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Clean sweep for the Ladies

Yorkshire Ladies coach Lysa Jones ‘chills’ alongside the victorious Northern Region champions

It was back to business as usual for Yorkshire’s Ladies as they recorded their sixth Northern Region title in seven years, after losing out narrowly to Cheshire last year. Captain Carolyn Ackroyd took a team featuring three rookies to the Eden club in Cumbria –14-year-old Molly Campbell from Rotherham plus 17-year-olds Hope Williams (Thirsk & Northallerton) and Millie Russell from Ganton. And it wasn’t just a win for the white rose ladies, but a clean sweep as they were assured of heading to the nationals even before their last match against Lancashire, which they duly won. Speaking of their achievement after assuring progress to the nationals, Captain Ackroyd said: “I’m extraordi- narily proud of our team who conducted themselves with maturity and grace which is exceptional when their age range is only 14 to early 20s. “They are coached by Lysa Jones to whom Yorkshire owe a huge debt of gratitude for the fantastic coaching, men- toring and disciplined practice which led to the result for Yorkshire. We were also backed up by an army of trol- ley-pullers who gave unwa- vering support to the players.” Leading the way for Yorkshire were the County Amateur Championship finalists, Fixby’s Lily Hirst and Cherry Marley of The Oaks. They went unbeaten through their five matches bringing home a full-house of 10pts, with Hirst’s 7&6 victory over Lancashire’s junior England international Sadie Adams (Royal Birkdale) of note. Youngster Campbell more than stepped up to the mark and she also finished the tournament unbeaten First up were home county Cumbria and despite a scrappy start Katie Stephens and Abigail Taylor emerged 3&1 winners. There was an early debut for Campbell who partnered with Marley for a win before the singles started with Hirst earning a 7&6 win. Mia Eales Smith is a Yorkshire stalwart these days and she was never under pressure beating Abi Roper 7&6. Ganton’s Amy Staveley was last out and despite suffering a nasty insect bite won 5&3. Northumberland were next in the afternoon and Hope Williams make her 1st team debut, alongside Staveley after Taylor and Stephens again delivered a win, 6&5. Stephens’ drive on the par 4 11th went to within 2.5- inches of the hole. Similarly Taylor’s approach shot on the par 5 12th was to 2-inches. Northumberland started well in the singles but Hirst, Marley and Eales-Smith were all solid for 2-up wins. Day 2 was rainy but the ladies opened up with a 3.5- 1.5 victory over champions Cheshire. Taylor and Stephens fought hard for an excellent half before the third rookie Milly Russell and fellow Ganton member Staveley went down 7&5. Hirst won on the 18th before Marley won her final two holes to get the point with Eales-Smith also winning, 7&5. The title was secured when Northumberland were seen off 4-1 in the afternoon with just Eales-Smith losing – her first defeat of the week. It meant the title was in the bag, even before Lancashire were despatched 3.5-1.5. Captain Ackroyd added: “We now look forward to playing in the National Finals at Kings Lynn and I’m sure the team will represent them- selves with the same flare, dedication and enthusiasm as they did at Eden.”


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