coming in 5 & 3.
Beth Norton also played her first match of the week today and battled hard to come in with a great half against Nicola Wood
Hannah Holden always looked solid, and her driving of the 314 yard 9th hole followed by holing a monster put for an eagle really stamped her authority on the match.
A couple of poor holes in the final stages did mean it went down the 18th but she was a comfortable winner 2 up in the end.
The final singles match was another half for the new Yorkshire player Rachel Taylor.

The day finished 6 games to 3 for Yorkshire, another excellent team performance.

Day Two Report

Day 2 saw Yorkshire taking on Northumberland. The weather was warm and sunny, but temperatures dropped rapidly as the players came through 9 holes and breezy conditions ensued. Shorts were rapidly supplemented with waterproof trousers.
Henery and Woods of Yorkshire could not repeat yesterday’s success and suffered a heavy defeat losing 5 & 4 to Northumberland’s top pairing.
Huddersfield duo Hannah Holden and Rachel Taylor fought hard, and it was honours even at the 18th. The morning session was concluded with a strong win from Nicola Slater and Lily Hirst, 4 & 3.

The afternoon singles matches were played in much tougher conditions with cooler air and a stiff breeze. Hannah Holden took on Northumberland County Champion are Rebecca Ferguson. A real tussle ensued but Holden finished strongly to secure a well-earned half.
Mia Eales Smith performed well today, and her confidence was restored after yesterday’s defeat with a win over Zara Naughton 1 up.
Lily Hirst played with positivity and determination and took the match 4 up with three to play against Coralie Bretez.
In her first singles match for Yorkshire, Huddersfield’s Rachel Taylor secured a convincing win against 13 year old Charlotte Naughton, younger sister of Zara. Both girls set a new trend wearing face paints reminiscent of Solheim cup faces!!
In the only defeat of the afternoon session Debs Henery lost her match 1 down but did fight back valiantly from being 3 down early in the match.
Lindrick’s Nicola Slater, the Yorkshire Champion, looked supremely in control of her match from the start and ran out the winner 4 & 3.
Another solid day of performance from the Yorkshire team who looked like they meant business from the first ball struck.

Day One Report

County Match Week hosted by Northumberland this year looked set for a sea fret delay at 7.00am this morning as the Lancashire and Yorkshire teams turned up to do battle.
There is always a lot of rivalry between these two neighbouring counties and today was no exception.
In the event the fret lifted as tee off time approached and the matches got underway.
Yorkshire Champion Nicola Slater (Lindrick) and Lily Hirst (Woodsome Hall) led the foursomes pairings out followed by the solid pairing of Debs Henery (Hickleton) and Melissa Woods (Woodsome Hall) and then finally Hannah Holden (Huddersfield) and Yorkshire debutante Rachel Taylor also of Huddersfield.
Yorkshire ran out the winners in their morning session with wins 5 & 4 for Henery and Woods and 3 & 1 for Holden and Taylor. A great start for the new girl.

The afternoon singles matches were hotly contested and it was nip and tuck in most matches swinging both ways at times.
Lindrick’s Slater got Yorkshire off to a flyer with a 3 & 2 win over Lauren Green.
Debs Henery and Melissa Wood followed their victory in the morning with singles wins in the afternoon .
Woods taking the shot of the day almost holing out in 2 at the 18th with a near perfect second shot finishing inches from the hole, giving her the match 2 & 1 over Emily Byrne.
Lancashire’s Emily James managed a win against Lily Hirst and Ann Dawson played the golf of her life to coast to victory against Mia Eales Smith.
Hannah Holden ran out the winner to give Yorkshire a 4 & 2 victory in the afternoon session.

The golf was played in great spirit and spectators and players enjoyed a day of glorious sunshine, stunning sea views and excellent organisation and hospitality from the host club Alnmouth and the Northumberland organisers.

A great start for Yorkshire but lots more golf to be played yet.

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