Stoke bid to take final step in search of Bronze glory

GUARD OF HONOUR: Eileen Hands gets a warm reception at her Lady Captain's Day

GUARD OF HONOUR: Eileen Hands gets a warm reception at her Lady Captain's Day

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Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club’s ladies overcame The Burstead, at Burnham-on-Crouch, to set up a Bronze semi-final with Stockbrook Manor.

They go into Sunday’s last four encounter at The Burstead Golf Club, near Billericay, after returning 4.5-2.5 victors from the long trip to Essex, in what was the third straight year they had made the quarter-finals.

Stoke won the toss and Carol Mehrer led the team out to the first tee, for what turned out to be a very exciting match.

Corinne Jackson had a very difficult game, losing 5&4 on the 14th green after playing an in-form Paula Davies, who hardly put a foot wrong, and when she did she still managed to escape and halve holes.

Nora Hutchinson managed, with the aid of her opponent hitting the wrong ball, to be 1up at the ninth.

This was a very hard-fought game with no more than one hole in it at any time.

It went all the way to the 18th green with Hutchinson agonizingly losing 1down on the last putt.

Anne Hemmings was in good form, reaching the turn 4up, before closing out the game 5&4 on the 14th.

Maria Gilgar again had a good steady game, winning 3&2 on the long 16th.

With state of play at two games each, it was down to the last two players.

Lesley Hitchcock came through the 14th having lost this hole still 3up with four holes to play.

The difficult par three 15th proved to be the crucial hole with Lesley winning 4&3.

Barbara Jones was three holes down after losing the 15th, but managed to claw back to 2down before arms went aloft from the 17th tee as 
Mehrer walked back after winning her match 3&1 to claim the necessary fourth game, with Jones’ being halved.

n There were more than 40 players competing in glorious conditions for Eileen Hands’ Lady Captain’s Day last Thursday.

Played over three sets of six holes, split into four ball better ball, six aggregate Stableford and six greensomes, the overall winners were Carol Mehrer and Barbara Jones, who finished with an impressive score of 57 points.

Hands, together with her husband Alan, stationed themselves at the halfway house where they provided a selection of homemade refreshments.

Her theme for the day, butterflies, was reflected in the dressing of the golf buggy and pink and mauve golfing attire.

More than 60 ladies, along with a few gentlemen including club captain Julian Lamb, sat down to enjoy their meal following the competition, with Hands giving special thanks to vice captain, Betty Cox, for her organisation of the day.

n On Friday, a closely-fought game saw Stoke lose their Harris Bowl match at West Essex, near Chingford, 3-2, in sweltering conditions.

Fran Chandler won on a sudden death hole back on the first with a par, while Lesley Garnett halved the 18th to win 1up.

Two more matches went to the 18th hole, with both Carol Mehrer and Maria Gilgar losing their matches 1down.

Nora Hutchinson then met an in-form Kalpna Kadri from West Essex, who played exceptionally well to win 7&6.