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Stoke sides sail through opening Mail on Sunday ties

Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club celebrated a comfortable passage into the third round of the Mail on Sunday National Golf Club Classic for both its men’s and ladies teams.

While the men, who also received a first-round bye, were led by captain Marcus Harding to a 5-0 win against a very strong Playgolf Colchester team, the ladies followed their act by getting their national cup campaign off to a strong start, winning 4-1 at home to Rushmere.

The ladies team, captained by Jude Hunter, who led from the front and played an exciting match against Jackie Flewitt with a halved point being a fair result, hope to build on their success in the competition in the previous two years.

In 2013 the club reached the last eight, one step away from the finals in Spain, only to be beaten by Nizels from Kent, while last year ended with defeat in round five in another creditable run.

An in-form Sybil Paton won on the tricky 13th par three on the Constable Course, followed by news that scratch golfer Hannah Moul had secured another point on the 14th hole.

June Kenworthy fought back for Rushmere from three down at the turn to level the match on the 16th, but Bev Thompson raised her game to win both 17 and 18.

Sue Spittlehouse also experienced resistance from her Rushmere opponent, Elaine Sykes, but with a halved point gave Stoke a 4-1 win.

The ladies now play their county golf competitions in Essex and enter teams in the Munro Foursomes, Silver Trophy, Harris Bowl and Bronze Shield, meaning many players have the opportunity of playing competitive golf at all levels.

The preparation with head coach Roly Hitchcock has certainly paid off with three of the four teams reaching the knockout stages in the 2014 season, the Silver Trophy team runners up in their competition after an exciting final at Clacton.

With the men’s team having also received a bye in the Mail on Sunday competition, Martin Cotton led the way with a 3&2 victory, closely followed by Richard Bland and a match win was secured with a third point from Ian Smith.

Tim Dickens put extra gloss on the scoreline with another point and Rob Benson won a hard-fought match against Playgolf’s lowest handicapper (four) to win one up.

n Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club is staging a golf membership open weekend on April 11/12 from 10am-4pm, call 01206 265841 for details of joining offers.

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