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So close for county girls

YORKSHIRE girls went agonisingly close to landing the Northern Counties junior title, losing out to Cheshire by a single point at York Golf Club.

The White Rose team got off to a quick start in the stableford format on day one thanks to the Thirsk & Northallerton trio of Isabel Stirk, Hope Williams and Isabella Knowles.

Stirk, playing off 26, scored 43 points and was backed up by Williams (15 handicap) who notched 38 before Knowles (17) added 34.

Ilkley’s Evie Graves (18) then carded 35 points, Hessle’s Grace Lambert (21) added an impressive 37 and South Yorkshire’s representative from Lindrick, Lucia Maturi (24) finished with 39 points as day one ended with Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire all tied for the lead.

Day two saw the Yorkshire girls, all aged between 11 and 15, in matchplay action.

Yorkshire faced an early setback when both Williams and Knowles suffered very narrow defeats, but a 4 & 3 win for Graves inspired the comeback.

Stirk kept momentum going with a 3 & 2 victory and the girls were back in the race as the tension mounted.

The final two matches went the full distance, with the youngest team members both needing victories. Twelve-year-old Lambert fired Yorkshire into contention by getting up and down from a bunker to win her game on the 18th green before the spotlight fell on 11-year-old Maturi, with Yorkshire needing to win their final game and hope Cheshire were unable to win their last match.

Despite being one down with three to play Maturi rose to the occasion and won all three of the remaining holes to win two up, only for Cheshire to hold firm in their last match to lift the trophy by just one point.

Team Manager Jo Pease said: “We had six young players, all playing in their first junior team event. They bonded beautifully, playing their hearts out in every game – for themselves, each other and the team. With some fantastic results from all players the team missed out on winning the whole event by just one point. I am very proud of them all and they should be very proud of themselves. The future looks very good for Yorkshire.”

n York Golf Club’s Matthew Dolling and Dylan Shaw-Radford from Huddersfield came out on top in the YUGC’s 2019 Under-16 & Under-14 Championships, which were held at Wortley Golf Club.

The Under-16 championship was won by Dolling with a score of 145, while Shaw-Radford claimed the Under-14 event on 144.

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