Leicestershire narrowly lost 5-4 to Shropshire in their second match of their County Week campaign at Hollinwell on Tuesday. Some quality golf saw seven of the nine matches finished on the 17th or 18th on what proved to be a nail-biting, if ultimately disappointing day for the Foxes.
In a very tight top match of foursomes, Moira Page and Karen Haynes endured a difficult start as their opponents started birdie-birdie to take the lead. Some excellent golf saw Leicestershire’s lead-off pair cancel the deficit and take a narrow advantage by the turn. Finding themselves all square on the 18th tee, Karen hit what seemed a great drive, only to see it take a fiery bounce on the parched fairway and find a very poor lie on the bank of a fairway bunker. A valiant effort to find the green from Moira just caught the greenside bunker and their opponents made a par to clinch a 1up win.
The second match saw Jo Mayfield and Ellie York make a fast start with a birdie on 2 to take the lead. Momentum then swung backwards and forwards on the front nine, but the Foxes were still 1up at the turn. Some fine play saw them open a 3up lead and despite being pegged back late on, they secured Leicestershire’s first point of the day with a 2&1 win.
Suzanne Pretty and Kirsten Thorpe faced very tough opposition in a low handicap Shropshire pair who raced to an early 3up lead. The tough running conditions this week are making hitting fairways difficult but the Shropshire pair put up an outstanding display of high quality golf and despite some fine Leicestershire play, Shropshire never relinquished control and ended the foursomes with a 2-1 lead.
The afternoon singles were once again played in blistering heat but the Foxes started well, with Caz Parkes-Walley (3up), Moira Page and Karen Bonser holding leads through 5 holes, with Ellie York , Helen Lowe and Gemma Parkes-Wally all square. By the turn, Caz, Ellie and Karen held narrow 1up leads; Moira was 2up with Helen and Gemma remaining all square. County Champ Caz in the top match had a tremendous tussle in an evenly-matched game that did not have more than a hole in it through the back nine. Down by one at 17, Caz secured a par to take the match to 18, but a troublesome lie in a fairway bunker saw the match won by Shropshire 1up. Ellie and Karen were also involved in tight affairs, but just lost out on 17. Helen had established a 3up lead by 13 and played very well to secure a 3&1 win, whilst Moira closed out her match 4&2. Gemma Parkes-Walley epitomised the “Foxes Never Quit” ethos by overturning a 2dn with 3-to-play situation, making very solid pars at 17 and the last and secure a 1up win.
Results in other matches have been unpredictable and it remains all still to play for in the final three matches:
Wednesday vs Staffordshire (9:07 foursomes start; 2.25 singles start)
Thursday vs Derbyshire (8: 15 foursomes start; 12:45 singles start)
Friday vs Lincolnshire (8:41 foursomes start; 1:35 singles start)