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Suffolk Ladies seeking to lift English county title for very first time

PUBLISHED: 16:35 17 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:35 17 September 2017

Suffolk'’s Fiona Edmond pictured playing for Great Britain and Ireland in the European Women’s Senior team championship in Slovakia.

Suffolk'’s Fiona Edmond pictured playing for Great Britain and Ireland in the European Women’s Senior team championship in Slovakia.

© Leaderboard Photography 2017

Suffolk Ladies are seeking to become England county champions for the first time.

Sharon Luckman and Amanda Norman in the squad Sharon Luckman and Amanda Norman in the squad

They had their final practice at Felixstowe Ferry yesterday before taking on reigning champions Gloucestershire today.

Suffolk’s squad which won East Week at Hunstanton has been boosted by the experienced Felixstowe Ferry duo, Amanda Norman and Jo Woodward, who made such an impact on the game in the nineties. They have reached the final of Suffolk’s Haskell Cup this year.

GB and I senior international Fiona Edmond has returned from Slovakia with a silver medal in the European Senior Women’s team championship.

They lost to France in the final. Suffolk captain Vanessa Bell is keeping her fingers crossed that Edmond has fully recovered from a sore elbow.

Vice-captain Sharon Luckman has been battling to overcome a heel injury. The softer fairways after recent rain should help.

Lottie Whyman, who played so well at Hunstanton, has thrown off the effects of a shoulder injury.

Alice Barlow has returned from playing in the champion of champions tournament over the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa, in Lincolnshire.

Gloucestershire beat Yorkshire on the final day at Waterlooville last year.

It will be Gloucestershire’s sixth successive appearance in the finals.

Seven of last year’s squad are at Felixstowe.

A notable absentee is Bethan Popel, whose handicap was plus three, and who is now a professional.

Gloucestershire have confidence in their juniors. Teenagers Ebonie Lewis, Caley McGinty and Alex Giles will be playing

Gloucestershire have a great tradition in ladies’ golf. Minchinhampton Golf Club were one of six clubs in 1892 to attend a meeting in London to form the Ladies’ Golf Union.

Now they are celebrating the nomination of Jenny Cink as England Golf President in 2019.

Suffolk’s match tomorrow will be against Buckinghamshire who finished fifth, ahead of Staffordshire, in last year’s finals.

The Buckingham stars are both teenagers.

Thalia Kirby was runner-up in the England Girls Under-16 championship at Blackmoor. Kennedy was eighth.

They both played for England Under 16 in their 5-1 victory over Switzerland at Pannal.

Both have played for the England Schools’ team managed by Sarah Wilson of Bramford Golf Centre, one against Wales at Luffenham Heath and the other against Scotland at Troon.

The Suffolk’s toughest test is likely to be against Yorkshire on Wednesday.

The White Rose county include three talented juniors, Mia Eales-Smith, Charlotte Heath and Nicola Slater.

Megan Lockett has represented Wales in the Home internationals while Rochelle Morris played in the Curtis Cup. Olivia Winning has been twice winner of the Scottish Open stroke play. Yorkshire have been champions 12 times, the most recent being in 2013.

When Suffolk face Hampshire on Thursday they will meet Kerry Smith, another Curtis Cup star.

Teams

Suffolk: Alice Barlow, Vanessa Bell, Fiona Edmond, Vicki Inglis, Lils James, Sharon Luckman, Amanda Norman, Abbie Symonds, Lottie Whyman, Joanne Woodward. Captain Vanessa Bell. (sponsored by IG Recruit).

Gloucestershire: Grace Connelly, Alex Giles, Alison Kelly, Ebonie Lewis, Caley McGinty, Claudia Ovens, Sam Round, Alex Saunders and Ffion Tynan. Captain Andra Knight.

Buckinghamshire: Deeya Aggarwal, Georgina Bowers, Victoria Bryan, Julia Gallagher, Deni Yorkshire - Mia Eales-Smith, Megan Garland, Charlotte Heath, Hannah Holden, Megan Lockett, Rochelle Morris, Nicola Slater, Olivia Winning and Melissa Wood. Captain Fran Dickson.

Yorkshire: Mia Eales-Smith, Megan Garland, Charlotte Heath, Hannah Holden, Megan Lockett, Rochelle Morris, Nicola Slater, Olivia Winning and Melissa Wood. Captain Fran Dickson.

Hampshire - Louise Caplen, Raffi Dyer, Sammi Keen, Flora Keites, Georgie Mundy, Adrian Mylrea, Aimee Paterson, Kerry Smith and Kelly Travers. Captain Kay Walshe.

Nottinghamshire – Emma Anderson, Rachel Boulton, Emily Cheshire, Caron Harrison, Carol Houghton, Emma Howie, Libby Kilbride, Kristina Lazarevic, Glenys Priestley, Lauren Spray and Carol Wild. Captain Helen Maber.

Order of play:

Today: Notts v Bucks, 8.54 and 1.33: Gloucs v Suffolk, Hampshire v Yorkshire.

Tomorrow: Gloucs v Hampshire, Bucks v Suffolk, Yorks v Notts.

Wednesday :8.30 and 12.45. Suffolk v Yorks, Notts v Hampshire, Gloucs v Bucks.

Thursday: Notts v Gloucs, Bucks v Yorks, Hampshire v Suffolk.

Friday: Hampshire v Bucks, Yorkshire v Gloucs, Suffolk v Notts.

Ipswich Town host Sheffield Wednesday in a televised Championship clash (Sky Sports) tonight.

Mick McCarthy has backed ‘top bloke’ Carlos Carvalhal to guide Sheffield Wednesday into the Championship top six by the end of the season.

Ipswich Town host Sheffield Wednesday in a televised Championship match tonight (7.45pm ko). STUART WATSON previews the action.

Rotherham manager Paul Warne is expecting a January bidding war for Ipswich loanee Kieffer Moore.

Playing wide right in a fluid front four suits David McGoldrick, says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy.

Mick McCarthy and Callum Connolly have both lavished praise on Blues midfielder Cole Skuse, with the Ipswich Town boss insisting the consistent performer is ‘as good as anybody’.

Danny Rowe still has a future at Ipswich Town, but is free to leave the club on loan in a bid to force his way into Mick McCarthy’s team.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has told lead striker Joe Garner not to worry about his mini goal drought and implored him never to lose his fiery edge.

Emyr Huws and Teddy Bishop could both play a part for Ipswich Town against Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow night, manager Mick McCarthy has confirmed.

Ipswich Town host Sheffield Wednesday in a televised Championship clash (Sky Sports) tomorrow night.

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