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Essex and Gloucestershire move ahead at women's County Finals
20th September 2012

Essex and Gloucestershire both won their matches today at women's County Finals at East Devon Golf Club and extended their lead at the top of the table.

Charlotte Thompson (Image © Leaderboard Photography)

Essex, who are playing in the Finals for the first time in 20 years, defeated Lincolnshire 6½-2½. Gloucestershire, meanwhile, beat Buckinghamshire 8-1.  The results mean the two teams are neck and neck in the hunt for honours, with 2½ points apiece from the three matches played so far this week.

Lancashire and Surrey, who halved today, both have 1½ points; Lincolnshire have 1 point and Buckinghamshire have yet to score.

Gloucestershire captain Karen Rix was delighted to see her team's youngsters came to the fore in today's win. Victoria Wakeley-Jones and Alex Saunders played when more senior members were rested and were part of the clean sweep in the singles.

This was the first match of the week for 15-year-old Victoria, in her first County Finals; while Alex, 17, made her debut only last year.

"It's a long week and I decided to rest some of the senior players," said Karen. "It paid off and I am really, really pleased that the youngsters stepped up to the mark."

Surrey's Nicola Taylor produced a touch of magic to halve her match - and help her team to their halved result. Nicola was two down with two to play, but won both remaining holes when she chipped in for an eagle three on the 17th and hit the pin on 18 en route to a tap-in birdie.

Surrey captain Ann Gems said: "It was terribly exciting and it kept us going. Some of the other matches were down and it picked us up."

Her verdict, that a halved match was a fair result, was shared by Lancashire captain Val Moran. "It was an incredibly exciting day and some of the golf has been spectacular. I've got a great bunch of players and they did incredibly well," she said.

Essex may have been absent from County Finals for two decades but they've made an impact on their return. "We've got a very good team at the moment and we're doing what we hoped to achieve," said county captain Amanda Colegate-Herbert.

They got off to the best possible start, winning all three foursomes, and then produced a strong singles performance to take their point. Their team includes Charlotte Thompson (Image © Leaderboard Photography), who played in the Ricoh Women's British Open last week and who today held her opponent to a half.

However, Lincolnshire's Emily Slater produced a highlight for her team - with a hole-in-one on the 131-yard 4th which helped her to an individual win.

Gloucestershire 8 Buckinghamshire 1
Hannah Barwood & Jo Hodge beat Luan Skeates & Charlotte West 4/2
Alexandra Saunders & Alison Kelly lost to Denise Goodacre & Susanna Mitterer 1 down
Shelby Smart & Bethan Popel beat Zoe Fitz-Costa & Shamiso Hatchard 7/5
Barwood beat Gallagher 4/3
Kelly beat Carole Weir 4/3
Victoria Wakeley-Jones beat Skeates 2/1
Jemima Gregson beat West 3/2
Saunders beat Goodacre 2/1
Smart beat Fitz-Costa 4/3

Surrey 4½ Lancashire 4½
Inci Mehmet & Annabel Dimmock beat Elizabeth Stebbings & Sophie Powell 2/1
Tana Churchill & Louise Tarn lost to Eloise Healey & Sophie Lamb 2/1
Samantha Fuller & Lisa McGowan beat Gemma Batty & Nikki Foster 4/3
McGowan lost to Catherine Roberts 5/3
Nicola Taylor halved with Stebbings
Fuller beat Powell 4/3
Katie Fewster lost to Lamb 2/1
Dimmock lost to Healey 2 down
Mehmet beat Batty 3/2

Lincolnshire 2½ Essex 6½
Emilee Taylor & Sophie Beardsall lost to Gabriella Cowley & Paige Kemp 2/1
Helen Hewlett & Jessica Wilcox lost to Ashleigh Greenham & Sophie Madden 2/1
Emily Slater & Emma Tipping lost to Daisy Dyer & Charlotte Thompson 2 down
Hewlett halved with Thompson
Taylor beat Greenham 5/4
Wilcox lost to Dulcie Sverdloff 1 down
Beardsall lost to Madden 3/2
Slater beat Kelly Martin 3/1
Megan Illingworth lost to Dyer 3/2


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