Younger reclaims club championship

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Nine years after he last won it, Iain Younger got his hands back on the Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club Men’s Club Championship on Sunday.

After a close-fought contest, including challenging torrential rain, a gross score of 150 was enough for Younger to win the two-day competition by two shots from another former champion, in Ian Carter.

Saturday had seen a field of 90 hopeful players tee off in hot and sunny conditions knowing the top 30 gross and nett scores, plus ties, would go through to the second round.

On day one the players faced the demanding Gainsborough Course and on day two the picturesque, but no less demanding, Constable Course.

After the first round it was former champions Carter and Younger in the lead, both on two-under-par.

On Sunday the early starters kept dry but those with later tee times, which included the leaders, faced torrential rain and new challenges.

But the first round leaders remained at the top of the leaderboard with Younger’s 50 gross winning the Club Championship by two shots from Carter, with Callum Hensby taking third place on count-back. Younger was presented with the trophy by club captain Julian Lamb.

The AJB Nett Cup went to Andrew Searles with Ian Collett as runner-up.

n Stoke-by-Nayland have progressed to the quarter-final stage of the Norman Plum Trophy, courtesy of a round three win over The Rayleigh Club.

The competition is an Essex Union inter-club knock-out which is open to category three (handicaps 13-20) and category four (21-28) players only.

Each team consists of 12 players, with a minimum of two players from each category, six playing at home and the same number away. The format is fourball betterball match play.

At the Rayleigh Club, Tim Dickens and Dean Brace gained the first point when they were 1up at the 18th hole. However, Ian Benson and Shaun Underwood lost a tough match 4&3 to level the scores.

It was up to the final pair, Dan Brown and Dan Goddard, to take the lead, away from home, and they duly obliged winning 2&1.

At Stoke-by-Nayland, the home team faced strong Rayleigh pairings.

Marcus Harden and Adrian Dent raced into the lead and were 4up after eight holes but were pulled back to all square after 13. But the pair regained their composure and finished with a 2&1 win.

In their debut match, Gary Thompson and Chris Williamson faced tough opposition and found themselves 3down after three holes. But, following some fantastic golf from Thompson and a birdie from Williamson on seven, they went on to win 2&1.

It took a brilliant back nine from the final pairing of Paul Nuttall and Craig Morton to go from one down to a 3&2 win.

A final score of 5-1 saw Stoke-by-Nayland reach the quarter final where they will play Boyce Hill a week on Saturday (July 18).