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Norfolk Take East Region Title

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Teams from Bedfordshire, Cambs & Hunts, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk played for the East Region inter-county second team trophy over three days at Bungay and Waveney Golf Club, Suffolk. Matches against each county consisted of three singles and two foursomes matches.

Captain Jules Hutchinson had prepared her team well over the past eight months and created a strong team spirit to lead her team to a clean sweep of all matches.

First up was the match against defending champions Essex, who had pipped Norfolk to the title for the past three years. Doris Thomas and Beth Buckingham both won their singles matches and an error by Essex on the 17th hole allowed Jill Gooch and Gemma Dunnell to take a 1 up lead to the 18th tee halving the last hole to give Norfolk a 3-2 win and a fabulous start to the competition.

The second match was the local derby, Norfolk and Suffolk, which was always going to be tough playing them in their home county. Doris and Beth each had another convincing singles win. The Bawburgh pairing of Jill and new team member, Lilia Copeman, won their foursomes on the 16th and with Clare Anderson and Vanessa Mann coming from 4 down to birdie the 18th to take a half point Norfolk won the match 3½ - 1½.

Disappointingly Cambs & Hunts could only field players for four matches but provided stiff opposition. This time singles success was provided by Jess Rutherford and Doris and the forfeited match meant a 3-2 win for Norfolk setting up the opportunity for Norfolk to win the trophy requiring a half or better in their last match.

On the final day there was a great feeling on the first tee for the match against Bedfordshire. Beth provided an amazing start with an 8-6 win, Lilia and Maisie Farrelly won their foursomes 5 & 4 followed by a gritty performance from Jess, who had played all 4 matches, with a 2 &1 win sealing the match, giving Norfolk a 4-1 win and overall victory, the team undefeated in all matches.

On accepting the trophy Captain Jules Hutchinson said “on paper Norfolk was not the strongest squad but the magic unmeasurable ingredient of team spirit made all the difference”.

Jules Hutchinson - Captain (Royal Norwich), Clare Anderson (Wensum Valley), Beth Buckingham (Dereham), Lilia Copeman (Bawburgh), Gemma Dunnell (Wensum Valley), Maisie Farrelly (Dereham), Jill Gooch (Bawburgh), Vanessa Mann (Barnham Broom), Jessica Rutherford (Caister & Great Yarmouth), Doris Thomas (Bawburgh).

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