The bad weather sweeping the country had a major impact on day two at Inter County Week at The Shropshire Golf Centre. Heavy rain had been falling for some time (nice weather for ducks or geese…) as Leicestershire started their match against current holders Staffordshire at 8.30am. Despite the conditions, the team made a good start and were disappointed when play was suspended as Helen Lowe and Suzanne in the first match reached the 3rd green. A lengthy delay ensued, with play only restarting at 2pm, meaning that matches scheduled for the afternoon have been rescheduled to Wednesday.
Following the resumption, the Foxes continued to make steady starts, with Helen and Suzanne all square through five; Gemma and Rachel 1down and the singles matches featuring Moira, Kirsten and Caz all ahead at the same point. At the turn, Staffordshire had established a 1up lead against Helen and Suzanne; extended to two up against Gemma and Rachel, whilst the Foxes lead the way in all singles: County President Moira 1up; Kirsten 1up and after some terrific play, Caz had stretched away to a 4up lead. All to play for.
Unfortunately, the back nine did not start well in the foursomes matches, with some very fine play from Staffordshire seeing their leads extended. Despite a valiant effort from the Foxes pairs to stem the tide both were lost 5&4. Conversely in the singles, Caz continued to apply the pressure to her opponent and an impressive display from our County Champion saw the match closed out 6&5. Meanwhile, Moira was engaged in a battle royale with Emily Brennan in a finely balanced top match, losing her slender lead just after the turn and being all square through 12. Solid long games from both saw the match decided on the tricky greens and a run of holes for Staffordshire saw the match closed out at the 16th.
In the final match, another close battle was playing out as Kirsten and Bronwyn Davies traded golfing blows. Kirsten’s 5’ putt for a 2up lead at 14 just slipped past the edge and Bronwyn took advantage of this good fortune with a fine approach shot into 15 and a solid putt to take the match back all square. The 16th is a tight and challenging tee shot on a long par 4 and Kirsten was a touch unlucky off her tee shot to have her line slightly impeded by a tree. An attempted fade just missed the green and such is the small margin for error at this level, Staffordshire took full advantage to secure a 1up lead with two to play. Undeterred, Kirsten fought straight back with a win at 17 to take the match down the last. With both players in good position after two on the closing par 5, Kirsten faced a nerve jangling pitch and proved more than up to the task, hitting a great shot to 8’ and earned a putt to win the hole and halve the match as her opponent left her first putt 3’ short. A well struck effort skimmed the hole and her opponent holed to deny the half that Kirsten’s play had really deserved.
A final 4-1 defeat did not really do justice to the closeness of another match decided by fine margins and the Foxes will look forward to rejoining battle on Wednesday with matches against Lincolnshire and Derbyshire.
Wednesday match schedule:
Morning: Leicestershire vs Lincolnshire (9:18 start)
Afternoon: Leicestershire vs Derbyshire (13:50 start tbc)