Wellingborough beaten as Collingtree claim sixth title

The Wellingborough team who finished as runners-up in the Handicap League following their defeat to Collingtree Park in the final at Priors Hall
The Wellingborough team who finished as runners-up in the Handicap League following their defeat to Collingtree Park in the final at Priors Hall

Collingtree Park secured a record sixth Handicap League crown by defeating reigning champions Wellingborough 16-0 in the final at Priors Hall.

After edging a tight contest with previously-unbeaten Hellidon Lakes in the last four, Collingtree made a confident start as Conor Rosling and Chris Malton won the opening tie by four holes.

Tony Greenhill and Mark Spring extended their lead by one, before Collingtree streaked clear with a five-hole victory for Steve Cole and Andrew Dennis and a four-hole success for Stuart Maddison and Josh Sampson.

Although Wellingborough produced a superb fightback to beat Hellidon in the final 12 months ago, any hopes of a repeat were ended when Collingtree captain Samish Patel and Michael Knight took game five by two.

The last match was halved as Collingtree lifted the trophy for the first time since 2011.

Scratch League

Division One

Wellingborough confirmed their top flight status for another season by recording two victories over Brampton Heath in the space of three days over the Bank Holiday.

In the 5½-2½ away victory on Saturday, Adam Sherlock enjoyed the most convincing win for Wellingborough as his 6&4 success, in addition to points from Sam Waite and Roger Butler, put the visitors in control.

Needing one and a half points from the last three ties to secure the victory, Mark Davis picked up a half, Jon Harris won the 18th to beat Alec Francis, before Jamie Milligan added another away point against Ben Jones on the closing hole.

Wellingborough didn’t need to hit a ball in the return fixture as Brampton failed to field a team as they were consigned to relegation after just one season in the top division.

Division Two

Rushden were relegated after suffering their sixth consecutive defeat as they went down 7-1 at Staverton Park, who moved level on points with Cold Ashby and Overstone at the top of the table.

Although Rushden won the opening tie on the 18th hole, a first victory of the season never looked likely as Staverton controlled the rest of the match.

Club champion Andrew Swain (9&7) was the most comfortable winner, while Russell Brown (7&6) and Miles Mudge (6&4) also impressed.

Division Three

Collingtree Park kept alive their chances of avoiding the drop as they beat Kettering 5-3 in their final home fixture.

Despite a heavy defeat in the first game, the hosts moved ahead with big wins from Tim Faulkner, Trevor Twelftree and Neil Abery, only for Kettering to reply by taking the next two points.

Collingtree, who travel to Priors Hall in their last away game, made sure of the victory thanks to wins from Aidan Rosling and Brendon Moss on the 17th hole.

Division Four

Daventry gained promotion into the third tier with a second successive 8-0 home victory as they defeated fellow title contenders Cherwell Edge.

In a match a lot closer than the final scoreline suggested, Daventry won five of the eight ties on the closing hole as Tom Orcherton, Dave Musker, Nathon Freezer, Chris Eveleigh and Adam Tarbox secured narrow wins to earn the team’s third victory in four outings.

Intermediate League

Four teams will battle it out for the remaining two semi-final places when they take part in the final round of fixtures on Saturday at Collingtree Park.

With Northampton and Wellingborough, who received a walkover win against Collingtree last weekend, having already qualified, Kettering, Overstone, Cold Ashby and Kingsthorpe can all join them in the last four.

Overstone, who crashed to a 6½-1½ defeat against Northampton on Sunday at Kingsthorpe, will qualify if they avoid defeat against Kettering.

After drawing with Cold Ashby in their last match, Kettering need a big win to definitely progress, although a draw may be enough to overtake fourth-placed Kingsthorpe, who face unbeaten Northampton.

Ashby remain the outsiders but if they manage to grab a convincing victory against Wellingborough they could still set up a last-four clash with Northampton.

Ladies Cecil Leitch

Defending champions Whittlebury Park beat Northants County 5-2 in the last four to book a final meeting with Elton Furze, who edged out Wellingborough by a single point in their semi at Collingtree Park.

Whittlebury’s success was built around a strong middle order as Beverley Price, Sylvia Smith, Tracey Heavey, Carol Kane and Jill Aldous secured the vital points.

Elton Furze needed to win the last two matches on the 18th hole against Wellingborough, who looked set for victory after Jackie Banks, Mollie Graham and Pat Wilson collected points.

Ladies Scratch League

Wellingborough returned to the top of the table with a comprehensive 3-0 demolition of Peterborough Milton at Northampton.

Despite being without Mary MacLaren and Carol Gibbs, the trio of Gill Snelson, Fran Woods and Ellie Darnell emphasised their qualities as they all completed convincing wins.

The reigning champions sit level on six points with Northants County, who they face in their final on Sunday, September 27 at Overstone Park.