Oundle in pole facing a Hollingsworth Trophy wait

Richard Burton
Richard Burton

Oundle remain in pole position at the top of Group B after completing a hard-fought 4-1 home victory against Stoke Albany in their final match.

Although Kit Alexander and Gary Rice (5&4) and Dave Turner and Nigel Moore (4&3) recorded comfortable wins for Oundle, the remaining three games all went the distance.

Stoke’s Adrian Chester and Sam Clarke took the opening tie, but Dean Montgomery and Sean Mead sealed the home win, before Joel Tadman and Alex Thurston completed the Oundle scoring.

Brampton Heath kept alive their chances of reaching the last four as they defeated Northampton 3-2 at home.

Harry Brown and Paul Bull romped to a 8&7 home success in the opening tie, but Lewis White and Sam Abrahams levelled the match with a 2&1 win in game two.

Fraser Carnihan and Guy Loveland restored the Brampton lead on the 18th, before Mark Halliday and Brendan Kelly sealed the team victory as they walked in with a 4&3 win under their belts.

Northampton’s Lloyd Skidmore and Ian Hedges grabbed the other point on the closing hole.

Brampton travel to Stoke Albany on Saturday knowing victory will seal a last four spot at the expense of Oundle.

Defending champions Kettering remain on course for the semi-finals after beating Rushden 4-1 at home in their last Group D outing.

Former club champions Keith Althorpe and Andy Lilly collected the first point for Kettering on the 18th hole, before Rob Stevenson and Nick Keech extended the home lead with a 2&1 victory in game two.

Will Ambery and Dan Ashcroft, who finished first and second respectively in the Club Championships last month, confirmed the home win with a 4&3 success.

With points difference possibly being vital in qualification for the last four, Rod Handyside and Richard Burton (2&1) added another home point before Rushden took the closing match on the 17th.

The only team who can now prevent Kettering from topping the group are Farthingstone after they defeated Kingsthorpe 3-2 in their penultimate group match.

County first team player Paul Hodgkiss and Martin Crowder grabbed a thumping 8&7 win for Farthingstone, while Hodgkiss’ brother Matt was also in fine touch as he won 6&5 with Richard Marsh.

Although Kingsthorpe took games two and four, it was only after the home side had wrapped up victory with a 3&2 success for Sam Bird and John Whittaker in the opening tie.

Farthingstone need a 4-1 victory or better in their final match at Rushden next weekend to seal a semi-final place.

In Group A, Wellingborough lost their perfect winning record with a 3-2 defeat at Peterborough Milton, who now top the standings with three wins out of three matches.

Although Chris Howes and Lawrence Berryman (3&2) and Tim Veal and Duncan Felce (3&2) were successful, the visitors were narrowly beaten in the other three ties.

Jon Harris and Martin Dalton lost 2&1, Roger Butler and Simon Blundell went down on the 18th, while Richard Brown and Elliott Morgan’s excellent fightback was halted on the closing hole.

Wellingborough can still qualify for the last four if they defeat Priors Hall 4-1 at home and Peterborough lose at Whittlebury Park this weekend.

Point-less Whittlebury will be desperate to end their campaign on a high after crashing to a 3-2 reverse at Silverstone, who could only field eight players.

Despite handing their opponents one point, Silverstone collected their first victory of the year thanks to wins from Les Bone and Mark Reilly, Chris Turvey and Simon Gregory and Phil Carter and Chris James.

Local knowledge continues to prove decisive in Group C as Staverton Park triumphed twice on their own track at the weekend, while Cold Ashby ended their campaign with a home win.

Leigh Foster and Robert Hemus (one hole), Michael Franklin and John Willis (3&1) and Darren Taylor and Russell Brown (3&1) grabbed Staverton’s points in their victory over Daventry.

Previously unbeaten leaders Overstone Park were Staverton’s victims 24 hours later as the hosts claimed another 3-2 win.

Needing a 5-0 victory against Northants County to have any chance of reaching the semi-finals, Ashby made a good start as Liam Cope and Ross Green took the opening tie on the 16th.

Paul Harris and Daniel Roberts responded with a 4&2 away win, but Jim Burberry and Graham Bott restored the home advantage on the same hole.

David Goodrham and Andrew Nicholson levelled the match, but Jack Collins and Mark Conway made sure of the home victory by beating Ross Mason and John McPhee.

NGU Handicap League

Brampton Heath will be Wellingborough’s opponents in the Handicap League semi-finals after they edged out defending champions Collingtree Park in Group D.

With both last four ties taking place at Kingsthorpe golf course, Kettering meet Hellidon Lakes on September 22. The final is scheduled for October 13 at Whittlebury Park.

Mail on Sunday

Farthingstone are through to the last eight of the Mail on Sunday Team Classic after thrashing Sandford Springs 4½-½ at home in their eighth round contest.

Bradley Wardell, who needs an operation when the quarter finals take place in Manchester on September 23-24, gave Farthingstone the ideal start with a 2&1 victory in game one.

Competing against a team who ended Wentworth’s 17-game unbeaten run in the previous round, Farthingstone made it 2-0 with a 5&4 victory for Sam Bird, before Ian Donald came from four down at the turn to grab a half.

With just a half needed to secure their progress, the home side wasted little time as Matt Hodgkiss strolled to a 5&4 victory before Paul Hodgkiss completed the scoring with a 3&2 success.

Farthingstone will be joined by Burnley, Chester-le-Street, Immingham, Kintore, St. Enodoc, Millbrook and Sedlescombe as they attempt to book a place in the Grand Final in November.