The timetable was set up for the perfect showdown on the last morning at Stoke-by-Nayland, at stake the East Region place in the County Finals. A necessarily close encounter, Hertfordshire took the win by three matches to two and will represent the East at Denham in Buckinghamshire (September 6-7, 2021).
As it happened, although the Suffolk team played with plenty of skill and determination over the three days, their results did not reflect their endeavour. They did, however, have an important hand in the overall process because their first match was played against Hertfordshire and they won it. It was the only loss the winning county was to suffer over the three days and certainly added an edge to the final reckoning.
Wet and windswept, Stoke-By-Nayland’s Gainsborough course was a very pleasant place for the native ducks and geese as the golfing ladies from six counties began their round robin battles at the traditional beginning of the English County Championship. For the 42 lady golfers, wearing every item of waterproof clothing they could lay their hands on, it was not so good. Nevertheless, they all set to with a will and played some very creditable golf into the bargain. Covid restrictions decreed that trolley pullers were not allowed, so they juggled clubs and brolleys and smiled at adversity and were pretty pleased to see the few spectators who were braving the elements alongside them.
On that first day, Suffolk’s 14-year-old Sophie Kubitzek certainly enjoyed a stiff baptism. Playing alongside Lils James she acquitted herself excellently well helping to earn a point. Alice Barlow played a winning champion’s role in all five matches, calmly leaving her opponents in her wake. Abbie Symonds was in her usual state of determination but it is almost a shame to single out anyone because the whole team was full of hope and five of the individual matches were lost by just one hole and several more finished on seventeen. If just a few of those were turned over, the Suffolk tally would have been much more comfortable and we might not have ended propping up the score sheet. Still, somebody has to do it and we have had a really good run in recent years.
The list read Herts, Essex, Norfolk, Cambs & Hunts, Beds and Suffolk. Hurrah for Suffolk and thanks to our Captain, Amanda Norman, a cheerful and dignified leader. She sends everyone this message:
“I was really pleased with the team. They were a great bunch to captain and there were lots of good things to take from the whole experience.
I would like to say a big thank you to Belinda Rowe, our vice captain, I couldn’t have done it without her – she took on the captain’s role while I played.
I couldn’t have asked more of the team. Having to play 45 holes on the Saturday so we could finish on time on Sunday was a fantastic effort and one I really appreciated.
There is a lot to learn re the new format and we will go again next year at Harpenden Golf Club 19th – 22nd June 2022. “