Suffolk Ladies seeking to lift English county title for very first time
PUBLISHED: 16:35 17 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:35 17 September 2017
© Leaderboard Photography 2017
Suffolk Ladies are seeking to become England county champions for the first time.
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.
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.